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Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited (P.S.)


Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited (P.S.) Cover

ISBN13: 9780060776091
ISBN10: 0060776099
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Heather L, September 30, 2011 (view all comments by Heather L)
I loved this book--I think it’s extremely interesting and relevant to today’s society. With all of the anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications being prescribed today, we may not be far off from the soma of Brave New World… and we already live in a society where people would rather watch American Idol than the President’s State of the Union Address. In general, we are a society of distracted consumers--the people of Brave New World were genetically engineered and conditioned to be passive, but how unsettling is it that many people in our society today choose to be this way?

My favorite character was John--he may be naïve about the ways of the world, but his ideas about freedom, dignity, and integrity are right on point. The conversation he has with the Resident Controller of Western Europe is fantastic and thought-provoking. The Resident Controller is explaining to him why stability and happiness are so important to the World State and John replies, “But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.” Personally, if given the choice between today’s world and the Brave New World, I would want those things, too.

This book is also the perfect mixture of plot and theory. Huxley’s main themes are the ways in which advances in science have the potential to affect the population, and how building a utopian society would greatly threaten our personal freedom. He needed to find a way to incorporate his theories in a good storyline that would keep readers interested even if they weren’t previously inclined to be concerned with such ideas, and I think he did an excellent job.

To any adult at all interested in Science Fiction or the Dystopian theme, I highly recommend this book. It poses a lot of good questions about the tradeoffs between being free to feel and have our own thoughts even if it means being occasionally unhappy, and the potential alternatives. This would be a great book for young adults to read, too--although I would like to believe that we would never accept the Brave New World of Huxley’s imagining, some form of this is not altogether impossible and this book would definitely give today’s distracted youth something to think about.
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wearerockstars2, May 3, 2010 (view all comments by wearerockstars2)
Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World successfully creeps out the reader by making the possibility of a Utopian Society seem real. Aimed towards young adults and older, this novel depicts a World State where the citizens are mass produced from test tubes and conditioned to always be happy. Naturally, a few people slip through the cracks, eventually challenging the authority of the World Controllers to enslave the citizens. Huxley’s ability to describe a world most humans could not imagine grasps the reader’s attention and holds it through the outlandish lifestyle of the World State.
Brave New World falls into the genre of dystopia, setting the precedents for judging the novel. Before I read Huxley’s book, I felt its contents would include a body of citizens who did not fight the government and a perfect race. I also pondered the possibility of strange relations between citizens and confiscation of most literature as a factor in the work. Such is accomplished in Brave New World, as conditioning and soma prevent the people from challenging the World Controllers. The race achieved perfection through the creation of humans in test tubes. Although, literature is not confiscated, it lacks existence by today’s standards. Lastly, everyone belongs to everyone else when intimacy is considered, creating bizarre relationships between the people. As well as the previous, one considers depth of characters, immense detail of the society, and contrast to normality when judging a dystopian novel.
The highly specific detail of the events in Brave New World escalates it beyond the average novel. It begins in the Era of Our Ford, where Lenina Crowne, the average citizen, is encouraged by her friend Fanny to branch out and expose herself to more men, “It’s such horribly bad form to go on and on like this with one man” (46). Lenina spends time with Bernard Marx, a man who acts a little differently, “They say he spends most of his time by himself-alone” (50). The two travel to a Savage Reservation-where the old ways of living is perfectly preserved-and decide to bring back two savages, Linda and John. Linda previously lived in the civilized world and was abandoned on the reservation with child (John). John falls head over heals in love with Lenina within days of meeting her, “The Savage was reading Romeo and Juliet aloud-reading (for all the time he was seeing himself as Romeo and Lenina as Juliet) with an intense quivering passion” (167-168). Meanwhile, Bernard uses John to gain a higher social status. Because John grew up in a society completely different from the World State, he rejects their way of life and causes an uproar in those close to him. The events in the novel are simply the framework for its high success.
If Brave New World intended to emit a disturbing feeling, then I believe its goal is achieved. The novel suggests masked enslavement of the citizens underneath a powerful oligarchy, and encourages sexual actions at a young age with numerous partners. Though each person feels only happiness, one cannot help but wonder how it continues on smoothly. From the exiled areas, the citizens could band together to form an opposition to the World State and act upon it. It is also curious how the transition from today’s society to the civilized society in Brave New World occurred. The lack of background information does not explain if it was a peaceful, violent or brainwashed movement from one to the other. Though it keeps one thinking, Huxley’s work is not at all diminished by these unanswered questions.
Likewise, the control of literary elements within the novel greatly adds to the impact of the Utopian society. The characters are shallow and we do not know much about them, symbolizing the lack of explanations within the society. The nonchalant tone strengthens the uneasy feeling one cannot overcome while reading the novel. Lastly, Huxley’s language helps the reader to identify with the work. The use of political and cultural figures in the names of characters increased the background of the society as well as the values and beliefs of the characters. The literary elements in the work display the corruption the citizens are unaware of.
Brave New World challenges the values and morals of our world today. Through mass production of the human being, molding citizens’ minds to accept the outlandish society, and adding immense detail to the World State, Huxley effectively instills an uncomfortable feeling within the entirety of the novel.
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jbaker01, May 16, 2007 (view all comments by jbaker01)
A frighteningly accurate look at the world today considering it was written more than 70 years ago...Aldous Huxley paints a vidid picture of the dangers of mass media propaganda and encourages the reader to think and question their own society.
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Product Details

Huxley, Aldous
Harper Perennial
by Aldous Huxley
Jurskis, Amy
Genetic engineering
Science fiction
Psychological fiction
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Perennial Classics
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9 x 6 x 0.72 in 13.60 oz

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Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited (P.S.) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 384 pages Perennial - English 9780060776091 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "Aldous Huxley is the greatest 20th century writer in English." —Chicago Tribune

Aldous Huxley is rightly considered a prophetic genius and one of the most important literary and philosophical voices of the 20th Century, and Brave New World is his masterpiece. From the author of The Doors of Perception, Island, and countless other works of fiction, non-fiction, philosophy, and poetry, comes this powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations. Brave New World remains absolutely relevant to this day as both a cautionary dystopian tale in the vein of the George Orwell classic 1984, and as thought-provoking, thoroughly satisfying entertainment.

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