– Brave New World – By: Aldous Huxley Author: Aldous Huxley was born in 1894, and died in 1963.
He first went to Eton, andthen to Oxford. He was a brilliant man, and became a succesful writer of short stories inthe twenties and thirties. He also wrote essays and novels, like ‘Brave New World’. Thefirst novels he wrote were comments on the young generation, with no goal whatsoever,that lived after WW I. Before he became the writer as we know him, he worked as ajournalist and a critic of drama. In his books, especially the later ones, he sometimespresents himself as a teacher or a philosopher, to literate us as readers. Next to novels,essays and short stories he also wrote poems, biographies, plays, political/sci-fi books,travel books and even a record of his experiments with drugs.
‘Brave New World’ wasfirst published in 1932, and has been reprinted many times after that.Main Characters: Bernard Marx Lenina Crowne John Savage (Son of Tomakin, Bernard’sboss) Helmholtz WatsonHuxley tries to make a statement with this book, he tries to make something clear to thereader. To do this he uses characters, but they’re insignificant to what his real intentionsare, he merely uses them to express his ideas, therefor their characteristics and ideas arenot important in the whole picture. There is hardly any charaterisation in the book toillustrate the individuals.
Theme: In the foreword Huxley states: “The theme of ‘Brave New World’ is not theadvancement of science as such; it is the advancement of science as it affects humanindividuals.” The picture of the world given in the book describes the condition of thehuman individual in a western civilization in a ‘near’ future. The society has turned into awell oiled machine, in which everything is controlled, even the future profession of theindividual is determined before birth. It’s a society in which the human being only servesa sociological and scientifical purpose, the individual thought is overruled by one bigtotalitarian state, likewise emotion and initiative are ruled out. Giving birth is forbidden,sex is the most normal thing on earth, and even drugs is taken with the routine andamount of normal meals. Only a small group of the real man exists, be it’s far outside the’civilized’ world.
John Savage is one of them, representitive of individual freedom andthought, torn between two societies. Huxley warns for material and technicaldependence, that will eventually bring destruction upon mankind. Characteristics: Thestory is set in our world, in the future (some 600 years from now). It is in the year 632after Ford. Society has turned into a controlled state, individual thought is bannished, andthe human being is only on this earth to serve a sociological and scientifical purpose.There’s no space for free speech, emotion or even literature that reminds of the free spirit.The narrator is omniscient, as said before, Huxley expresses his political and scientificalideas through the characters, therefor he sometimes ‘steps’ in to their heads, but mostlytells the story as he was telling their history.
There is symbolism in the book, once againHuxley warns us as readers not to grow to dependent of material wealth and science,there’s a moral to the stroy, “watch out or you’ll end up like this…”. The genre of the bookis that of alternative realism, but as it spreads certain ideas, it’s also called a ‘novel ofideas’.
The title is quite easy to explain: it comes from a work by Shakespreare, ‘TheTempest’. John once quotes it when he still thinks that this new world is only wonder andbeauty… The book is written in an easy readable way, no real difficult words, and notmuch hard philosofical, mind twisting passages to overcome. The climax of the story iswhen Bernard has picked up John and his mother, and suddenly has a certain grip on hisboss, who was about to fire him (John is the unlawful son of his boss). After that he alsogets the idea that his earlier urge to something individual has it’s roots in true freedom,and thus he wants to be free. But instead he uses John to get attention and ‘respect’ fromhis fellow Alphas.Summary: In the year 632 after Ford, the new Director of the Central London Hatcheryand Conditioning Centre explains the functionality of his plant to a group of