2019 Student Research Conference:
32nd Annual Student Research Conference

Overmedication and Drug Ethics: Analyzing the Use of Soma in Huxley’s Brave New World

Danyelle N. Morkisz
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

In his novel, Brave New World, Aldous Huxley creates a dystopian society in which the citizens are conditioned from birth to be consumers of soma. Soma is a synthetic drug manufactured and distributed by the government which produces euphoric feelings and hallucinations. It is one of many tools used by the world leaders to dehumanize and establish control over the citizens. The novel suggests the central characters are addicted to soma, a notion that is normal for all of the citizens living in this society. While soma is a fictitious drug, its effects and the culture surrounding it, as this paper will present, parallel the abuse of prescription medications today. This includes how addiction to prescription drugs is normalized over other forms of drug addiction. This normalization has led to a dangerous increase of medications being prescribed to patients, bringing into question the ethics of pharmacology and drug use today.



Keywords: Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, soma, overmedication, drug ethics, prescription drugs, dehumanization, addiction


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 105-3
Location: BH 241
Time: 9:00

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