Tyler Suzuki Nelson's Reviews > Brave New World

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
6920466
's review
Dec 23, 2011

really liked it
Read from April 16 to 29, 2012

Brave New World is a novel written by Aldous Huxley. It tells the story of several people in a fictional world where natural birth has been replaced by technology, social norms are implanted into children during their sleep, and escape takes the form of a drug called Soma. Although the book did tell the story of several characters living in this world, I found the world to be much more interesting than the characters themselves.

There is a lot to say about this world, though I will not address most of them here since they will come up in future blogs. One of the things I liked about Brave New World is that it illustrated some of the problems I see with the direction society often seems to be pushing to move. To be brief, I think Brave New World is a decent illustration of a society where happiness is attempted to be maximized; most people seem to assume that we should maximize happiness and minimize pain, sadness, etc. without considering the consequences. I also found that it illustrated a society where people avoid the truth and take what they are told to be the truth; that is, in some ways, I believe it demonstrated the need for critical thought in society.

The book also featured the use of Soma, a happiness- or peace-inducing drug. I thought it was both interesting and scary to think that society could manage to reach some sustainable equilibrium despite the need for a pill to keep people content. On the note of Soma, a quick search of the internet seems to reach a consensus that Soma is based on a historical drink. However, my initial interpretation of Soma was a reflection of the state of this Brave New World where there was plenty of sex but little love. I had interpreted Soma as Amos (Latin for "love") backwards, since Soma represented an instant emotional payoff which is backwards (that is, a contrast) to the emotional payoff often associated with love that isn't often so instantaneous.

Overall, I very much liked the ideas presented by this book. I thought it did a good job of demonstrating many of the flaws in a world that many people (probably unknowingly) acknowledge as an ideal world. However, although I found the ideas enjoyable, I didn't so much enjoy the style that the novel was written. There were many instances where I found the plot difficult to follow, and I never really connected with any of the characters. With respect to style, I preferred 1984, which, although also provided many interesting insights into a "perfect society", I found to be more enjoyable to read.
flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Brave New World.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.