Brave New World 1: Utopia or dystopia?
Is Brave New World a utopia or a dystopia?
On the one hand, everyone his happy. People have all their material needs met, and the society is set up so that people are fufilled in their roles. People can fulfil their potential and gain satisfaction from doing so, even if that potential is limited by eugenic breeding. For instance, Linda took her book on conditioning techniques implies that workers need to study to be successful at their jobs. From a Utilitarianistic perspective it's nearly a perfect society: happiness is maximised, as everyone is happy all the the time.
On the other hand, people are conditioned from fertilization to puberty to be happy with their assigned role. They have little choice about what they do, and most people are mentally and psychologically crippled to want no more from life than that their assigned role. Is slavery any less wrong if the Epsilon-class slave is happy in their role and unwilling and unable to do anything else?
What makes a setting utopian or dystopian? How could the Brave New World move from one to the other?