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November 12, 2013

A Brave New World Review

This is actually an essay I wrote for class. The Book was AMAZING. 

Synopsis (Found on GR):
The astonishing novel Brave New World, originally published in 1932, presents Aldous Huxley's vision of the future -- of a world utterly transformed. Through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering, people are genetically designed to be passive and therefore consistently useful to the ruling class. This powerful work of speculative fiction sheds a blazing critical light on the present and is considered to be Huxley's most enduring masterpiece.
Following Brave New World is the nonfiction work Brave New World Revisited, first published in 1958. It is a fascinating work in which Huxley uses his tremendous knowledge of human relations to compare the modern-day world with the prophetic fantasy envisioned inBrave New World, including threats to humanity, such as overpopulation, propaganda, and chemical persuasion.
The astonishing novel Brave New World, originally published in 1932, presents Aldous Huxley's vision of the future -- of a world utterly transformed. Through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering, people are genetically designed to be passive and therefore consistently useful to the ruling class. This powerful work of speculative fiction sheds a blazing critical light on the present and is considered to be Huxley's most enduring masterpiece.

Following Brave New World is the nonfiction work Brave New World Revisited, first published in 1958. It is a fascinating work in which Huxley uses his tremendous knowledge of human relations to compare the modern-day world with the prophetic fantasy envisioned inBrave New World, including threats to humanity, such as overpopulation, propaganda, and chemical persuasion.
Review:

A Brave New World is not a book every person wants to jump on the bandwagon and read. Aldous Huxley- the author- spends his first three chapters explain how his Utopian world functions. The book was written in the 1930’s and was meant to be set in the future, this was not Huxley’s way of predicting what would happen just what could happen with the right factors. The book hits on some interesting topics like; genetic egg splicing, sexism and social castes.
            A portion of the novel that caught my attention the most was when Huxley wrote about the shocking treatment with the infants. I understand it is similar to Pavlov`s dog and the idea of conditioning. The whole scene is meant to horrify the reader with the supposedly utopia type world and what really happens deep in society. Even though A Brave New World was written some time ago the impact of this scene is still strong. The idea is for each class to like and dislike certain things so they spend more time working. There are other methods that could have been used but, by using the scene with young children being shocked when they see flowers and books is harsh enough to make us not like the society in the book.
            When first reading this book three years ago the sexism never really stood out. With rereading and knowing more about women`s rights this book does come off as sexist. Huxley though including Lenina as a main character still acts like she is second class. The women are the weaker sex and must stick to do the menial tasks they are assigned.   The novel was written in an era where women did not really have a voice so it could be that Huxley was just writing female roles in the way he grew up with. I am hoping the role of Lenina improves and puts women in a better light then just being Betas and second class citizens.
            Huxley spends a lot of time; describing the methods used to splice the eggs, the process of creating each level of the caste system, and how they condition each class. The vast amount of numbers thrown out was a headache for a non-math person like me. They are impressive but, they create questions like what about the rest of the world, who decides what each class should and should not like? The idea of the caste system has been around a very long time so for Huxley to use it seems completely normal. Writing a story similar to his in today’s generation the idea of a caste system would not be so accepted.
            Family, mother and father all words that in real society invoke a sense of belonging. In Huxley`s recreated “utopian” world these words are curse words, negative, filthy things to speak allowed let alone think about. These people are so conditioned to accept what they are told that no one has ever stopped to think who they belong to. “Everyone belongs to everyone,” is what you are taught in society. Not ever knowing who your parents are is sad. The worst part of not knowing does never know who is your brother or sister. When Lenina is talking about Henry and Bernard and how she wishes to sleep with them, how would she react if it turned out those were her brothers? That’s incest but, for Huxley something like that was not deemed significant enough.
            Three chapters in and this book has given ideals for a society similar to our own. Hopefully there will be more development in the roles of women, some improvement on how conditioning works and how reproduction changes. This novel is very thought provoking because it makes you question what your beliefs are. Although lacking in a complete plot every book needs a starting point. Huxley spent a lot of the first few chapters setting the scene and describing how the world works. Now it is time to read on to see how the characters develop and hopefully change some of the ideals.

TTFN,
Ashley

4 comments:

  1. I'm not a numbers person either, so most of those numbers just flew over the top of my head. You make some good points. Huxley was critiquing mass production and mass consumerism of things by portraying humans as products being made in HUGE quantities, undergoing the same conditioning.

    Ford has replaced God. The assembly line, invented by Ford, makes the mass production of items a lot more efficient. Huxley takes the objectification of humans even further by making it so that humans are produced to fit the jobs they need - height, weight, strength - instead of the other way around (looking for humans who fit these requirements).

    Games are produced with the many parts, as to consume as many things as possible - it creates an artificial demand for items, and so no one ever runs out of jobs because everyone just keeps consuming and consuming and so they keep producing and producing....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was for an essay in English. at the time I had read the first 5 chapters. In the end i still didnt really like the book but it fit in great with the curriculum of 1984 and how Present day we are in the middle of both worlds

      Delete
  2. Oh my gosh, Ashley! I love your new template!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Jessica was an amazing person to help me.

      Delete

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