Friday, June 11, 2010

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

"Community, Identity, Stability" is the motto of Aldous Huxley's 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 allows. (From Amazon.com)

I decided to read Brave New World for my end-of-the-year research paper. Fun stuff. But I wanted to read this book because I love dystopias and this is a classic in the genre, so it should be an obvious choice, for me at least. But I enjoyed it. Just letting everyone know, however, the beginning is very dry and technical because the author is explaining a lot of things. So if you read Brave New World, don't give up until you read like 20 or so pages. Another weird thing is that it changes point of view, but in a way that it seems like certain characters are going to be the protagonist but then it ends up being someone else. I don't know if that makes sense but in the beginning it starts talking about one character Henry Foster, and then the plot starts revolving around another character Bernard Marx. So yeah, watch out for that.

The new world/government was really interesting, in that the government did not need new technology and propaganda to subdue the populace. All children are born in laboratories, and from birth to about the teenage years, the children are conditioned to act and behave in certain ways. The government would play recordings while the children sleep and explain the caste system in the World State and other philosophies of the government so the children inherently know them. It was very interesting, especially after learning about Pavlov's dogs and his conditioning techniques in psychology last year.

Ok, guys, my brain is fried from my calculus final that I took this morning, that's why this review is lacking. Hopefully you get the gist of what I'm saying: Brave New World was a pretty good dystopian novel and a good choice for research papers/summer reading/schoolwork in general.

7 out of 10.

FTC: I borrowed this book from my library.

1 comment:

Reading Allowed said...

Hi from England! I just stumbled across your site and thought I'd leave a comment on this, as I'm planning to include an extract of Brave New World on my site shortly.

In most dystopian classics, such as Nineteen-Eighty-Four, the population is controlled by fear; but in Brave New World, Huxley envisages a society that doesn't even realise it's being controlled because the people are devoid of culture, history, and individual thought. That's what makes Brave New World disturbing in my view!

I really like your site. Is it ok to link to it from mine at rallowed.blogspot.com?