Jernae's Reviews > Brave New World

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
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Jan 07, 13

Read from August 30, 2012 to January 07, 2013

I don't even know where to start. This book simply amazes me. And I don't even think "amaze" is the right word. Not nearly strong enough. Aldous Huxley wrote probably the most advanced story, so far ahead of time, that it's hard to comprehend. In 1932, Brave New World was published for the first time. And based on the story ... it's no wonder that positive reviews were few and far.

Brave New World is a story about "utopia." Through genetic engineering, science, and the cleansing of the human makeup, world, and everything else, people managed to create a society based solely on appeasing base desires and providing everyone with "happiness." Family systems no longer exist, art, literature, religion, and even science itself has been removed from civilized society. Every person has their place, every person belongs to everyone, and no real good exists because no real bad exists. When Bernard -- an odd Alpha who was probably misgiven alcohol as an embryo -- takes the one girl he likes (scandalous!) to New Mexico from London for a weekend excursion, they see how natives live outside of civilized society. Children are born from other women, women feed from the breast, disease exists, family structures exist, hard work gets them by from day to day, and Bernard and Lenina are both fascinated and disgusted. It's there that they find another white male, a savage, who is the son of a woman who used to live in civilized society who had gotten lost. John, the savage, wants so badly to prove himself a man, to show he's worthy of a woman, and not just any woman, but Lenina.

When Bernard and Lenina return John and his mother to civilization, worlds collide. John, who's grown up reading Shakespeare, who's learned of God, of right and wrong, of good and sin, of happiness and sadness ... is repulsed by the "free love" society with it's ideals of drugging it's citizens when they're sad or anxious. When he tries to introduce liberty and choice ... things go horribly wrong.

After WWII, Huxley added a foreword to the publication of this book. When he first wrote it, he speculated that a future like this one could happen 600 years in the future. In the new foreword he stated, "Today it seems quite possible that the horror may be upon us within a single century."

Brave New World is not only fiction. It's a dark promise, almost. It's a look into a future we could have if we continue to live in ways that as the Controller states, in a civilization that doesn't have, "any need for a civilized man to bear anything seriously unpleasant ... Self-Indulgence up to the very limits imposed by hygiene and economics." By forgetting God, by basing our lives on indulgence, by taking every easy path, by forgetting the lessons of the past, we are cursing our future. This is just such a remarkable novel.
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Quotes Jernae Liked

Aldous Huxley
“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly -- they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Aldous Huxley
“I want to know what passion is. I want to feel something strongly.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Aldous Huxley
“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World


Reading Progress

09/01/2012 page 12
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