Brave New World by Aldous Huxley


There is a very, very tenuous link between days twenty two and three in the form of escapism; More Than This deals with escaping reality because it’s too painful whilst Brave New World deals with enforced escapism in the form of drug use as a means of controlling the population. Like I said its tenuous. 

I read Brave New World as part of a comparison with 1984 during my A Levels and it’s not one of my all time favourite dystopias. It’s good, but I preferred the bleakness of 1984 to the permanent contentment and heady orgies in Brave New World. Even if I do agree with the argument that the latter is probably more believable as a way of absolute control.

In any case, Brave New World takes inspiration from the industrialised, mass production of cars (Ford is referenced heavily throughout) and applies it to humans. People are no longer born but are produced as test tube babies, carefully maimed as foetuses according to a strict caste system so that each group only has the ability and desire to stick within their own group. Alphas and Betas are unique and not tampered with, while Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons are cloned and chemically altered before ‘birth’. Group sex is encouraged and almost enforced, children learn only what they need to know and everyone is kept happy with pills. Outside of society, reservations of ‘savages’, people who do not subscribe to the beliefs of the World State and still live naturally, are a source of wonder and amusement.

There’s a great question of what it means to be civilised within the book- the natural people are seen as uncivilised, yet it’s the people within the new society that behave badly- and whether happiness is truly happiness if it’s enforced. I read somewhere that it was supposed to be a parody of the kinds of sci-fi Utopias dreamt up by people like HG Wells and Aldous Huxley just got a bit carried away, which thoroughly annoyed George Orwell, but there we go. Worth reading!

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One thought on “Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

  1. I did love this book after it was recommended to me. Wasn’t the easiest to start (then again it takes time for me to get into Dystopian worlds), but once it got going it was an eye opening idea of the world and really makes you think about the society we do live in today.

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