BA English Essays: Irony and Humour in the essay, ‘The Beauty Industry’ by Aldus Huxley

Humor means the quality of being funny and Irony means the difference between what is expected and what actually occurs or meant. The essay abounds in humor and irony from the first page to the last one. When he says that the annual expense of one hundred and fifty six millions is

‘a tidy sum’, 

he is being ironical and humorous at the same time. Using the phrase

‘The cult of beauty’, 

the writer refers to extreme devotion to a religious system. Again, Huxley has humorously given beauty the status of a cult. Further, he says,

‘The crone of the future will be golden’. 

Women will be cherry-lipped, neat ankle and slender. It is humorous to describe that the old women of the future will be young looking. When he says,

‘The hardness and deadness are from within’, 

the description is full of humor. The writer states that the hardness and deadness of the faces is actually reflecting the spiritual disharmony. Only the spiritual contentment can give the face the real beauty. Further, he uses

‘Preservation of the appearance’. 

It is ironical to say that appearance can be preserved. Beauty and physical charm are short-lived. The expressions like

‘Sullen boredom stamped into the fresh faces’

are most humorous and ironical. Fresh faces indicate artificiality whereas sullen boredom suggests reality beneath the beautiful. Real beauty cannot be achieved without inner satisfaction. Thus, the essay is highly humorous and ironical.

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