Friday, 30 July 2010

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was written in 1931, published in 1932. The novel, in simple terms, is Huxley's warning as to what can happen when we allow technology to control us, rather than controlling it. But really it is about so much more.
I first read the novel on my own sometime in high school, then for Grade 12. I read it again in a university English class: Utopian Literature. Later I taught it to my own Grade 12 students.
The novel is one that people can enjoy at face value, if they like science fiction, or they can dig deeper and discover all sorts of symbolism, imagery, themes, and subplots from the underlying meanings of the names such as those of Bernard Marx, Lenina Crowne, and Mustapha Mond. There is the desire for constant happiness and escape from thinking about anything, worry, and from being alone.
This brave new world is one without stress. There are no relationships so that there is no need for the sadness that comes with happiness. As I mentioned above, it was a novel that was taught in a utopian literature class, but it is a dystopian novel.
Once I read that Forbes had done a survey of the most successful people in the world, asking what books they had read. In the top ten books these Forbes successful people had in common, Brave New World was always in the list. I don't know that reading the book could make you a millionaire...I'm not. However, I do know that this book is very powerful if you read it and think about its possible impacts
If you've never read the book, the first three chapters set the stage of the novel. The novel is set in approximately 2300 A.D. or in the timeline of the novel 632 A.F. (After Ford) If you can get through the first three chapters and understand how they reproduce their children, how they condition the people into their different roles and the expectations of the society, then it is easier to understand the rest of the book. Most people I've talked to, who didn't like the book, didn't read the first three chapters. They lost patience after the first chapter or so. Those I know who have made it through the first three chapters seem to like the book. It is definitely a different kind of story. But, it really makes you think. I am glad that I made it past those first three chapters all those years ago.

No comments:

Post a Comment