Clare's Reviews > Brave New World

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
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's review
Jul 04, 2007

it was amazing
Read in January, 1999

As a teenager I went through a period of reading a vast number of distopian novels - probably all the teenage angst. This is the one that has continued to haunt me however, long after the my youthful cynicism has died it's death. It's basically a book about the utopian ideal - everyone's happy, everyone has what they want and EVERYTHING is based on logical principles. However, there is something very rotten at the heart. It's about how what we want isn't always what we should get. It looks at how state sponsered "happiness" can entirely miss the point. Perhaps, most importantly, it makes the case for individual freedom rather than authoritarian diktat. It should be read hand in hand with Mill's Utilitarianism to get a good idea of the philosophy that inspired it.

Incidentally, I gave this book to my boyfriend as a present for his 18th birthday ( a rather depressing gift I know). At the time he wasn't particularly freaked out by it and said that it didn't hold the same level of dread as say, 1984 or "The Handmaid's Tale". As he's got older however, he's found the idea more and more frightening. Six years later it has more of a sting in the tail for him. I don't know why this should be but I'll hazard a guess that as you get older you're idea of "happiness" becomes perhaps more complex, making the ideal of "Brave New World" even more disturbing.
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Reading Progress

01/29/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Erica I read this book in highschool as well and really liked it. In deciding to visit it again, i am finding hidden meaning in many of the pages that I never got when I was in highschool. I agree as I've gotten older the book has become more frightening. I am now a mother and the way they dicuss mothers and fathers in the book as something disturbing and disgusting and fruedian is disturbing. The fact that they take family out of the equation is terrible. They also take away your right to choose, your right to freedom and essentually you aren't anything more than a lab experiment. As I am older now, I can understand where all of these ideas and cynicism came from. This cuold still happen, only it's more of a reality now than a fantasy then.

Mike Ditto for the reading of too many distopian books as a teenager.

Amanda (ALittleBitofFrost) I am 17 and read this book about two years ago for my english summer reading. I really did not like it, mostly because I thought it was boring and really didn't get it. I am currently re-reading it because I could not stop thinking about it and now I'm beginning to understand more about what goes on and what would change if this world came into existence.

message 4: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Ratchford-jenkins Such an astute review. Thanks!

message 5: by J. (new) - rated it 5 stars

J. Keck I read this book many years ago. Disturbingly when I reference it today, the context for the reference is not positive. The older I've become, the more I ponder the story.

Susie Brave New World made me realize what I missed in never reading The Tempest or Othello. I know! How did I get through high school and uni not reading these?

Lindsay Castor The fact that the "savages" (people who are native Americans) are people who live a lot like regular people do (with spouses, children, actual love, religion, and hard-work-means-success lessons dolor kids) is really hard to swallow. What really hurt my heart was that the British "sophisticated" people of London (who use drugs, think only of having fun, and think the other gender is only there for reproduction, and are happy without freedom of choice) prejudice and make fun of them for their beliefs. The Londoners treat John like some sort of rare, primitive animal on display. It's sickening

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