Brave New World

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Brave New World

By: Aldous Huxley

 Reviewed by: Douglas Rintoul

16 years old

Rating: Good

    

     The story line of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World begins by describing the foreign world in which the reader finds himself, introducing the science and characters. Most of them are perpetually, thoughtlessly happy, their bliss due to the unusual construction of this unusual world. We learn that they are manufactured in factories, taught to believe in ideas very contrary to our own, and live their lives based on a general pattern set out for each of them at birth. The plot moves along slowly, giving information regarding the personal lives of the main characters. Though most of them enjoy this unusual world, a few are disturbed by some of its implications; still, no one ever thinks to change the way their world works. Eventually, though, the novel reaches a turning point, when the main character of the first half of the story, Bernard Marx, introduces a new character, John, into the works. John is a "savage" from one of the areas where humans are still born, rather than created in factories. He creates fascination in the public, a curiosity, being the only natural-born human most of them have ever seen. Before long, "the Savage" is disturbing the social order, attracting attention both positive and, eventually, negative, from a society that has never seen anything like him.

     Brave New World is an unusual dystopia, set in a world where no one has to struggle any longer to get what they want. But then, in a future where the very concept of family has almost completely died out, "everybody belongs to everybody else," and sadness has been bested using the drug "soma," what is there to struggle for? Relationships between men and women have been reduced to the purely physical, which has become shockingly casual. Society is divided by conditioning, the lower classes unintelligent and content in their stupidity, and the upper classes running the show, satisfied with their supremacy. In Brave New World, scientists use genetic conditioning, "hypnopaedia" (sleep teaching), and "Bokanovsky's Process" to determine the characters' destinies before they are old enough to even understand what's going on. In its own way perhaps more relevant today than George Orwell's 1984, Brave New World attempts to present a real danger, that science will eventually begin to change and destroy the very foundations of society, and that perhaps it already has. For in the universe of the novel, this change did not occur instantaneously, or in some short revolutionary period; it was a gradual change over time, the type of change we may have already, unknowingly, begun.


 

  

 

  

 
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