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Clashing Morals: Exploring the Ethical Dimensions in Two Books

—Frankenstein & Brave New World

Literature has the remarkable ability to explore complex themes, depict vivid landscapes, and challenge societal norms. Two iconic dystopian novels that have captivated readers for decades are Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Despite being written over a century apart, these works share a common ground in their exploration of the limits of scientific advancement and the consequences of playing god.

Published in 1818, Frankenstein emerged during a time of scientific discovery and philosophical questioning. Shelley’s novel delves into the moral implications of Victor Frankenstein’s ambitious experiment, which ultimately leads to monstrous consequences. Conversely, Brave New World, published in 1932, reflects Huxley’s apprehensions about a future where technology and consumerism dominate society, raising important questions about individuality, free will, and the perils of a totalitarian regime.

In this comparative study, we aim to delve into the thematic intersections and narrative techniques employed by these two influential works of literature. By analyzing their treatment of scientific ethics, social control, and the nature of humanity, this study seeks to shed light on how these authors grapple with similar concerns across different historical contexts.

Through a close examination of their characters, settings, and overarching messages, we will explore the ways in which Frankenstein and Brave New World present cautionary tales about the human desire to manipulate nature and the potential consequences of such pursuits. Moreover, we will investigate how these novels raise pertinent questions about the balance between progress and ethical considerations, reminding us of the timeless relevance of these works.

By engaging in this comparative analysis, we hope to gain a deeper understanding of the profound impact these novels have had on the literary landscape and their continuing significance in stimulating critical discussions about science, society, and the inherent flaws of human nature.

Brief Summary of Two Books


“Frankenstein” is a novel written by Mary Shelley that tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who becomes obsessed with creating life. Driven by his ambition, Frankenstein succeeds in bringing a creature to life using various body parts and scientific methods. However, upon witnessing the monstrous appearance of his creation, Frankenstein is filled with horror and regret.

The creature, abandoned by its creator, seeks acceptance and understanding from society but is met with rejection and fear due to its grotesque appearance. As the story unfolds, the creature learns to survive and educate itself, revealing its intelligence and capacity for emotions.

Through their parallel narratives, Frankenstein and the creature reflect on themes of responsibility, identity, isolation, and the consequences of unchecked ambition. The novel delves into the moral implications of playing god and the destructive nature of human prejudice and societal rejection.

As the lives of Victor Frankenstein and his creation become intertwined, the story raises profound questions about the nature of humanity, the importance of empathy, and the boundaries of scientific progress.

Brave New World

“Brave New World” is a dystopian novel written by Aldous Huxley, published in 1932. Set in a futuristic society, the story explores a world where technological advancements and genetic engineering have created a highly structured and controlled civilization.

In this society, individuals are genetically manipulated and conditioned from birth to fit into specific social classes. The citizens are kept content through the use of a drug called soma, which induces pleasurable sensations and suppresses any negative emotions. Promiscuity and recreational sex are encouraged, while traditional relationships and family structures are considered obsolete.

The narrative follows Bernard Marx, an Alpha Plus intellectual who feels alienated from his conformist society, and Lenina Crowne, a woman who embodies the norms of their world. When they visit a Savage Reservation, a place where people still live according to natural instincts, they encounter John, a “savage” born naturally and raised outside the constraints of their technological society.

As John experiences the stark differences between the two worlds, he becomes disillusioned with the superficiality and lack of individuality in the utopian society. The clash of ideologies, values, and desires drives the plot forward, ultimately leading to a tragic conclusion that questions the cost of sacrificing freedom and individuality in pursuit of stability and happiness.

Through thought-provoking themes such as societal control, consumerism, the dehumanization of humanity, and the power of individuality, “Brave New World” serves as a critique of oppressive regimes and offers a cautionary tale about the dangers of sacrificing personal freedoms for societal comforts.

brave new world

Comparison Between Two Books

Similarities in Social Morality

In both “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley and “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, there are notable similarities in terms of their exploration of social morality. These novels raise thought-provoking questions about the consequences of advancements in science and technology on society, as well as the role of individuality and personal freedom within a controlled or artificial environment.

Loss of Individuality:

Both books touch upon the theme of loss of individuality within their respective societies. In “Brave New World,” individuals are conditioned from birth to conform to societal norms, resulting in a homogeneous population that lacks personal identity. Similarly, in “Frankenstein,” Victor Frankenstein’s creation grapples with his own existence and struggles to find acceptance due to his monstrous appearance. This loss of individuality highlights the negative implications of suppressing uniqueness and the importance of self-expression.

Manipulation and Control:

Another parallel in these novels is the presence of manipulation and control over society. In “Brave New World,” the World State employs strategies such as genetic engineering, conditioning, and mind-altering drugs to maintain a stable and obedient populace. Similarly, in “Frankenstein,” Victor’s ambition drives him to create life without considering the consequences. His reckless actions result in tragedy as he loses control over his creation, which then seeks revenge. Both books caution against the dangers of unchecked power and highlight the ethical responsibilities scientists and governments have towards the societies they influence.

The Pursuit of Perfection:

“Brave New World” and “Frankenstein” also explore the theme of the pursuit of perfection and its consequences. In “Brave New World,” the society aims for a utopian ideal by eradicating suffering and eliminating natural reproduction. However, this pursuit sacrifices individual autonomy and emotional depth, resulting in a superficial and dystopian reality. Similarly, Victor Frankenstein’s desire to create the perfect being leads to the creation of a monstrous creature that brings destruction and despair to his life. Both novels caution against the dangers of blindly striving for perfection without considering the broader ethical implications.

Social Conditioning:

Social conditioning is prevalent in both novels as a means of shaping societal norms and behavior. In “Brave New World,” citizens are conditioned to fit into predetermined roles, resulting in a population that accepts their assigned positions without question. In “Frankenstein,” societal prejudice and fear shape the perception of Victor’s creation, leading him to face rejection and isolation. These examples highlight the power of social conditioning in shaping moral values and the need for individuals to question and challenge established norms.

In summary, “Brave New World” and “Frankenstein” share several similarities regarding social morality. They explore the loss of individuality, manipulation and control over society, the pursuit of perfection, and the impact of social conditioning. Through these parallel themes, both novels serve as cautionary tales, reminding readers of the importance of ethical considerations, personal freedom, and the potential dangers of unchecked scientific advancements.


Divergences in Social Morality

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley are both dystopian novels that explore the consequences of scientific advancements on society. While they differ in terms of setting, plot, and themes, they share a common focus on the impact of technology on humanity.

Control vs. Free Will:

In Brave New World, social stability is achieved through complete control over individuals’ lives. The government manipulates people’s desires and suppresses individuality to maintain societal harmony. Conversely, in Frankenstein, the creature’s actions highlight the detrimental consequences of abandoning moral responsibility. Victor Frankenstein’s ambition and disregard for ethical boundaries lead to tragedy, emphasizing the importance of free will and personal accountability.

Collectivism vs. Individualism:

Brave New World emphasizes the power of collective thinking. Society is structured around promoting communal happiness and eliminating dissent. By contrast, Frankenstein explores the dangers of unchecked individualism. Victor’s pursuit of knowledge and his desire to create life without considering the consequences ultimately leads to destruction. Shelley highlights the need to balance individual aspirations with moral obligations towards others.

Artificial Happiness vs. Authentic Emotions:

In Brave New World, citizens are conditioned to be perpetually content through the use of mind-altering drugs and superficial pleasures. This artificial happiness masks any authentic emotions or deep connections. On the other hand, Frankenstein delves into the complexities of human emotions and relationships. The creature longs for companionship and understanding, demonstrating the importance of genuine emotional connections for societal well-being.

Uniformity vs. Diversity:

Brave New World promotes uniformity, where individuals are genetically engineered and categorized into distinct castes, each with predetermined roles. On the contrary, Frankenstein emphasizes the value of diversity. The creature’s physical appearance and its subsequent isolation reflect society’s tendency to reject those who do not conform to norms. Shelley advocates for acceptance and empathy towards individuals who are different from societal expectations.

Technological Advancements vs. Ethical Considerations:

In Brave New World, advancements in technology enable the government to maintain control over society, but at the expense of ethical considerations and human dignity. Huxley warns against unchecked scientific progress that disregards moral boundaries. In Frankenstein, Victor’s creation of the monster raises questions about the moral responsibility of scientists. Shelley cautions against pursuing scientific knowledge without considering the potential consequences on humanity.

These divergences in social morality between Brave New World and Frankenstein highlight the authors’ distinct perspectives on the impact of technology and societal structure. While both novels serve as cautionary tales, they approach the subject matter from different angles, ultimately emphasizing the importance of balance, personal responsibility, and ethical considerations in shaping a just and harmonious society.


Both “Brave New World” and “Frankenstein” are highly regarded classic novels, each offering unique perspectives on societal issues. The choice of which book is more worthy of reading depends on personal preferences and interests. Here’s a brief overview of both books to help you make an informed decision:

“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley:

Set in a dystopian future, it explores a society where technology, consumerism, and conformity rule.

It delves into themes like the loss of individuality, the dehumanizing effects of scientific advancement, and the pursuit of happiness at the expense of freedom.

If you’re interested in exploring the potential consequences of a highly controlled society and the implications of technological progress, this book is worth considering.

“Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley:

Often considered the first science fiction novel, it tells the story of Dr. Victor Frankenstein and his creation, the monster.

It raises questions about the limits of scientific ambition, the nature of humanity, and the consequences of playing god.

If you’re intrigued by moral dilemmas surrounding scientific discovery, the exploration of human nature, and the blurred lines between creator and creation, this book is worth exploring.

Ultimately, the decision between these two books depends on your personal interests and the themes that resonate with you. Both have made significant contributions to literature and continue to generate discussions about society and human nature. 

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