Rhonda's Reviews > Brave New World

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
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's review
Dec 10, 2008

really liked it
Read in February, 1995

I have no problem with people who do not like this book: for the most part, I have to admit, the story line is choppy and drawn out in places. While it was clearly written as a response to the late 19th century utopian novels and probably a direct counter to H G Wells' Men Like Gods, it remains a novel with many intimate observations and predictions. One has to admit that oftentimes scenes are perhaps connected unrealistically, but I can forgive this as a kind of streams of consciousness interpretation. Many things seem almost hallucinogenic in nature, probably relating to Huxley's own use of mind expanding peyote. In order to properly understand this book, it's almost necessary to read Brave New World Revisited, in my meager opinion.

However any reasonably well-educated college student knows the title reference to The Tempest: that quote alone puts this book in the context of a "must read." In fact, I always saw the savage, John, as similar to Shakespeare, at least as literary societies see him, apparently uneducated by a genius nonetheless.

One of the reasons I enjoy this book is because it centers on American culture of an earlier period and the author is clearly afraid of a great number of things in that culture. When I look at the present age and see the prevalence of sex of such a casual nature, I am forced to see that some of the horror, what the author saw as inhuman behavior, has come to pass. I would argue that much of what he envisioned has occurred, but that's another issue altogether. Just the image I had this afternoon as I left work, that of almost every person pulling out a cell phone and talking about nothingness, indicates to me that people today are afraid to be alone.

There are many surreal aspects in this book. I remember thinking, (secretly of course) that I would enjoy trying to enforce humanity on certain people I knew, much like John does when he tosses the soma rations out the window; just like Huxley, I am appalled at how we use so many things today as psychological crutches, from behavior which reminds me of the Roman arena games, drug and alcohol abuse, gambling and sexual addictions to knee-jerk societal reaction to various military conflicts. Huxley clearly misinterpreted how people would one day react to the idea of wars as a kind of acceptable behavior, but then maybe we haven't waited long enough.

Although this book misses in its continuity, this is a book which everyone ought to read if only to understand the horror with which the author saw the future as inhumanity. It is only an added bonus that so much of it seems to have come true today.
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Quotes Rhonda Liked

Aldous Huxley
“But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Scott (new)

Scott Hey I have a question. Is this book explicit? Does it have profanity? Moreover, sexually explicit or have nudity in it? Thanks!

Rhonda Scott wrote: "Hey I have a question. Is this book explicit? Does it have profanity? Moreover, sexually explicit or have nudity in it? Thanks!"
The main character, Bernard Marx, is despondent over the societally required sexual promiscuity, so indeed there is considerable sex in the book. It is an excellent vision of a world in which people allow their needs to be met by a central government. Beyond the question of dirty words, when people will merely look out for their own wants and needs, that is perhaps the greatest profanity.
As to explicitness, I would say that depends on one's ability to acknowledge the truth of what the writer was trying to say and, as a consequence, speak up and change things.

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