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Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – A Must-Read…

August 21, 2011
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Community, Identity, Stability is the motto of Aldous Huxleys utopian World State. Here everyone consumes daily grams of soma, to fight depression, babies are born in laboratories, and the most popular form of entertainment is a Feelie, a movie that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Though there is no violence and everyone is provided for, Bernard Marx feels something is missing and senses his relationship with a young women has the potential to be much more than the confines of their existence allow. Huxley foreshadowed many of the practices and gadgets we take for granted today–lets hope the sterility and absence of individuality he predicted arent yet to come.

A Must-Read…
Production of identical beings, neo-Pavlovian conditioning, surrogate parenting, ranking from birth, mass production in biology, Fordism–these are factors in the new age the novelist describes. Sleep teaching is practiced. The caste system is followed in the new world. There are soma bottles and sex hormone chewing gum used to satisfy the desires of the populace. There is a Bureau of Propaganda, (and a College of Emotional Engineering), to assist in the running of society.

Names of the character are clever and significant–Lenina, Hoover, Bernard Marx, Herbert Bakunin, Morgana Rothschild, George Edzel. Sometimes people go to New Mexico to look at the savages. Travel is nearly instantaneous in rockets. The best quality is Fordliness. There are two kinds of existence, one of which takes place at the Reservation of Savages. In the other kind of existence clothes are discarded, not mended, people look healthier, and Bloomsbury is the centre of industry. There is a Social Predestination Room filled with embryos.

Bernard Marx, an Alpha-Plus, is to be sent to Iceland by way of punishment until a trick is played on the Director. The Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning, Bernards overlord, is confronted by Linda, a savage, an apparition in the nature of the first Mrs. Rochester in JANE EYRE. The man becomes an ex-Director. Upper caste London is agog.

Linda obtains soma and remains in Bernards apartment. While touring Eton, Lindas son John is told that the students dont read Shakespeare. Hemholtz Watson is Bernards friend. He has also come into conflict with authority. Ultimately John gags on civilization.

Reading the book leaves the reader as puzzled as before the experience takes place. It is a solid work, sustaining a place among the top literary titles. The book is a rebuttal to the formation of mass society and resultant standardization. The challenges to liberty are suggested. Ideas such as history is bunk, end not mend, (forced obsolescence), the loss of individuality are chilling.

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Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

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