Sunday, 20 December 2009
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
DATE PUBLISHED: 1932 DATE READ: December 2009 NOTES: A classic science fiction novel recording the events of a utopia/dystopia of the future. Humans are now reproduced in laboratory conditions and carefully developed to produce differing castes which will be suited to specific tasks. “Happiness” is an imperative and everyone is issued with drugs to keep them docile and content. Individualism is frowned on. Lenina is shocked when Bernard said that he would like to be walking somewhere remote and solitary. Religion has been replaced by “Fordism” and industry produces an abundance of consumer goods. Although Bernard Marx belongs to the highest caste something seems to have gone amiss in his production which makes him a little different. He begins to feel dissatisfied and to question the prevailing orthodoxy – but this doesn’t last for the whole book. Instead Huxley turns his attention to John the Savage – a young man brought up in a reservation for native Indians. Brave New World was obviously influenced by other writing of the 1920s and early 1930s such as H G Wells and also by political movements such as communism. Although only short it is packed full of ideas and discussion points. Certainly deserves the label of “classic”.