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Brave New World  
First edition cover
First edition cover
Author Aldous Huxley
Cover artist Leslie Holland
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre(s) Science fiction, dystopian fiction
Publisher Chatto and Windus (London)
Publication date 1932
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 288 pp (Paperback edition)
ISBN ISBN 0-06-080983-3 (Paperback edition)
OCLC Number 20156268

Brave New World is a novel by Aldous Huxley, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Set in the London of AD 2540 (632 A.F. in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embodiment of the ideals that form the basis of futurism. Huxley answered this book with a reassessment in an essay, Brave New World Revisited (1958), and with his final work, a novel titled Island (1962), both summarized below.

In 1999, the Modern Library ranked Brave New World fifth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.[1]

Contents

Title

Brave New World's ironic title derives from Miranda's speech in Shakespeare's The Tempest, Act V, Scene I:[2]

O wonder!

How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world! That has such people in't!

This line is word-by-word quoted in the novel by John the Savage, when he first sees Lenina.

The expression "brave new world" also appears in Émile Zola's Germinal (1885):

He laughed at his earlier idealism, his schoolboy vision of a brave new world in which justice would reign and men would be brothers.[3]

and in Rudyard Kipling's 1919 poem The Gods of the Copybook Headings:

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins

When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins...

Translations of the novel into other languages often allude to similar expressions used in domestic works of literature in an attempt to capture the same irony: the French edition of the work is entitled Le Meilleur des mondes (The Best of All Worlds), an allusion to an expression used by the philosopher Gottfried Leibniz[4] and satirized in Candide, Ou l'Optimisme by Voltaire (1759). The German title of the book is Schöne Neue Welt (Beautiful New World). First the word "brave" was translated to "Tapfer", which is the correct modern translation of "brave." Translators later recognized that, at Shakespeare's time, "brave" meant "beautiful" or "good looking".

Background

Huxley wrote Brave New World in 1931 while he was living in France and England (a British writer, he moved to California in 1937). By this time, Huxley had already established himself as a writer and social satirist. He was a contributor to Vanity Fair and Vogue magazines, had published a collection of his poetry (The Burning Wheel, 1916) and four successful satirical novels: Crome Yellow (1921), Antic Hay (1923), Those Barren Leaves (1925) and Point Counter Point (1928). Brave New World was Huxley's fifth novel and first dystopian work.

Brave New World was inspired by the H. G. Wells' utopian novel Men Like Gods. Wells' optimistic vision of the future gave Huxley the idea to begin writing a parody of the novel, which became Brave New World. Contrary to the most popular optimist utopian novels of the time, Huxley sought to provide a frightening vision of the future. Huxley referred to Brave New World as a "negative utopia" (see dystopia), somewhat influenced by Wells' own The Sleeper Awakes and the works of D. H. Lawrence.

George Orwell believed that Brave New World "must be partly derived from" We by Yevgeny Zamyatin.[5] However, in a 1962 letter, Huxley says that he wrote Brave New World long before he had heard of We.[6] According to We translator Natasha Randall, Orwell believed that Huxley was lying.[7]

Huxley visited the newly opened and technologically advanced Brunner and Mond plant, part of Imperial Chemical Industries, or ICI, Billingham, and gives a fine and detailed account of the processes he saw. The introduction to the most recent print of Brave New World states that Huxley was inspired to write the classic novel by this Billingham visit.

Although the novel is set in the future, it contains contemporary issues of the early 20th century. The Industrial Revolution had transformed the world. Mass production had made cars, telephones, and radios relatively cheap and widely available throughout the developed world. The Russian Revolution of 1917 and the First World War (1914–1918) were resonating throughout the world. Many characters in the story are named after influential people of the time, for example, Polly Trotsky, Benito Hoover, Lenina and Fanny Crowne, Mustapha Mond, Helmholtz Watson, and Bernard Marx.

Huxley was able to use the setting and characters from his science fiction novel to express widely held opinions, particularly the fear of losing individual identity in the fast-paced world of the future. An early trip to the United States gave Brave New World much of its character. Not only was Huxley outraged by the culture of youth, commercial cheeriness, sexual promiscuity and the inward-looking nature of many Americans;[8] he had also found a book by Henry Ford on the boat to America. There was a fear of Americanization in Europe, so to see America firsthand, as well as read the ideas and plans of one of its foremost citizens, spurred Huxley to write Brave New World with America in mind. The "feelies" are his response to the "talkie" motion pictures, and the sex-hormone chewing gum is parody of the ubiquitous chewing gum, which was something of a symbol of America at that time. In an article in the 4 May 1935 issue of the Illustrated London News, G. K. Chesterton explained that Huxley was revolting against the 'Age of Utopias'—a time, mostly before the First World War, inspired by what H. G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw were writing about socialism and a World State.

After the Age of Utopias came what we may call the American Age, lasting as long as the Boom. Men like Ford or Mond seemed to many to have solved the social riddle and made capitalism the common good. But it was not native to us; it went with a buoyant, not to say blatant optimism, which is not our negligent or negative optimism. Much more than Victorian righteousness, or even Victorian self-righteousness, that optimism has driven people into pessimism. For the Slump brought even more disillusionment than the War. A new bitterness, and a new bewilderment, ran through all social life, and was reflected in all literature and art. It was contemptuous, not only of the old Capitalism, but of the old Socialism. Brave New World is more of a revolt against Utopia than against Victoria.[9]

For Brave New World, Huxley received nearly universal criticism from contemporary critics, although his work was later embraced. Even the few sympathetic critics tended to temper their praises with disparaging remarks.[10]

Synopsis

The Introduction (Chapters 1–6)

The novel opens in London in the "year of our Ford 632" (AD 2540 in the Gregorian Calendar). The vast majority of the population is unified under The World State, an eternally peaceful, stable global society in which goods and resources are plentiful (because the population is permanently limited to no more than two billion people) and everyone is happy. Natural reproduction has been done away with and children are decanted and raised in Hatcheries and Conditioning Centres. Society is divided into five castes, created in these centres. The highest caste is allowed to develop naturally while it matures in its "decanting bottle". The lower castes are treated to chemical interference to cause arrested development in intelligence or physical growth. The castes are Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons, with each caste further split into Plus and Minus members. Each Alpha or Beta is the product of one fertilized egg developing into one foetus. Members of other castes are not unique but are instead created using the Bokanovsky process which enables a single egg to spawn (at the point of the story being told) up to 96 children and one ovary to produce thousands of children. This rapid production of specialized children bolsters the efficiency of society. The hypnopaedic process is the process in which they teach the embryos all of the lessons they want them to know.

All members of society are conditioned in childhood to hold the values that the World State idealizes, which improves societal stability and quality of life. Constant consumption is the bedrock of stability for the World State. Children are conditioned from birth to value consumption with such platitudes as "ending is better than mending," i.e., buy a new one instead of fixing the old one. Everyone is encouraged to consume the ubiquitous drug soma. (The name is probably an allusion to a mythical drink of the same name consumed by ancient Indo-Aryans.) Soma is a hallucinogen that takes users on enjoyable, hangover-free "holidays", and it was developed expressly for this purpose. It is also stated that it replicates religious experiences, eliminating the need for religion.

Recreational sex is an integral part of society. According to The World State, sex is a social activity, rather than a means of reproduction, and sexual activity is encouraged from early childhood. The few women who can reproduce are conditioned to use birth control (a "Malthusian belt", resembling a cartridge belt holding "the regulation supply of contraceptives", is a popular fashion accessory). The maxim "everyone belongs to everyone else" is repeated often, and the idea of a "family" is considered pornographic; sexual competition and emotional, romantic relationships are rendered obsolete because they are no longer needed. Marriage, natural birth, parenthood, and pregnancy are considered too obscene to be mentioned in casual conversation. Thus, society has advanced to a new level of reproductive comprehension.

Spending time alone is considered an outrageous waste of time and money. Admitting to wanting to be an individual is shocking, horrifying, and embarrassing. This is why John, a character in the book, is later afforded celebrity-like status. Conditioning trains people to consume and never to enjoy being alone, so by spending an afternoon not playing "Obstacle Golf," or not in bed with a friend, one is forfeiting acceptance.

In The World State, people typically die at age 60[11] having maintained good health and youthfulness their whole life. Death isn't feared; anyone reflecting upon it is reassured by the knowledge that everyone is happy, and that society goes on. Since no one has family, they have no ties to mourn.

The conditioning system eliminates the need for professional competitiveness; people are literally bred to do their jobs and cannot desire another. There is no competition within castes; each caste member receives the same food, housing, and soma rationing as every other member of that caste. There is no desire to change one's caste, largely because a person's sleep-conditioning teaches that his or her caste is superior to the other four. To grow closer with members of the same class, citizens participate in mock religious services called Solidarity Services, in which twelve people consume large quantities of soma and sing hymns. The ritual progresses through group hypnosis and climaxes in an orgy. In geographic areas nonconducive to easy living and consumption, securely contained groups of "savages" are left to their own devices.

In its first chapters, the novel describes life in The World State as wonderful and introduces Lenina and Bernard. Lenina, a Beta Plus, is a socially accepted woman, normal for her society, while Bernard, a psychologist, is an outcast. Although an Alpha Plus, Bernard is shorter in stature than the average of his caste—a quality shared by the lower castes, which gives him an inferiority complex. His work with sleep-teaching has led him to realize that what others believe to be their own deeply held beliefs are merely phrases repeated to children while they sleep. Still, he recognizes the necessity of such programming as the reason why his society meets the emotional needs of its citizens. Courting disaster, he is vocal about being different, once stating he dislikes soma because he'd "rather be himself". Bernard's differences fuel rumors that he was accidentally administered alcohol while incubated, a method used to keep Epsilons short.

Lenina, a woman who seldom questions her own motivations, is reprimanded by her friends because she is not promiscuous enough. However, she is still highly content in her role as a woman. Both fascinated and disturbed by Bernard, she responds to Bernard's advances to dispel her reputation for being too selective and monogamous.

Bernard's only friend is Helmholtz Watson, an Alpha Plus lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering (Department of Writing). The friendship is based on their similar experiences as misfits, but unlike Bernard, Watson's sense of loneliness stems from being too gifted, too handsome, and too physically strong. Helmholtz is drawn to Bernard as a confidant: he can talk to Bernard about his desire to write poetry.

The Reservation and the Savage (Chapters 7–9)

Bernard, desperately wanting Lenina's attention, tries to impress her by taking her on holiday to a Savage Reservation. The reservation, located in New Mexico, consists of a community named Malpais (which in Spanish means "bad country", one of many Spanish puns throughout the novel). From afar, Lenina thinks it will be exciting. In person, she finds the aged, toothless natives who mend their clothes rather than throw them away repugnant, and the situation is made worse when she discovers that she has left her soma tablets at the resort hotel. Bernard is fascinated, although he realizes his seduction plans have failed.

In typical tourist fashion, Bernard and Lenina watch what at first appears to be a quaint native ceremony. The village folk, whose culture resembles that of the Pueblo peoples such as the Hopi and Zuni, begin by singing, but the ritual quickly becomes a passion play where a village boy is whipped to unconsciousness.

Soon after, the couple encounters Linda, a woman formerly of The World State who has been living in Malpais since she came on a trip and became separated from her group and her date, whom she refers to as "Tomakin" but who is revealed to be Bernard's boss the DHC at the conditioning center, Thomas. She became pregnant because she mistimed her "Malthusian Drill" and there were no facilities for an abortion. Linda gave birth to a son, John (later referred to as John the Savage) who is now eighteen.

Through conversations with Linda and John, we learn that their life has been hard. For eighteen years, they have been treated as outsiders; the natives hate Linda for sleeping with all the men of the village, as she was conditioned to do, and John was mistreated and excluded for his mother's actions, not to mention the role of racism. John's one joy was that his mother had taught him to read, although he only had two books: a scientific manual from his mother's job, which he called a "beastly, beastly book" and refused to read, and a collection of the works of Shakespeare (a work banned in The World State). John has been denied the religious rituals of the village, although he has watched them and even has had some of his own religious experiences in the desert.

Old, weathered and tired, Linda wants to return to her familiar world in London; she is tired of a life without soma. John wants to see the "brave new world" his mother has told him so much about. Bernard wants to take them back as revenge against Thomas, who had just reassigned Bernard to Iceland as punishment for his antisocial beliefs. Bernard arranges permission for Linda and John to leave the reservation.

The Savage visits the World State (Chapters 10–18)

Upon his return to London, Bernard is confronted by Thomas Tomakin, the Director of the Hatchery and Conditioning Centre who, in front of an audience of higher-caste Centre workers, denounces Bernard for his antisocial behaviour. Bernard, thinking that for the first time in his life he has the upper hand, defends himself by presenting the Director with his long lost lover and unknown son, Linda and John. The humiliated Director resigns in shame and is himself sent to Iceland.

Spared from reassignment, Bernard makes John the toast of London. Pursued by the highest members of society, able to bed any woman he fancies, Bernard revels in attention he once scorned. Everyone who is anyone will endure Bernard to dine with the interesting, different, beautiful John. Even Lenina grows fond of the savage, while the savage falls in love with her. Bernard, intoxicated with attention, falls in love with himself. In short, John brings tremendous happiness upon the citizens of London.

The victory, however, is short lived. Linda, decrepit, toothless, friendless, goes on a permanent soma holiday while John, appalled by what he perceives to be an empty society, refuses to attend Bernard's parties. Society drops Bernard as swiftly as it had taken him. Bernard turns to the person he'd believed to be his one true friend, only to see Helmholtz fall into a quick, easy camaraderie with John. Bernard is left an outcast yet again as he watches the only two men he ever connected with find more of interest in each other than they ever did in him.

John and Helmholtz's island of peace is brief. John grows frustrated by a society he finds wicked and debased. He is moved by Lenina, but also loathes her sexual advances, which revolt and shame him. He is heartbroken when his mother succumbs to soma and dies in a hospital. John's grief bewilders and revolts the hospital workers, and their lack of reaction to Linda's death prompts John to try to force humanity from the workers by throwing their soma rations out a window. The ensuing riot brings the police, who soma-gas the crowd. Bernard and Helmholtz arrive to help John, but only Helmholtz helps him, while Bernard stands to the side, torn between risking involvement by helping or escaping the scene.

When they wake, Bernard, Helmholtz and John are brought before Mustapha Mond, the Resident World Controller for Western Europe. Bernard and Helmholtz are told they will be exiled to islands of their choice. Mond explains that exile to the islands is not so much a threat to force freethinkers to reform and rejoin society but a place where they may act as they please, because they will not be an influence on the population. He also divulges that he too once risked banishment to an island because of some scientific experiments that were deemed controversial by the state, giving insight into his sympathetic tone. Helmholtz chooses the Falkland Islands, because of their terrible weather, so he could write well, but Bernard simply doesn't want to leave and struggles with the World Controller and is thrown out of the office. After Bernard and Helmholtz have left, Mustapha and John engage in a philosophical argument on the morals behind the godless society and then John is told the "experiment" will continue and he will not be sent to an island.

In the final chapters, John isolates himself from society in a lighthouse outside London where he finds his hermit life interrupted from mourning his mother by the more bitter memories of civilization. To atone, John brutally whips himself in the open, a ritual the Indians in his own village had said he was not capable of. His self-flagellation, caught on film and shown publicly, destroys his hermit life. Hundreds of gawking sightseers, intrigued by John's violent behavior, fly out to watch the savage in person. Even Lenina comes to watch, crying a tear John does not see. The sight of the woman whom he both adores and blames is too much for him; John attacks and whips her. This sight of genuine, unbridled emotion drives the crowd wild with excitement, and—handling it as they are conditioned to—they turn on each other, in a frenzy of beating and chanting that devolves into a mass orgy of soma and sex. In the morning, John, hopeless, alone, horrified by his drug use, and the orgy he participated in that countered his beliefs, makes one last attempt to escape civilization and atone. When thousands of gawking sightseers arrive that morning, frenzied at the prospect of seeing the savage perform again, they find John dead, hanging by the neck.

Characters

In order of appearance

  • Thomas "Tomakin", Alpha, Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning (D.H.C.) for London; later revealed to be the father of John the Savage.
  • Henry Foster, Alpha, Administrator at the Hatchery and Lenina's current partner.
  • Lenina Crowne, Beta-Plus, Vaccination-worker at the Hatchery; loved by John the Savage.
  • Mustapha Mond, Alpha-Double Plus, World Controller for Western Europe (nine other controllers exist, presumably for different sections of the world).
  • Assistant Director of Predestination.
  • Bernard Marx, Alpha-Plus but anomalously small, psychologist (specializing in hypnopædia). He dates Lenina for a short period of time.
  • Fanny Crowne, Beta, embryo worker; a friend, but not a relation, of Lenina.
  • Benito Hoover, Alpha, friend of Lenina; disliked by Bernard.
  • Helmholtz Watson, Alpha-Plus, lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering (Department of Writing), friend and confidant of Bernard Marx and John the Savage.

At the Solidarity Service

  • Morgana Rothschild, Herbert Bakunin, Fifi Bradlaugh, Jim Bokanovsky, Clara Deterding, Joanna Diesel, Sarojini Engels, and "that great lout" Tom Kawaguchi.
  • Miss Keate, headmistress of the high-tech glass and concrete Eton College.
  • Arch-Community Songster, a quasi-religious figure based in Canterbury.
  • Primo Mellon, a reporter for the upper-caste news-sheet Hourly Radio, who attempts to interview John the Savage and gets assaulted for his troubles.
  • Darwin Bonaparte, a press photographer who brings worldwide attention to John's mother.

Of Malpais

  • John the Savage ("Mr. Savage"), son of Linda and Thomas (Tomakin/The Director), an outcast in both primitive and modern society. He is one of the main protagonists in the story. He commits suicide in the end.
  • Linda, a Beta-Minus. John the Savage's mother, and Thomas's (Tomakin/The Director) long lost lover. She is from England and was pregnant with John when she got lost from Thomas in a trip to New Mexico. She is disliked by both savage people because of her "civilized" behaviour, and by civilized people because she is fat and looks old.
  • Popé, a native of Malpais. Although he reinforces the behaviour that causes hatred for Linda in Malpais by sleeping with her and bringing her Mezcal, he still holds the traditional beliefs of his tribe. John also attempts to kill him, in his early years.

Background figures

These are fictional and factual characters who died before the events in this book, but are of note in the novel:

  • Henry Ford, who has become a messianic figure to The World State. "Our Ford" is used in place of "Our Lord", as a credit to his invention of the assembly line.
  • Sigmund Freud, "Our Freud" is sometimes said in place of "Our Ford" due to the link between Freud's psychoanalysis and the conditioning of humans, and Freud's popularization of the idea that sexual activity is essential to human happiness and need not be open to procreation. It is also strongly implied that citizens of the World State believe Freud and Ford to be the same person.[12]
  • H. G. Wells, "Dr. Wells", British writer and utopian socialist, whose book Men Like Gods was an incentive for Brave New World. "All's well that ends Wells" wrote Huxley in his letters, criticizing Wells for anthropological assumptions Huxley found unrealistic.
  • Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, whose conditioning techniques are used to train infants.
  • William Shakespeare, whose banned works are quoted throughout the novel by John, "the Savage". The plays quoted include Macbeth, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, King Lear, Troilus and Cressida, Measure for Measure and Othello. Mustapha Mond also knows them because he, as a World Controller, has access to a selection of books from throughout history, such as a Bible.
  • Thomas Malthus, whose name is used to describe the contraceptive techniques (Malthusian belt) practiced by women of the World State.
  • Reuben Rabinovitch, the character in whom the effects of sleep-learning, hypnopædia, are first noted.

Sources of names and references

The limited number of names that the World State assigned to its bottle-grown citizens can be traced to political and cultural figures who contributed to the bureaucratic, economic, and technological systems of Huxley's age, and presumably those systems in Brave New World:[13]

[14]

Fordism and society

The World State is built upon the principles of Henry Ford's assembly line—mass production, homogeneity, predictability, and consumption of disposable consumer goods. At the same time as the World State lacks any supernatural-based religions, Ford himself is revered as a deity, and characters celebrate Ford Day and swear oaths by his name (e.g., "By Ford!"). In this sense, some fragments of traditional religion are present, such as Christian crosses, which had their tops cut off in order to be changed to a "T". The World State calendar numbers years in the "AF" era—"After Ford"—with year 1 AF being equivalent to 1908 AD, the year in which Ford's first Model T rolled off his assembly line. The novel's actual year is AD 2540, but it is referred to in the book as AF 632.

From birth, members of every class are indoctrinated by recorded voices repeating slogans while they sleep (called "hypnopædia" in the book) to believe that their own class is best for them. Any residual unhappiness is resolved by an antidepressant and hallucinogenic drug called soma (named for an intoxicating drink in ancient India) distributed by the Arch-Community Songster of Canterbury, a secularised version of the Christian sacrament of Communion ("The Body of Christ").

The biological techniques used to control the populace in Brave New World do not include genetic engineering; Huxley wrote the book before the structure of DNA was known. However, Gregor Mendel's work with inheritance patterns in peas had been re-discovered in 1900 and the eugenics movement, based on artificial selection, was well established. Huxley's family included a number of prominent biologists including Thomas Huxley, half-brother and Nobel Laureate Andrew Huxley, and brother Julian Huxley who was a biologist and involved in the eugenics movement. Nonetheless, Huxley emphasizes conditioning over breeding (see nature versus nurture); as science writer Matt Ridley put it, Brave New World describes an "environmental not a genetic hell". Human embryos and foetuses are conditioned via a carefully designed regimen of chemical (such as exposure to hormones and toxins), thermal (exposure to intense heat or cold, as one's future career would dictate), and other environmental stimuli, although there is an element of selective breeding as well.

Ban, accusation of plagiarism

Brave New World has been banned and challenged at various times. In 1932, the book was banned in Ireland.[15] The American Library Association ranks Brave New World as #54 on their list of most challenged books.[16] In 1980, it was removed from classrooms in Miller, Missouri among other challenges.[17] In 1993, an attempt was made to remove the novel from a California school's required reading list because it "centered around negative activity".[18]

In 1982, Polish author Antoni Smuszkiewicz in his book Zaczarowana gra presented accusations of plagiarism against Huxley. Smuszkiewicz presented similarities between Brave New World and two science fiction novels written by Polish author Mieczysław Smolarski, namely Miasto światłości (The City of the Sun, 1924) and Podróż poślubna pana Hamiltona (The Honeymoon Trip of Mr. Hamilton, 1928).[19]

Comparisons with George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four

Social critic Neil Postman contrasts the worlds of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World in the foreword of his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death. He writes:

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.

Journalist Christopher Hitchens, who has himself published several articles on Huxley and a book on Orwell, notes the difference between the two texts in the introduction to his 1999 article "Why Americans Are Not Taught History":

We dwell in a present-tense culture that somehow, significantly, decided to employ the telling expression "You're history" as a choice reprobation or insult, and thus elected to speak forgotten volumes about itself. By that standard, the forbidding dystopia of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four already belongs, both as a text and as a date, with Ur and Mycenae, while the hedonist nihilism of Huxley still beckons toward a painless, amusement-sodden, and stress-free consensus. Orwell's was a house of horrors. He seemed to strain credulity because he posited a regime that would go to any lengths to own and possess history, to rewrite and construct it, and to inculcate it by means of coercion. Whereas Huxley ... rightly foresaw that any such regime could break but could not bend. In 1988, four years after 1984, the Soviet Union scrapped its official history curriculum and announced that a newly authorized version was somewhere in the works. This was the precise moment when the regime conceded its own extinction. For true blissed-out and vacant servitude, though, you need an otherwise sophisticated society where no serious history is taught.[20]

Brave New World Revisited

1st UK edition

Brave New World Revisited (Harper & Row (US) 1958, Chatto & Windus (UK) 1959[21]), written by Huxley almost thirty years after Brave New World, was a non-fiction work in which Huxley considered whether the world had moved toward or away from his vision of the future from the 1930s. He believed when he wrote the original novel that it was a reasonable guess as to where the world might go in the future. In Brave New World Revisited, he concluded that the world was becoming like Brave New World much faster than he originally thought.

Huxley analysed the causes of this, such as overpopulation as well as all the means by which populations can be controlled. He was particularly interested in the effects of drugs and subliminal suggestion. Brave New World Revisited is different in tone because of Huxley's evolving thought, as well as his conversion to Hindu Vedanta in the interim between the two books.

The last chapter of the book aims to propose actions which could be taken in order to prevent a democracy from turning into the totalitarian world described in Brave New World. In Huxley's last novel, Island, he again expounds similar ideas to describe a utopian nation, which is generally known as a counterpart to his most famous work.

Related works

Adaptations

  • Brave New World (radio broadcast) CBS Radio Workshop (27 January and 3 February 1956)
  • Brave New World (film) (1980)
  • Brave New World (film) (1998)
  • Brave New World (film) (scheduled 2011) Ridley Scott, Leonardo DiCaprio collaborating[24]
  • Brave New World (stage adaptation) Brendon Burns, Solent Peoples Theatre 2003
  • Schöne Neue Welt (rock musical) Roland Meier/Stefan Wurz, Kulturhaus Osterfeld Pforzheim, Germany, 1994
  • Schöne Neue Welt (musical) GRIPS Theater Berlin, Germany, 2006
  • Brave New World a song and album of Iron Maiden
  • Huxley:The Dystopia (video game) (release TBA 2009)[25] (note: premise of game bears no resemblance to plot of book)

Publications

Brave New World publication history at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database:

  • Brave New World
    • Aldous Huxley; Perennial, Reprint edition, 1 September 1998; ISBN 0-06-092987-1
  • Brave New World Revisited
    • Aldous Huxley; Perennial, 1 March 2000; ISBN 0-06-095551-1
  • Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited
    • Aldous Huxley (with a foreword by Christopher Hitchens); Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2005; ISBN 0-06-077609-9
  • Brave New World & Brave New World Revisited
    • Aldous Huxley (with an introduction by Margaret Atwood); Vintage Canada Edition, 2007; ISBN 978-0-307-35655-0
  • Huxley's Brave New World (Cliffs Notes)
    • Charles and Regina Higgins; Cliffs Notes, 30 May, 2000; ISBN 0-7645-8583-5
  • Spark Notes Brave New World
    • Sterling, 31 December 2003; ISBN 1-58663-366-X
  • Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (Barron's Book Notes)
    • Anthony Astrachan, Anthony Astrakhan; Barrons Educational Series, November 1984; ISBN 0-8120-3405-8

Also publications for NSW HSC students.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "100 Best Novels". Random House. 1999. http://www.randomhouse.com/modernlibrary/100bestnovels.html. Retrieved 2007-06-23.  This ranking was by the Modern Library Editorial Boardof authors.
  2. ^ Anon. "Brave New World". In Our Time. British Broadcasting Corporation. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/inourtime/inourtime.shtml. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  3. ^ Translated from the French by Roger Pearson, p.241
  4. ^ see e.g. 'Leibniz', by Nicholas Jolley (Routledge, 2005)
  5. ^ George Orwell: Review, Tribune, 4 January 1946.
  6. ^ Russell, p. 13.
  7. ^ "Leonard Lopate Show". WNYC. 18 August 2006. http://www.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/episodes/2006/08/18.  (radio interview with We translator Natasha Randall)
  8. ^ The Vintage Classics edition of Brave New World.
  9. ^ G.K. Chesterton, review in The Illustrated London News, 4 May 1935
  10. ^ Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. Harper Perennial Modern Classics; Reprint edition (17 October 2006), P.S. "About the Book."
  11. ^ Huxley, Brave New World, 1932. (London: HarperCollins, first Perennial Modern Classics edition) p. 113. "Youth almost unimpaired till sixty, and then, crack! The end". — Bernard Marx
  12. ^ chapter 3, "Our Ford-or Our Freud, as, for some inscrutable reason, he chose to call himself whenever he spoke of psychological matters–Our Freud had been the first to reveal the appalling dangers of family life"
  13. ^ Meckier, Jerome (2006). "Onomastic Satire: Names and Naming in Brave New World". in Peter Edgerly Firchow and Bernfried Nugel. Aldous Huxley: modern satirical novelist of ideas. Lit Verlag. pp. 187ff. ISBN 3-8258-9668-4. OCLC 71165436. http://books.google.com/books?id=D159Z5kJa_YC&pg=PR5&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=0_1#PPA185,M1. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  14. ^ Knaut, Andrew L. (1995). The Pueblo Revolt of 1680: conquest and resistance in seventeenth-century New Mexico. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. p. 168. ISBN 0-8061-2992-1. OCLC 231644472. 
  15. ^ http://classiclit.about.com/od/bannedliteratur1/tp/aa_bannedbooks.htm
  16. ^ "The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000". American Library Association. http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/bannedbooksweek/bbwlinks/100mostfrequently.cfm. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  17. ^ Grumbine, Robert (1996-06-03). "Notes on Book Banning". http://www.radix.net/~bobg/books/banned.1.html. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  18. ^ Banned Books, Alibris.
  19. ^ Smuszkiewicz, Antoni (1982) (in Polish). Zaczarowana gra. Poznań: Wydawn. Poznanskie. OCLC 251929765. 
  20. ^ Christopher Hitchens, "Goodbye to All That: Why Americans Are Not Taught History." Harper's Magazine. November 1998, pp. 37-47.
  21. ^ http://www.betweenthecovers.com/btc/item/60450
  22. ^ Russell, Bertrand; John G. Slater With The Assistance Of Peter Köllner (1996). In The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, Vol. 10 - A Fresh Look at Empiricism, 1927-42. Routledge. p. xxii. ISBN 978-0415094085. Google Book Search. Retrieved on 17 September 2008.
  23. ^ Playboy interview with Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., July 1973.
  24. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/8187942.stm
  25. ^ http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/huxley/index.html

References

  • Huxley, Aldous (1998). Brave New World (First Perennial Classics ed. ed.). New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-092987-1. 
  • Huxley, Aldous (2005). Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited (First Perennial Classics ed. ed.). New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-077609-9. 
  • Huxley, Aldous (2000). Brave New World Revisited (First Perennial Classics ed. ed.). New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-095551-1. 
  • Postman, Neil (1985). Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. USA: Penguin USA. ISBN 0-670-80454-1. 
  • Higgins, Charles & Higgins, Regina (2000). Cliff Notes on Huxley's Brave New World. New York: Wiley Publishing. ISBN 0-7645-8583-5. 
  • Russell, Robert (1999). Zamiatin's We. Bristol: Bristol Classical Press. ISBN 978-1853993930. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Brave New World (1932) is a dystopian novel by Aldous Huxley. Set in the London of AD 2540 (632 A.F. in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embodiment of the ideals that form the basis of futurism.

Contents

Chapter 1

  • Bokanovsky's process is one of the major instruments of social stability!
    • A reference to the importance that the World State attaches to human cloning.
  • "Ninety-six identical twins working ninety-six identical machines!" The voice was almost tremulous with enthusiasm. "You really know where you are. For the first time in history." He quoted the planetary motto. "Community, Identity, Stability." Grand words. "If we could bokanovskify indefinitely the whole problem would be solved."
    • Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning (DHC) for Central London

Chapter 2

  • At the end of the room a loud speaker projected from the wall. The Director walked up to it and pressed a switch.
    "… all wear green," said a soft but very distinct voice, beginning in the middle of a sentence, "and Delta Children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly colour. I'm so glad I'm a Beta."
    There was a pause; then the voice began again.
    "Alpha children wear grey They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm really awfuly glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able …"
    The Director pushed back the switch. The voice was silent. Only its thin ghost continued to mutter from beneath the eighty pillows.
    "They'll have that repeated forty or fifty times more before they wake; then again on Thursday, and again on Saturday. A hundred and twenty times three times a week for thirty months. After which they go on to a more advanced lesson."

Chapter 3

  • And home was as squalid psychically as physically. Psychically, it was a rabbit hole, a midden, hot with the frictions of tightly packed life, reeking with emotion. What suffocating intimacies, what dangerous, insane, obscene relationships between the members of the family group! Maniacally, the mother brooded over her children (her children) … brooded over them like a cat over its kittens; but a cat that could talk, a cat that could say, "My baby, my baby," over and over again. "My baby, and oh, oh, at my breast, the little hands, the hunger, and that unspeakable agonizing pleasure! Till at last my baby sleeps, my baby sleeps with a bubble of white milk at the corner of his mouth. My little baby sleeps …"
    "Yes," said Mustapha Mond, nodding his head, "you may well shudder."
  • Every one belongs to every one else.
    • Government slogan encouraging sociability and sexual promiscuity.
  • Mother, monogamy, romance. High spurts the fountain; fierce and foamy the wild jet. The urge has but a single outlet. My love, my baby. No wonder these poor pre-moderns were mad and wicked and miserable. Their world didn't allow them to take things easily, didn't allow them to be sane, virtuous, happy. What with mothers and lovers, what with the prohibitions they were not conditioned to obey, what with the temptations and the lonely remorses, what with all the diseases and the endless isolating pain, what with the uncertainties and the poverty–they were forced to feel strongly. And feeling strongly (and strongly, what was more, in solitude, in hopelessly individual isolation), how could they be stable?
  • "Stability," said the Controller, "stability. No civilization without social stability. No social stability without individual stability."
    • Refers to mass use of soma to create "stable" citizens who conform to societal norms.
  • Impulse arrested spills over, and the flood is feeling, the flood is passion, the flood is even madness: it depends on the force of the current, the height and strength of the barrier. The unchecked stream flows smoothly down its appointed channels into a calm well-being. (The embryo is hungry; day in, day out, the blood-surrogate pump unceasingly turns its eight hundred revolutions a minute. The decanted infant howls; at once a nurse appears with a bottle of external secretion. Feeling lurks in that interval of time between desire and its consummation. Shorten that interval, break down all those old unnecessary barriers.
  • "Ford's in his flivver," murmured the D.H.C. "All's well with the world."
  • "They say somebody made a mistake when he was still in the bottle–thought he was a Gamma and put alcohol into his blood-surrogate. That's why he's so stunted."
    • Rumor as explained by Fanny Crowne as to why Alpha-Plus Bernard Marx looked and acted odd.
  • "Sleep teaching was actually prohibited in England. There was something called liberalism. Parliament, if you know what that was, passed a law against it. The records survive. Speeches about liberty of the subject. Liberty to be inefficient and miserable. Freedom to be a round peg in a square hole."
    • Henry Foster
  • One hundred repetitions three nights a week for four years, thought Bernard Marx, who was a specialist on hypnopædia. Sixty-two thousand four hundred repetitions make one truth. Idiots!
    • Bernard Marx's comments on the preceding slogan and an analysis on the effects of state-sponsored sleep teaching.
  • All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects.
    • About soma
  • I do love new Clothes.
    • A message promoting consumerism.
  • (CH3)C6H2(NO 2)3 + Hg(CNO)2 = well, what? An enormous hole in the ground, a pile of masonry, some bits of flesh and mucus, a foot, with the boot still on it, flying through the air and landing, flop, in the middle of the geraniums–the scarlet ones; such a splendid show that summer!
  • A gramme is better than a damn.
    • Slogan encouraging use of the fictional narcotic soma.
  • One cubic centimetre cures ten gloomy sentiments.
    • Slogan encouraging people not to dwell on gloomy thoughts, but to obliterate them with the fictional narcotic, soma.
  • Ending is better than mending. The more stitches, the less riches.
    • A government slogan encouraging people to throw away old possessions and buy new ones, thus theoretically keeping the global economy strong.

Chapter 5

  • Every one works for every one else. We can't do without any one. Even Epsilons are useful. We couldn't do without Epsilons. Every one works for every one else. We can't do without any one.
  • Bottle of mine, it's you I've always wanted!
    Bottle of mine, why was I ever decanted?
    Skies are blue inside of you
    The weather's always fine;
    For
    There ain't no Bottle in all the world
    Like that dear little Bottle of mine.
    • Lyrics of a popular computer-generated song referring to how babies are artificially gestated.
  • Feel how the Greater Being comes!
    Rejoice and, in rejoicing die!
    Melt in the music of the drums!
    For I am you and you are I.
    • Third Solidarity Hymn
  • Orgy-porgy, Ford and fun,
    Kiss the girls and make them One.
    Boys at one with girls at peace;
    Orgy-porgy gives release.

Chapter 6

  • A gramme in time saves nine.
    • Slogan encouraging use of soma.
  • "Don't you wish you were free, Lenina?"
    "I don't know what you mean. I am free. Free to have the most wonderful time. Everybody's happy nowadays."
  • When the individual feels, the community reels.
    • A slogan discouraging individualism in favor of the community as a whole.
  • "I'd rather be myself. Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly."
    • Bernard Marx
  • "I only said it was lovely here because … well, because progress is lovely, isn't it?"
    • Lenina
  • Lenina shook her head. "Was and will make me ill," she quoted, "I take a gramme and only am."

Chapter 7

  • Cleanliness is next to fordliness.
    • The second hypnopædic lesson in elementary hygiene.
  • Civilization is sterilization.
  • Streptocock-Gee to Banbury-T, to see a fine bathroom and W.C.

Chapter 8

  • "O brave new world," he repeated. "O brave new world that has such people in it. Let's start at once."
    • John quotes Shakespeare's The Tempest when hearing of the technologies and customs of civilization. a more extensive quotation reads "How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in't!"

Chapter 11

  • Hug me till you drug me, honey;
    Kiss me till I'm in a coma:
    Hug me, honey, snuggly bunny;
    Love's as good as soma.
    • Fanny Crowne (singing)

Chapter 12

  • One of the principal functions of a friend is to suffer (in a milder and symbolic form) the punishments that we should like, but are unable to inflict upon our enemies.

Chapter 13

  • A doctor a day keeps the jim-jams away. (Related to "an apple a day keeps the doctor away")
    • A Hypnopædic message on the necessity of doctoral visits.
  • "O thou weed, who are so lovely fair and smell'st so sweet that the sense aches at thee. Was this most goodly book made to write 'whore' upon? Heaven stops the nose at it …"

Chapter 16

  • The Savage shook his head. "It all seems to me quite horrible."
    "Of course it does. Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the over-compensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand."
  • Happiness is a hard master–particularly other people's happiness. A much harder master, if one isn't conditioned to accept it unquestioningly, than truth.
    • The Controller
  • Well, duty's duty. One can't consult one's own preference. I'm interested in truth, I like science. But truth's a menace, science is a public danger. As dangerous as it's been beneficent. It has given us the stablest equilibrium in history. China's was hopelessly insecure by comparison; even the primitive matriarchies weren't steadier than we are. Thanks, I repeat, to science. But we can't allow science to undo its own good work. That's why we so carefully limit the scope of its researches–that's why I almost got sent to an island. We don't allow it to deal with any but the most immediate problems of the moment. All other enquiries are most sedulously discouraged.
    • The Controller
  • It's curious," he went on after a little pause, "to read what people in the time of Our Ford used to write about scientific progress. They seemed to have imagined that it could be allowed to go on indefinitely, regardless of everything else. Knowledge was the highest good, truth the supreme value; all the rest was secondary and subordinate. True, ideas were beginning to change even then. Our Ford himself did a great deal to shift the emphasis from truth and beauty to comfort and happiness. Mass production demanded the shift. Universal happiness keeps the wheels steadily turning; truth and beauty can't. And, of course, whenever the masses seized political power, then it was happiness rather than truth and beauty that mattered. Still, in spite of everything, unrestricted scientific research was still permitted. People still went on talking about truth and beauty as though they were the sovereign goods. Right up to the time of the Nine Years' War. That made them change their tune all right. What's the point of truth or beauty or knowledge when the anthrax bombs are popping all around you? That was when science first began to be controlled–after the Nine Years' War. People were ready to have even their appetites controlled then. Anything for a quiet life. We've gone on controlling ever since. It hasn't been very good for truth, of course. But it's been very good for happiness. One can't have something for nothing. Happiness has got to be paid for. You're paying for it, Mr. Watson–paying because you happen to be too much interested in beauty. I was too much interested in truth; I paid too."
    • The Controller

Chapter 17

  • "We are not our own any more than what we possess is our own. We did not make ourselves, we cannot be supreme over ourselves. We are not our own masters. We are God's property. Is it not our happiness thus to view the matter? Is it any happiness or any comfort, to consider that we are our own? It may be thought so by the young and prosperous. These may think it a great thing to have everything, as they suppose, their own way–to depend on no one–to have to think of nothing out of sight, to be without the irksomeness of continual acknowledgment, continual prayer, continual reference of what they do to the will of another. But as time goes on, they, as all men, will find that independence was not made for man–that it is an unnatural state–will do for a while, but will not carry us on safely to the end."
    • Mustapha Mond, reading from Cardinal Newman's book
  • "My dear young friend," said Mustapha Mond, "civilization has absolutely no need of nobility or heroism. These things are symptoms of political inefficiency. In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic. Conditions have got to be thoroughly unstable before the occasion can arise. Where there are wars, where there are divided allegiances, where there are temptations to be resisted, objects of love to be fought for or defended–there, obviously, nobility and heroism have some sense. But there aren't any wars nowadays. The greatest care is taken to prevent you from loving any one too much. There's no such thing as a divided allegiance; you're so conditioned that you can't help doing what you ought to do. And what you ought to do is on the whole so pleasant, so many of the natural impulses are allowed free play, that there really aren't any temptations to resist. And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there's always soma to give you a holiday from the facts. And there's always soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. In the past you could only accomplish these things by making a great effort and after years of hard moral training. Now, you swallow two or three half-gramme tablets, and there you are. Anybody can be virtuous now. You can carry at least half your morality about in a bottle. Christianity without tears–that's what soma is."
  • "Exposing what is mortal and unsure to all that fortune, death and danger dare, even for an eggshell. Isn't there something in that?" he asked, looking up at Mustapha Mond. "Quite apart from God–though of course God would be a reason for it. Isn't there something in living dangerously?"
    "There's a great deal in it," the Controller replied. "Men and women must have their adrenals stimulated from time to time."
    "What?" questioned the Savage, uncomprehending.
    "It's one of the conditions of perfect health. That's why we've made the V.P.S. treatments compulsory."
    "V.P.S.?"
    "Violent Passion Surrogate. Regularly once a month. We flood the whole system with adrenin. It's the complete physiological equivalent of fear and rage. All the tonic effects of murdering Desdemona and being murdered by Othello, without any of the inconveniences."
    "But I like the inconveniences."
    "We don't," said the Controller. "We prefer to do things comfortably."
    "But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin."
    "In fact," said Mustapha Mond, "you're claiming the right to be unhappy."
    "All right then," said the Savage defiantly, "I'm claiming the right to be unhappy."

External links

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Wikibooks

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection

This is a study guide for the novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. The entire book is available online at [1].

Contents

Table of Contents

The basics

Thinking Critically

  • Utopia and Dystopia
  • Hedonism
  • Eugenics
  • Conditioning (repetition)
  • Birth and Death
  • Comparison to Nineteen Eighty-Four
  • Essay questions
  • Character Analysis:

A Note on Plagiarism:

Plagiarism is considered cheating. Don't use other people's words or ideas without proper citations.

Links and Further Reading


Simple English

Brave New World is a novel by Aldous Huxley. It was first published in 1932. The novel plays in London in 2580, and speaks of developments in reproductive technology, biological engineering, and sleep-learning that change society.

See also

References

  • Huxley, Aldous, 1894–1963 (1998). Brave New World (First Perennial Classics ed. ed.). New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-092987-1. 
  • Huxley, Aldous, 1894–1963 (2000). Brave New World Revisited (First Perennial Classics ed. ed.). New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-095551-1. 
  • Postman, Neil (1985). Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business.. USA: Penguin USA. ISBN 0-670-80454-1. 
  • Higgins, Charles & Higgins, Regina (2000). Cliff Notes on Huxley's Brave New World. New York: Wiley Publishing. ISBN 0-7645-8583-5. 
  • http://www.huxley.net/

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