Aldous Huxley - Brave New World

By: Aldous Huxley Brave New World opens in a technically
advanced future
world. In the beginning of this book, we see the Director of
World
Hatcheries lead the new hatchery students on a tour of a
Conditioning
Center in London where babies are produced in bottles and
pre-sorted to
determine which class level they will be born into. These
class level
range from Alpha-plus, the highest level, to Epsilon-minus,
the lowest.
There are no parents, and babies are conditioned from birth
to learn certain
behaviors. All diseases have been eliminated, and when
people are feeling
down, they just take soma, a wonder drug. Also, people are
conditioned from
birth not to love one person, so there is no marriage and
most people have
many lovers. There is no God; instead, Henry Ford is
worshipped as the god
Ford. Another accomplishment of this society is the
elimination of aging.
Bernard Marx has unorthodox viewpoints and is outcast as
an eccentric. He
likes being alone, but in this society being alone is
discouraged. His
isolation from society has made him very different from
everyone else. His
only friend is Helmholtz Watson, an accomplished intellect
who writes
government propaganda. Watson has grown war of life as
it is, and his
supervisors have him under close watch. Two co-workers
are discussing
Lenina Crowne, another worker, in a changing room. They
act as if she were
property, able to be bought and sold. Bernard is disgusted
by this, so he
decides to ask Lenina to go to a Savage Reservation in New
Mexico. Bernard
visits the Director for permission to go. The Director tells a
story of when
he went to a Savage Reservation with Linda, a pretty
colleague. During their
visit,Linda was lost, and the Director had to leave. So
Bernard and Lenina
go to the Savage Reservation, which is inhabited by Indians.
They quickly
find Linda among the Indians. At first they do not realize
who she is, but
she explains what happened. Linda is aged and obese. Also,
Linda has a son
named John who is the Director\'s child. John is educated
and mature, having
read
Shakespeare (forbidden in civilization). Bernard takes
the two back
to London for study. Once back, Linda takes too much
soma, so she falls into
a coma. John is displayed by Bernard, who becomes a hero.
But "the Savage"
(as John is called) is frightened by the new world he sees.
The fear and
oppression he experiences make him long for his old life.
Lenina becomes
infatuated with John, and her candid attempts to make him
love her end with
his becoming angry at her openness. John vows never to
take soma, or to
succumb to civilization. John believes he can save himself if
he avoids this
brave new world. John enjoys conversations with Helmholtz,
and Bernard
becomes jealous. They soon realize that the three of them
are different
from the rest of society. At the bedside of his dying mother,
John becomes
enraged and throws the hospital soma supply out the
window. Helmholtz and
Bernard arrive, and Helmholtz helps John destroy the
narcotic. Bernard
deserts the two and calls a guard. The three are taken to see
Mustapha Mond,
an elder wise man. Mond knows that all three harbor
revolutionary minds, so
he tells them that their only option is to live on an island with
other such
people. Mond then explains how society has developed
without
public knowledge of history or literature. He explains that, in
order to
keep society at a balance where everyone is happy, only
certain people can
read these books. The two men leave for the island, but
John takes up
residence in an abandoned lighthouse. He tries to "purify"
himself from
this awful society. Crowds soon come to see him, among
them Lenina, whom he
mauls terribly. He is given soma. When he awakens, he
realizes what he has
done, and he hangs himself. Huxley did an excellent job of
portraying the
possible future. The most prominent theme is alienation.
Helmholtz, John,
and Bernard were shunned for not having conventional
beliefs. The future
presented by Huxley is almost frightening, because in order
to achieve
happiness, individuality and knowledge had to be sacrificed.
Huxley wrote
this book to warn us. He wanted us to know that society
should not be
controlled, and that there is a price for a peaceful society.
Since society
is still the same in the end, Huxley shows the same
hopelessness that George
Orwell showed in 1984. I liked this book because Huxley
paid attention to
detail and created a thoroughly engrossing literary
masterpiece. Huxle
"predictions"