Aldous Huxley
Brave New World

By Low Life

Many would regard Brave New World as Huxley's most important novel. This may or may not be true, though it is undoubtedly his most popular. It is a novel subject to incredible commentary, and continues to receive both praise and condemnation. As a work of science fiction originally published in 1931, it is a remarkable vision of a future we are in danger of becoming. Bursting at the seams with ideas, thoughts and theories, it examines the advancement of science and it's possible philosophical and ethical effect on human society. The dialogue is sharp. Wit and satire are used exuberantly throughout in a world where individuality is rewarded with exile.

Utopia is a standardisation of the human race. Development of embryo to child is measured in travel along a production line conveyor belt, thirty-three and a third centimetres per hour. Standardised and sanitised. Relentless psychological conditioning all but ensures a predetermined fate, a chosen caste, a programmed mindset, compartmentalised. Slavery by society. Romantic love is taboo, sexual promiscuity the norm and monogamy is a sickness. There is no family, everybody belongs to everybody else. Birth control – mandatory – is a safeguard from the horrors of pregnancy. Indeed, the very thought of being a parent induces a revulsion convulsion. Knowledge suppression is vital to harmony, to the continuing stability of the social order. No complaints, no difference known.

'Stability,' said the Controller, 'stability. No civilization without social stability. No social stability without individual stability.'

The story centres around three main characters: Bernard, the disillusioned Alpha-Plus, John, the savage brought to London from an Indian reservation in Mexico, and Lenina, the catalyst for disparity between love and physical sexuality. It explores conflicts within the individuals, and documents the misery and individual breakdown in the face of repression. Brave New World is a world without hope, without alternatives. Utopian ignorance, savage wilderness, or island exile. There are no happy endings. The ability to lead a free and simple life is impossible and the rejection of civilisation ends in suicidal despair.

This story heeds a warning against the dangers of scientific utopia. Thirties science fiction has become the reality of today, and many parallels simply ooze from the compelling dialogue. Genetic engineering and cloning are now old technologies, drug administration to control mood and state of mind an everyday occurrence, and with the continuing help of NATO, eugenics and population control is rife throughout the third world. Despite those who offer literary criticism, Brave New World makes us realise how important it is to protect our rights to individuality, and as an individual, to retain our rights to individual freedom, something that is constantly and tirelessly being eroded away. A classic must read.
STEVANNN posted 2 May 2007 (04:35:29)
classic bullsh**
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