Brave New World

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Brave New World  
First edition cover
First edition cover
Author Aldous Huxley
Cover artist Leslie Holland
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre(s) Science fiction, dystopian fiction
Publisher Chatto and Windus (London)
Publication date 1932
Media type print (hardback & paperback)
Pages 288 pp (Paperback edition)
ISBN ISBN 0-06-080983-3 (Paperback edition)

Brave New World is a novel by Aldous Huxley, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Set in the London of AD 2540 (632 A.F. in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is a living embodiment of the ideals that form the basis of futurism. Huxley answers this book with a reassessment in an essay, Brave New World Revisited (1958), and with his final work, a novel titled Island (1962), both summarized below.


[edit] Background

Brave New World is Huxley's most famous novel. The ironic title ultimately derives from Miranda's speech in Shakespeare's The Tempest, Act V, Scene I:

"O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is!
O brave new world!
That has such people in't!"

Huxley's title also appears in Émile Zola's "Germinal" (1885):

"He laughed at his earlier idealism, his schoolboy vision of a brave new world in which justice would reign and men would be brothers."

(Translated from the French by Roger Pearson, p. 241)

However, a derivation not only more recent but more appropriate occurs in Rudyard Kipling's 1919 poem The Gods of the Copybook Headings:

"And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
"When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins ..."-Rudyard Kipling

Translations of the novel into other languages often allude to similar expressions used in domestic works of literature in an attempt to capture the same irony: the French edition of the work is entitled Le Meilleur des Mondes (The Best of All Worlds), an allusion to an expression used by the philosopher Gottfried Leibniz.

Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World in 1931 while he was living in France and England (a British writer, he moved to California in 1937). By this time, Huxley had already established himself as a writer and social satirist. He was a contributor to Vanity Fair and Vogue magazines, had published a collection of his poetry (The Burning Wheel, 1916) and four successful satirical novels: Crome Yellow in 1921, Antic Hay in 1923, Those Barren Leaves in 1925 and Point Counter Point in 1928. Brave New World was Huxley's fifth novel and first attempt at a dystopian work.

Brave New World was inspired by the H. G. Wells' utopian novel Men Like Gods. Wells' optimistic vision of the future gave Huxley the idea to begin writing a parody of the novel, which became Brave New World. Contrary to the most popular optimist utopian novels of the time, Huxley sought to provide a frightening vision of the future. Huxley referred to Brave New World as a "negative utopia" (see dystopia), somewhat influenced by Wells' own The Sleeper Awakes and the works of D. H. Lawrence. Yevgeny Zamyatin's novel We, completed ten years before in 1921, has been suggested as an influence, but Huxley stated that he had not known of the book at the time.[1]

Huxley visited the newly-opened and technologically-advanced Brunner and Mond plant, part of Imperial Chemical Industries, or ICI, Billingham and gives a fine and detailed account of the processes he saw. The introduction to the most recent print of Brave New World states that Huxley was inspired to write the classic novel by this Billingham visit.

Although the novel is set in the future, it contains contemporary issues of the early 20th century. The Industrial Revolution was bringing about massive changes to the world. Mass production had made cars, telephones and radios relatively cheap and widely available throughout the developed world. The Russian Revolution of 1917 and the First World War (1914–1918) were resonating throughout the world. Many characters in the story are named after influential people of the time, for example, Benito Hoover and Bernard Marx.

Huxley was able to use the setting and characters from his science fiction novel to express widely held opinions, particularly the fear of losing individual identity in the fast-paced world of the future. An early trip to the United States gave Brave New World much of its character. Not only was Huxley outraged by the culture of youth, commercial cheeriness, sexual promiscuity, and inward-looking nature of many Americans,[2] he also found a book by Henry Ford on the boat to America. There was a fear of Americanization in Europe, so to see America firsthand, as well as read the ideas and plans of one of its foremost citizens, spurred Huxley to write Brave New World with America in mind. The "feelies" are his response to the "talkie" motion pictures, and the sex-hormone chewing gum is parody of the ubiquitous chewing gum, which was something of a symbol of America at that time. In an article in the 4 May 1935 issue of Illustrated London News, G. K. Chesterton explained that Huxley was revolting against the "Age of Utopias"—a time, mostly before World War I, inspired by what H. G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw were writing about socialism and a World State.

After the Age of Utopias came what we may call the American Age, lasting as long as the Boom. Men like Ford or Mond seemed to many to have solved the social riddle and made capitalism the common good. But it was not native to us; it went with a buoyant, not to say blatant optimism, which is not our negligent or negative optimism. Much more than Victorian righteousness, or even Victorian self-righteousness, that optimism has driven people into pessimism. For the Slump brought even more disillusionment than the War. A new bitterness, and a new bewilderment, ran through all social life, and was reflected in all literature and art. It was contemptuous, not only of the old Capitalism, but of the old Socialism. Brave New World is more of a revolt against Utopia than against Victoria.[cite this quote]

For Brave New World, Huxley received nearly universal criticism from contemporary critics, although his work was later embraced. Even the few sympathetics tended to temper their praises with disparaging remarks.[3]

[edit] Synopsis

[edit] The Introduction (Chapters 1-6)

The novel opens in London in the "year of our Ford 632" (AD 2540 in the Gregorian Calendar). In this world, the vast majority of the population is unified under The World State, an eternally peaceful, stable global society, in which goods are plentiful and everyone is happy. In this society, natural reproduction has been done away with and children are decanted and raised in Hatcheries and Conditioning Centres. Society is divided into five castes, created in these centres. The highest caste is allowed to develop naturally while it matures in its "decanting bottle". The lower castes are treated to chemical interference to arrest intelligence or physical growth. The castes are Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons, with each caste further split into Plus and Minus members. Each Alpha or Beta is the product of one fertilized egg developing into one fetus. Members of other castes are not unique but are instead created using the Bokanovsky process which enables a single egg to spawn (at the point of the story being told) up to 96 children and one ovary to produce thousands of children.

All members of society are conditioned in childhood to hold the values that the World State idealizes. Constant consumption is the bedrock of stability for the World State. Everyone is encouraged to consume the ubiquitous drug, soma, which is probably a historical allusion to a mythical drink of the ancient Aryans. Soma is a hallucinogen that takes users on enjoyable, hangover-free "vacations".

Recreational heterosexual sex is an integral part of society. In The World State, sex is a social activity rather than a means of reproduction and is encouraged from early childhood; the few women who can reproduce are conditioned to take birth control. The maxim "everyone belongs to everyone else" is repeated often, and the idea of a "family" is repellent. As a result, sexual competition and emotional, romantic relationships are obsolete. Marriage, natural birth, the notion of being a parent, and pregnancy are considered too obscene to be mentioned in casual conversation.

Spending time alone is considered an outrageous waste of time. Admitting to wanting to be an individual in the social group is shocking, horrifying, and embarrassing. Conditioning trains people to consume and never to enjoy being alone, so by spending an afternoon not playing "Obstacle Golf", or not in bed with a friend, one is forfeiting acceptance.

In The World State, people typically die at age 60[4] having maintained good health and youthfulness their whole life. Death isn't feared; anyone reflecting upon it is reassured by the knowledge that everyone is happy, and that society goes on. Since no one has family, they have no ties to mourn.

The conditioning system eliminates the need for professional competitiveness; people are literally bred to do their jobs and cannot desire another. There is no competition within castes; each caste member receives the same food, housing, and soma rationing as every other member of that caste. There is no desire to change one's caste.

To grow closer with members of the same class, citizens participate in mock religious services called Solidarity Services. Twelve people consume large quantities of soma and sing hymns. The ritual progresses through group hypnosis and climaxes in an orgy.

In geographic areas non-conducive to easy living and consumption, The World State allows well controlled, securely contained groups of "savages" to live.

In its first chapters, the novel describes life in the World State and introduces Lenina and Bernard. Lenina, a beta plus, is a socially accepted woman, normal for her society, while Bernard, a psychologist, is an outcast. Although an Alpha Plus, Bernard is shorter in stature than the average of his caste—a quality shared by the lower castes, which gives him an inferiority complex. He defies social norms and despises his equals. His work with sleep-teaching has led him to realize that what others believe to be their own deeply held beliefs are merely phrases repeated to children while they sleep. Courting disaster, he is vocal about being different, once stating he dislikes soma because he'd "rather be himself, sad, than another person, happy". Bernard's differences fuel rumours that he was accidentally administered alcohol while incubated, a method used to keep Epsilons short.

Bernard is obsessed with Lenina, attributing noble qualities and poetic potentials to her which she does not have. A woman who seldom questions her own motivations, Lenina is reprimanded by her friends because she is not promiscuous enough. Both fascinated and disturbed by Bernard, she responds to Bernard's advances to dispel her reputation for being too selective and monogamous.

Bernard's only friend is Helmholtz Watson, an Alpha-Plus lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering (Department of Writing). Helmholtz is also an outcast, but unlike Bernard, it is because he is too gifted, too handsome. Helmholtz, successful, charming, attractive, is drawn to Bernard as a confidant: he can talk to Bernard about his desire to write poetry. Bernard likes Helmholtz because, unlike anyone else, Helmholtz likes Bernard. He is also, Bernard realizes, everything Bernard will never be.

[edit] The reservation and the Savage (chapters 7-9)

Bernard, desperately wanting Lenina's attentions, tries to impress her by taking her on holiday to a Savage Reservation. The reservation, located in New Mexico, consists of a community named Malpais (which in Spanish means "bad country", one of many Spanish puns throughout the novel). From afar, Lenina thinks it will be exciting. In person, she finds the aged, toothless natives who mend their clothes rather than throw them away repugnant, and the situation is made worse when she discovers that she has left her soma tablets at the resort hotel. Bernard is fascinated, although he realizes his seduction plans have failed.

In typical tourist fashion, Bernard and Lenina watch what at first appears to be a quaint native ceremony. The village folk, whose culture resembles that of the Pueblo peoples such as the Hopi and Zuni, begin by singing, but the ritual quickly becomes a passion play where a village boy is whipped to unconsciousness.

Soon after, the couple encounters Linda, a woman formerly of The World State who has been living in Malpais since she came on a trip and became separated from her group and her date, whom she refers to as "Tomakin" but who is revealed to be Bernard's boss, Thomas. She became pregnant because she mistimed her "Malthusian Drill" and there were no facilities for an abortion. Linda gave birth to a son, John (later referred to as John the Savage) who is now eighteen.

Through conversations with Linda and John, we learn that their life has been hard. For eighteen years, they have been treated as outsiders; the natives hate Linda for sleeping with all the men of the village, as she was conditioned to do and John was mistreated and excluded for his mother's actions, not to mention the role of racism. John's one joy was that his mother had taught him to read although he only had two books: a scientific manual from his mother's job and a collection of the works of Shakespeare (a work banned in The World State). John has been denied the religious rituals of the village, although he has watched them and even has had some of his own religious experiences in the desert.

Old, weathered and tired, Linda wants to return to her familiar world in London; she is tired of a life without soma. John wants to see the "brave new world" his mother has told him so much about. Bernard wants to take them back as revenge against Thomas, who threatened to reassign Bernard to Iceland as punishment for Bernard's antisocial beliefs. Bernard arranges permission for Linda and John to leave the reservation.

[edit] The Savage visits the World State (chapters 10-18)

Upon his return to London, Bernard is confronted by Thomas, the Director of the Hatchery and Conditioning Centre who, in front of an audience of higher-caste Centre workers, denounces Bernard for his antisocial behavior and again threatens to send him to Iceland. Bernard, thinking that for the first time in his life he has the upper hand, defends himself by presenting the Director with his lost lover and unknown son, Linda and John. The humiliated Director resigns in shame.

Bernard's new pet savage makes him the toast of London. Pursued by the highest members of society, able to bed any woman he fancies, Bernard revels in attention he once scorned. Everyone who is anyone will endure Bernard to dine with the interesting, different, beautiful John. Even Lenina grows fond of the savage, while the savage falls in love with her. Bernard, intoxicated with attention, falls in love with himself.

The victory, however, is short lived. Linda, decrepit, toothless, friendless, goes on a permanent soma holiday while John, appalled by what he perceives to be an empty society, refuses to attend Bernard's parties. Society drops Bernard as swiftly as it had taken him. Bernard turns to the person he'd believed to be his one true friend, only to see Helmholtz fall into a quick, easy camaraderie with John. Bernard is left an outcast yet again as he watches the only two men he ever connected with find more of interest in each other than they ever did in him.

John and Helmholtz's island of peace is brief. John grows frustrated by a society he finds wicked and debased. He is moved by Lenina, but also loathes her sexual advances, which revolt and shame him. He is heartbroken when his mother succumbs to soma and dies in a hospital. John's grief bewilders and revolts the hospital workers, and their lack of reaction to Linda's death prompts John to try to force humanity from the workers by throwing their soma rations out a window. The ensuing riot brings the police who soma-gas the crowd. Bernard and Helmholtz arrive to help John, but only Helmholtz helps him, while Bernard stands to the side, torn between risking involvement by helping or escaping the scene.

When they wake, Bernard, Helmholtz and John are brought before Mustapha Mond, the Resident World Controller for Western Europe. Bernard and Helmholtz are told they will be sent to Iceland and the Falkland Islands, two of several island colonies reserved for exiled citizens. Helmholtz looks forward to living on the remote Falkland Islands, where he can become a serious writer but Bernard is devastated, throws a fit and has to be dragged away. Mond explains that exile to the islands is not so much a threat to force freethinkers to reform and rejoin society but a place where they may act as they please, because they will not be an influence on the population. After Bernard and Helmholtz leave the room, a philosophical argument between Mustapha and John on morals behind the godless society, which leads to the decision that John will not be sent to an island. Mustapha says that he too once risked banishment to an island because of some experiments that were deemed controversial by the state, alluding to an understanding of Bernard's, Helmholtz' and John's position as outsiders and even ceding to John's perception of the flawed society.

In the final chapters, John isolates himself from society in a lighthouse outside London where he finds his hermit life interrupted from mourning his mother by the more bitter memories of civilization. To atone, John brutally whips himself in the open, a ritual the Indians in his own village had said he wasn't capable of. His self-flagellation, caught on film and shown publicly, destroys his hermit life from without as hundreds of gawking sightseers, intrigued by John's violent behavior, fly out to watch the savage in person. Even Lenina comes to watch, crying a tear John does not see. The sight of the woman whom he both adores and blames is too much for him; John attacks and whips her. This sight of genuine, unbridled emotion drives the crowd wild with excitement, and—handling it as they are conditioned to—they turn on each other, in a frenzy of beating and chanting that devolves into a mass orgy of soma and sex. In the morning, John, hopeless, alone and horrified by his drug use, debasement and attack on Lenina, makes one last attempt to escape civilization and atone. When thousands of gawking sightseers arrive that morning, frenzied at the prospect of seeing the savage perform again, they find John dead, hanging by the neck.

[edit] Characters

[edit] In order of appearance

  • Thomas "Tomakin", Alpha, Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning (D.H.C.) for London; later revealed to be the father of John the Savage.
  • Henry Foster, Alpha, Administrator at the Hatchery and Lenina's current partner.
  • Lenina Crowne, Beta- Plus, she wears green, however she also says she's glad she's above a Gamma; Vaccination-worker at the Hatchery; loved by John the Savage.
  • Mustapha Mond, Alpha-Double Plus, World Controller for Western Europe (9 other controllers exist, presumably for different sections of the world).
  • Assistant Director of Predestination.
  • Bernard Marx, Alpha-Plus, psychologist (specializing in hypnopædia).
  • Fanny Crowne, Beta, embryo worker; a friend of Lenina.
  • Benito Hoover, Alpha, friend of Lenina; disliked by Bernard.
  • Helmholtz Watson, Alpha-Plus, lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering (Department of Writing), friend and confidant of Bernard Marx and John the Savage.

[edit] At the Solidarity Service

  • Morgana Rothschild, Herbert Bakunin, Fifi Bradlaugh, Jim Bokanovsky, Clara Deterding, Joanna Diesel, Sarojini Engels, and "that great lout" Tom Kawaguchi.
  • Miss Keate, headmistress of the high-tech glass and concrete Eton College.
  • Arch-Community Songster, a quasi-religious figure based in Canterbury.
  • Primo Mellon, a reporter for the upper-caste news-sheet Hourly Radio, who attempts to interview John the Savage and gets assaulted for his troubles.
  • Darwin Bonaparte, a paparazzo who brings worldwide attention to John's hermitage.

[edit] Of Malpais

  • John the Savage ('Mr. Savage'), son of Linda and Thomas (Tomakin/The Director), an outcast in both primitive and modern society.
  • Linda, a Beta-Minus. John the Savage's mother, and Thomas's (Tomakin/The Director) long lost lover. She is from England and was pregnant with John when she got lost from Thomas in a trip to New Mexico. She is disliked both by savage people because of her "civilized" behavior, and by civilized people because she is fat and looks old.
  • Popé, a native of Malpais. Although he reinforces the behavior that causes hatred for Linda in Malpais by sleeping with her and bringing her Mezcal, he still holds the traditional beliefs of his tribe. John also attempts to kill him, in his early years.

[edit] Background figures

These are fictional and factual characters who died before the events in this book, but are of note in the novel:

  • Henry Ford, who has become a messianic figure to The World State. "Our Ford" is used in place of "Our Lord", as a credit to his invention of the assembly line.
  • Sigmund Freud, "Our Freud" is sometimes said in place of "Our Ford" due to the link between Freud's psychoanalysis and the conditioning of humans, and Freud's popularization of the idea that sexual activity is essential to human happiness and need not be open to procreation. It is also strongly implied that citizens of the World State believe Freud and Ford to be the same person.
  • H. G. Wells, "Dr. Wells", British writer and utopian socialist, whose book Men Like Gods was an incentive for Brave New World. "All's well that ends Wells" - wrote Huxley in his letters, criticizing Wells for anthropological assumptions Huxley found unrealistic.
  • Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, whose conditioning techniques are used to train infants.
  • William Shakespeare, whose banned works are quoted throughout the novel by John, "the Savage". The plays quoted include Macbeth, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, King Lear, Measure for Measure and Othello. (See List of quotes from Shakespeare in Brave New World.) Mustapha Mond also knows them because he, as a World Controller, has access to a selection of books from throughout history, such as a Bible.
  • Thomas Malthus, whose name is used to describe the contraceptive techniques (Malthusian belt) practiced by women of the World State.
  • Reuben Rabinovitch, the character in whom the effects of sleep-learning, hypnopædia, are first noted.

[edit] Sources of names and references

The limited number of names that the World State assigned to its bottle-grown citizens can be traced to political and cultural figures who contributed to the bureaucratic, economic and technological systems of Huxley's age, and presumably those systems in Brave New World:

[edit] Fordism and society

The World State is built upon the principles of Henry Ford's assembly line—mass production, homogeneity, predictability, and consumption of disposable consumer goods. At the same time as the World State lacks any supernatural-based religions, Ford himself is revered as a deity, and characters celebrate Ford Day and swear oaths by his name (e.g., "By Ford!"). In this sense, some fragments of traditional religion are present, such as Christian crosses, which had their tops cut off in order to be changed to a "T." The World State calendar numbers years in the "AF" era—"After Ford"—with year 1 AF being equivalent to 1908 AD, the year in which Ford's first Model T rolled off of his assembly line. The novel's actual year is AD 2540, but it is referred to in the book as AF 632.

From birth, members of every class are indoctrinated by recorded voices repeating slogans while they sleep (called "hypnopædia" in the book) to believe that their own class is best for them. Any residual unhappiness is resolved by an antidepressant and a hallucinogenic drug called soma (Greek for "body"), distributed by the Arch-Community Songster of Canterbury, a secularised version of the Sacrament of Communion ("The Body of Christ").

Contrary to what modern readers would expect, the biological techniques used to control the populace in Brave New World do not include genetic engineering. Huxley wrote the book in the 1920s, thirty years before Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA. However, Mendel's work with inheritance patterns in peas had been re-discovered in 1900 and the eugenics movement, based on Artificial selection, was well established. Huxley's family included a number of prominent biologists including Thomas Huxley, half-brother and Nobel Laureate Andrew Huxley, and brother Julian Huxley who was a biologist and involved in the eugenics movement. In light of this, the fact that Huxley emphasizes conditioning over breeding is notable (see nature versus nurture). As the science writer Matt Ridley put it, Brave New World describes an "environmental not a genetic hell." Human embryos and fetuses are conditioned via a carefully designed regimen of chemical (such as exposure to hormones and toxins), thermal (exposure to intense heat or cold, as one's future career would dictate) and other environmental stimuli, although there is an element of selective breeding as well.

[edit] Controversy

  • The book was banned in Ireland in 1932.[7]
  • In 1980, Brave New World was removed from classrooms in Miller, Missouri among other challenges.[8] In 1993, an attempt was made to remove this novel from a California school's required reading list because it "centered around negative activity".[9]
  • The American Library Association ranks Brave New World as #52 on their list of most challenged books.[10]
  • A number of Polish critics believe Huxley plagiarized two science fiction novels - Miasto światłości (The City of the Sun) and Podróż poślubna pana Hamiltona, written by Polish author Mieczysław Smolarski in 1924.[11]

[edit] Comparisons with George Orwell's 1984

Social critic Neil Postman contrasts the worlds of 1984 and Brave New World in the foreword of his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death. He writes:

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.

Journalist Christopher Hitchens, who has himself published several articles on Huxley and a book on Orwell, notes the difference between the two texts in the introduction to his 1999 article "Why Americans Are Not Taught History":

We dwell in a present-tense culture that somehow, significantly, decided to employ the telling expression "You're history" as a choice reprobation or insult, and thus elected to speak forgotten volumes about itself. By that standard, the forbidding dystopia of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four already belongs, both as a text and as a date, with Ur and Mycenae, while the hedonist nihilism of Huxley still beckons toward a painless, amusement-sodden, and stress-free consensus. Orwell's was a house of horrors. He seemed to strain credulity because he posited a regime that would go to any lengths to own and possess history, to rewrite and construct it, and to inculcate it by means of coercion. Whereas Huxley ... rightly foresaw that any such regime could break but could not bend. In 1988, four years after 1984, the Soviet Union scrapped its official history curriculum and announced that a newly authorized version was somewhere in the works. This was the precise moment when the regime conceded its own extinction. For true blissed-out and vacant servitude, though, you need an otherwise sophisticated society where no serious history is taught.[12]

[edit] Brave New World Revisited

1st UK edition

Brave New World Revisited (Harper & Row (US) 1958, Chatto & Windus (UK) 1959[13]), written by Huxley almost thirty years after Brave New World, was a non-fiction work in which Huxley considered whether the world had moved toward or away from his vision of the future from the 1930s. He believed when he wrote the original novel that it was a reasonable guess as to where the world might go in the future. In Brave New World Revisited, he concluded that the world was becoming like Brave New World much faster than he originally thought.

Huxley analyzed the causes of this, such as overpopulation as well as all the means by which populations can be controlled. He was particularly interested in the effects of drugs and subliminal suggestion. Brave New World Revisited is different in tone due to Huxley's evolving thought, as well as his conversion to Vedanta in the interim between the two books.

[edit] Huxley's Island

Huxley's final work, Island, written in 1962 after Huxley had experienced the psychedelic drugs mescaline and LSD, includes background elements in common with Brave New World, used for good in the former and for ill in the latter. Such elements include:

Theme comparison
Island Brave New World
Drug use for enlightenment, and self-knowledge Drug use for pacification
Group living (in the form of Mutual Adoption Clubs) so that children would not have unalloyed exposure to their parents' neuroses Group living for the elimination of individuality.
Trance states for super learning Trance states for indoctrination
Assisted reproduction (low-tech artificial insemination) Assisted reproduction (high-tech artificial womb)
Natural methods of contraception, expressive sex Universal forced sterilization, meaningless sex
Dangerous climb to a temple as spiritual preparation Violent Passion Surrogate
Parrots trained to utter uplifting slogans Ubiquitous loud speakers

The culture of the fictional Southeast Asian island, Pala, is the offspring of Scottish Secular Humanism and Mahayana Buddhism, making Huxley's ideal fusion of East and West. A central element of Palanese society is restrained industrialization, undertaken with the goal of providing fulfilling work and time for leisure and contemplation. For the Palanese, progress means a selective attitude toward technology. The Palanese also circumspectly incorporated the use of "moksha medicine", a fictional entheogen taken ceremonially in rites of passage for mystical and cosmological insight.

[edit] Related works

  • George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four was inspired by Brave New World.
  • The Scientific Outlook by philosopher Bertrand Russell. When Brave New World was released, Russell thought that Huxley's book was based on his book The Scientific Outlook that had been released the previous year. Russell contacted his own publisher and asked whether or not he should do something about this apparent plagiarism. His publisher advised him not to, and Russell followed this advice.[14]
  • The 1921 novel Men Like Gods by H.G. Wells. A utopian novel that was a source of inspiration for Brave New World.
  • The 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman alludes to how television is goading modern Western culture to be like what we see in Brave New World, where people are not so much denied human rights like free speech, but are rather conditioned not to care.
  • Kurt Vonnegut said that in writing Player Piano (1952) he "cheerfully ripped off the plot of Brave New World, whose plot had been cheerfully ripped off from Yevgeny Zamyatin's We."[15]
  • The Iron Maiden song by the same name on their album Brave New World. (2000)
  • Brazilian rock singer Pitty's debut album, released in 2003, is called Admirável Chip Novo (Brave New Chip).
  • Demolition Man (film) Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes and Sandra Bullock star in this film set in a not-too-distant future utopian society based on a Brave New World. Sandra Bullock's character is even named Lenina Huxley, referencing the author and character from the book. (1997)

[edit] Adaptations

[edit] Publications

Brave New World publication history at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database

  • Brave New World
  • Brave New World Revisited
  • Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited
    • Aldous Huxley (with a foreword by Christopher Hitchens); Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2005; ISBN 0-06-077609-9
  • Brave New World & Brave New World Revisited
    • Aldous Huxley (with an introduction by Margaret Atwood); Vintage Canada Edition, 2007; ISBN 978-0-307-35655-0
  • Huxley's Brave New World (Cliffs Notes)
  • Spark Notes Brave New World
  • Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (Barron's Book Notes)
    • Anthony Astrachan, Anthony Astrakhan; Barrons Educational Series, November 1984; ISBN 0-8120-3405-8

Also publications for NSW HSC students.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ The Chronicle: 10/27/2006: Can Wikipedia Ever Make the Grade?
  2. ^ The Vintage Classics edition of Brave New World.[page number needed]
  3. ^ Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. Harper Perennial Modern Classics; Reprint edition (17 October 2006), P.S. "About the Book."[page number needed]
  4. ^ Huxley, Brave New World, 1932. (London: HarperCollins, first Perennial Modern Classics edition) p. 111. "Youth almost unimpaired till sixty, and then, crack! The end". - Bernard Marx
  5. ^ Meckier, Jerome (2006). "Onomastic Satire: Names and Naming in Brave New World". in Peter Edgerly Firchow and Bernfried Nugel. Aldous Huxley: modern satirical novelist of ideas. Lit Verlag. pp. 187–188. ISBN 3-8258-9668-4. OCLC 71165436. 
  6. ^ Knaut, Andrew L. (1995). The Pueblo Revolt of 1680: conquest and resistance in seventeenth-century New Mexico. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. p. 168. ISBN 0-8061-2992-1. OCLC 231644472. 
  7. ^ Forbidden library
  8. ^ Grumbine, Robert (1996-06-03). "Notes on Book Banning". Retrieved on 2009-01-28. [unreliable source?]
  9. ^ Banned Books, Alibris.
  10. ^ "The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000". American Library Association. Retrieved on 2009-01-28. 
  11. ^ Smuszkiewicz, Antoni (1982) (in Polish). Zaczarowana gra. Poznań: Wydawn. Poznanskie. OCLC 251929765. [page number needed]
  12. ^ Christopher Hitchens, "Goodbye to All That: Why Americans Are Not Taught History." Harper's Magazine. November 1998, pp. 37-47.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Russell, Bertrand; John G. Slater With The Assistance Of Peter Köllner (1996). In The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, Vol. 10 - A Fresh Look at Empiricism, 1927-42. Routledge. p. xxii. ISBN 978-0415094085. Google Book Search. Retrieved on 17 September 2008.
  15. ^ Playboy interview with Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., July 1973.
  16. ^ "A prophet returns". L.A. Times. 2008.,0,354337.story. 
  • The Unreals, a novel by Donald Jeffries.[1]

[edit] Bibliography

  • Huxley, Aldous (1998). Brave New World (First Perennial Classics ed. ed.). New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-092987-1. 
  • Huxley, Aldous (2005). Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited (First Perennial Classics ed. ed.). New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-077609-9. 
  • Huxley, Aldous (2000). Brave New World Revisited (First Perennial Classics ed. ed.). New York publisher=HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-095551-1. 
  • Postman, Neil (1985). Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. USA: Penguin USA. ISBN 0-670-80454-1. 
  • Higgins, Charles & Higgins, Regina (2000). Cliff Notes on Huxley's Brave New World. New York: Wiley Publishing. ISBN 0-7645-8583-5. 

[edit] External links

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