A Study of an Individual’S Choice, How It Can Be Corrupted and What the Outcome Will Be, with Reference to the Texts 'Brave New World', 'the Screwtape Letters' and 'the Devil and Miss Prym'

Change is something that happens to all living things. Humanity always has a choice in life, and it is that which truly allows us to grow and live and, indeed, change to our full extent. Our choices are always ours to make – but there are often things preventing us from making the best choice for ourselves, and indeed the ‘right’ choice to begin with.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis and The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho are three novels which explore the ability to choose and that which can hinder our ability to make the right decisions. They look at different settings of choice, but all of them show that such a seemingly simple task is far from straightforward.

In Brave New World individuals are completely repressed and not allowed to make their own choices. We are offered an insight into a future where all our morals and standards are reversed. It is appropriate and indeed the norm to have many sexual partners, to take drugs for leisure, and to abhor any thought of family and new children as “smutty” things   that should not be spoken of. Even before they are born, people have their positions in society chosen for them in life. They are put into castes – Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons – so that they know their ‘place’ before they can even think for themselves, and this is continued as they grow through brainwashing. No one is allowed to choose for themselves: they have to think of the greater ‘society’ so that others can control them – a thing apparent in all three of the texts.

The Screwtape Letters is a ‘masterpiece of satire’[1] that shows the advice senior devil Screwtape gives to his nephew, Wormwood, via a series of letters. The reader is never shown Wormwood’s letters to his uncle, but it is often easy to glean what he has asked from Screwtape’s replies. Screwtape advises the younger devil to turn the patient’s (man’s) attention away from himself. He should not be allowed to look deep within...