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It is truly fascinating to read works such as this one, and realise that many fears about the development of our world were mostly unfounded. However, Huxley's Brave New World, sometimes scratches uncomfortably close to the truth, with it's machinery and disintegration of the family. We are however, still far away enough from Huxley's predictions to make this a truly riveting read. In the dystopian world in which Huxley created, all humans are attractive. Sex is for pleasure not reproduction (which takes place in terrifying test tube factories!) The very thought of mothering another human is sickening to the characters of this story. There is absolutely no such thing as monogamy, (in fact quite the opposite is expected!) The citizens are continuously encouraged to take mood enhancing drugs to stop them from realising the bitter truth about the world in which they live, and any resistance to such a way for life is extinguished quickly and efficiently. A terrifying and yet gripping story about a world turned upside down, where all of the values and morals that remain in today's society are sniggered at as backwards and primitive! Fantastic...must read!
This book is certainly food for thought. It shows a portrait of society where the pursuit of happiness, or perhaps more accurately, the avoidance of any negative emotion, has overthrown mankind's respect for free will and individuality. Many of the themes addressed of the book are extremely current, so even though this book was written decades ago, it still remains very relevant in the world of today. It is written in a way which is very approachable, and always leaves you keen to read more. I normally lose interest in books midway through, but I was desperate to find out if the protagonist would make a dent in the 'big brother' (excuse the cliché) style society he was pulled in to. One positive aspect of this book is that even those who do not fit in with the society are given places outside of it to live in relative peace. I think this optimism is rare in dystopian tales, but it represents the fact that this terrible future could be bought about by people who are acting with good will - a reminder that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The book has left me keen to read a couple of his other works, the island, and the doors of perception, as I fell that this story has expanded the horizons of my mind, and I am keen to take in a little more of his philosophy.
The classic dystopian novel, compared constantly with Orwell's 1984, Brave New World shows us a society that is so free it's trapped. With overwhelmingly brutal concepts of class, opinions on technology, and simply the way we can be programmed to think, this alternate human race is one you will end up hating. For something written in the 30s, the book is surprisingly modern, and the more you read, the more it becomes relevant in today's society of constantly revolving technology. People unified under The World State are happy enough, arranged by caste systems so that the top of the food chain breed with others to produce the correctly casted children. In a stark opposition to Orwell's 1984, this future is based upon sex. People are encouraged to be promiscuous, and staying with just one partner is wrong and selfish. The concept of Family is almost pornographic and disgusting to this society. The main character, Bernard, is alternately pitiable and encourages you to hate his devotion to The System. Painting a vision of this strange future and the people within it is enough to make the book special, but when Bernard discovers 'the savage', a human born naturally, that is when the question of 'what is human?' really emerges.
For those of you who enjoy dystopian novels such as Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, chances are you have probably also read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Brave New World sets out a future world where sex is solely for pleasure, where babies are reproduced in a factory-production style and conditioned from birth to the values imposed by the state. The taking of a hallucinogenic drug is encouraged, as is socialising as it encourages consumerism. Some might say this book puts forward a society where a hedonistic approach to life is encouraged, though one reading of this text is that, this hedonistic lifestyle is ultimately no good for the broader thinking individual. About thirty years after writing Brave New World, Huxley wrote "Brave New World Revisited". Huxley did believe when he originally wrote Brave New World that Western Society was heading in the direction of the topics he covered in the book. Brave New World Revisited was Huxley addressing this. He did indeed believe the world was moving in that direction, though by the time he got to the 1950s he saw the pace of this happening a lot quicker than he had anticipated, bearing in mind Brave New World was set about 600 years ahead of the book's original publication. Brave New World Revisited examines many of the themes laid out in the original book, such as over-population, morality and organisations. He looks at the idea of propaganda in both dictatorships and democratic societies. The notion of the consumer is nothing new. New methods of encouraging consumerism are unleashed upon us everyday, but the pace of change of this wasn't as fast back in the first half of the 20th century. The 1950s, when this book was published saw a new psychology entering advertising, long before media and cultural studies were really around with the analytical answers. This book examines many of the things we have at one at the same time accepted and also fear in the age of Big Brother. Many of Orwell's themes from 1984 resonate in this book also. It covers many areas of a society that is progressing, but not really adding a stability. Essentially the book is grasping out at what we can do to acheive freedom. We may in a modern society, have many affordable luxuries to hand, and life is certainly easier than it was in the 1930s when Brave New World was originally written and indeed, the 1950s also when ...revisited was written, but we are certainly not free. We are trapped by our luxuries and reasonable lifestyle. This is an excellent book of reflection, depsite its age. In fact the information will probably become more relevant as time moves on and society 'progresses. A great read available from the usual ebid.net, Amazon and ebay.