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Group Read > Brave New World- Sept. 2010-

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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17741 comments Brave New World was the winner for our Sept. Group Read.

* This thread will be opened for posting September 1, 2010

Book: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Brave New World

Author: Aldous Huxley

Where: The discussion will take place in this thread.

When: The thread will be opened on Sept. 1, 2010

Spoiler Etiquette: There are 18 chapters in the novel. Please put the chapter # at the top of your posts so others may avoid spoilers.

Book Details:
Chapters: 18
Pages: paperback has around 267 pages

Synopsis: * The synopsis will contain spoilers
Amazon.com Review
"Community, Identity, Stability" is the motto of Aldous Huxley's utopian World State. Here everyone consumes daily grams of soma, to fight depression, babies are born in laboratories, and the most popular form of entertainment is a "Feelie," a movie that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Though there is no violence and everyone is provided for, Bernard Marx feels something is missing and senses his relationship with a young women has the potential to be much more than the confines of their existence allow. Huxley foreshadowed many of the practices and gadgets we take for granted today--let's hope the sterility and absence of individuality he predicted aren't yet to come.
Amazon Product Description
Aldous Huxley's tour de force, Brave New World is a darkly satiric vision of a "utopian" future—where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively serve a ruling order. A powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations, it remains remarkably relevant to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying entertainment.

About the author:
Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) is the author of the classic novels Island, Eyeless in Gaza, and The Genius and the Goddess, as well as such critically acclaimed nonfiction works as The Devils of Loudun, The Doors of Perception, and The Perennial Philosophy. Born in Surrey, England, and educated at Oxford, he died in Los Angeles.

Wiki link of the author:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldous_H...

Amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/Brave-New-World...


message 2: by Alias Reader (last edited Aug 22, 2010 10:36AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17741 comments Some Definitions And Allusions

A number of references, names, and allusions in Brave New World could be missed by the casual reader. Huxley draws upon his own extensive background in history, economics, and science and often assumes the reader is immediately aware of the significance of a particular word. Some of the more important of these words and concepts are discussed below.

Conditioning is defined as the training of an individual to respond to a stimulus in a particular way. The great Russian scientist Pavlov conducted experiments to determine how this conditioning takes place. Further experimentation has proven that individuals can be conditioned to respond in a predetermined way. In Brave New World individuals are conditioned to think, act, feel, believe, and respond the way the government wants them to.


Predestination is the act of deciding an individual's fate or destiny for him. Both the Old and New Testaments contain allusions to God as the Predestinator, but since the World State has eliminated God, predestination is now the function of a government bureau. In the World State each individual has been predestined according to the needs of society.


Thomas R. Malthus (the Malthusian belt) was an English political economist who propounded a doctrine on the theory of population. He believed that unless famine or was diminished the population, in time the means of life would be inadequate. In the World State mandatory birth-control measures are used to regulate the growth of population.


Ford was the most important figure in the formation of the World State. In a Christian society the life, work, and teachings of Christ are the source of inspiration and truth; in Huxley's Utopia the life, work, and teachings of Ford are the sources of inspiration and truth. Even time is reckoned according to Ford.


A.F. 632 is the year when these events take place. Since Huxley had projected his fantasy six hundred years into the future, by our reckoning the year would be approximately 2532 A.D.


Decanting is the name given to the completion of the artificial and mechanical stimulation of the embryo resulting in what we would call birth - an independent existence. Huxley details this process to emphasize the tremendous advancement of scientific knowledge and practice and to show the complete control of the individual from the time of conception.

http://www.huxley.net/studyaid/index....


message 3: by Alias Reader (last edited Aug 22, 2010 10:50AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17741 comments Some discussion questions for Brave New World.

These question can be used as a tool to give you some things to focus on and think about when reading the novel.

The questions can also be used to help facilitate the discussion.

*****These discussion questions contain SPOILERS !!!!

~ What is the theme of Brave New World?

~What is the significance of Huxley's title?

~ What is the significance of Huxley's use of "Ford" as a substitute for "Christ" or "God"?

~In his novels Huxley often uses a spokesman for himself and his ideas. Who is his spokesman in this novel?

~Why was society in the World State divided into castes?

~What is the significance of the World State's motto: "Community, Identity, Stability"?

~Why does Huxley have John the Savage commit suicide?

http://www.huxley.net/studyaid/index....

------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Few of Huxley's predictions have proven to be perfectly accurate, yet many aspects of the Utopia of Brave New World feel uncomfortably like our world. Talk about the book as a prophetic vision of the future. Which aspects of the book did you find most disturbing? Which hit closest to home? Which seem the most far-fetched?

2. When Brave New World was first published in 1932, the world was plunged in depression, fascism was on the rise in Western Europe, and Marxism appealed to increasing numbers of intellectuals in Europe and America. Place the book in the context of its historical moment. Which parts transcend its time and place?

3. The two greatest obscenities in the society of Brave New World are birth and mother. Why?

4. Toward the end of the book, the Controller Mustapha Mond sums up the benefits of living in the "brave new world" Utopia: "The world's stable now. People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can't get." It sounds like perfection, and yet the world Mond describes is deeply, intentionally horrifying. Why? What exactly is so bad about this society of the future? Is there anything good about it, anything we could learn from and try to adapt to our own uses?

5. As dehumanizing and oppressive as the brave new world Utopia is, the alternative in the "savage reserve" is in many ways worse - dirty, violent, unhealthy, cruel, uncomfortable. What point is Huxley making about human nature and the nature of human communities? Is his vision totally negative - or does the book hold out some shred of hope, some alternative mode that fosters both freedom and community?

6. One of the most striking - and comic - aspects of Huxley's Utopia is the way our sexual mores and assumptions have been turned on their head: monogamy is bad, passion is deviation, casual, meaningless sex is the socially approved norm. What is Huxley getting at here? Is there any expression of human sexuality that he finds acceptable? Is sex at the heart of the "problem" in his view of human nature?

7. Talk about the morality of the book. Is it a Christian morality? Socialist? Anarchist?

8. In many ways, the main characters of the book are cartoon figures - Helmholtz Watson the alienated superman, Bernard Marx the cowardly, hypocritical intellectual, Mustapha Mond the cynical all-knowing leader, John the doomed idealistic. Discuss the book as an allegory and elaborate on what each character stands for.

9. When John first starts reading Shakespeare, he discovers that the words make his emotions "more real" - they even make other people more real. Talk about the power of language in the book, the power of the word to influence thought and behavior. Why did Huxley choose Shakespeare as the medium of John's intellectual awakening?

10. Huxley wrote many other books, yet this is his most popular and most enduring. What is it about this book that has captured our imaginations for so long? Are there aspects of it that seem dated?

11. If you read the book earlier in life - say in high school or college - compare the experience of reading it again later on. Does it hold up to a second reading?

12. Talk about Huxley's use of narrator. Does the fact that Huxley's vision was impaired for part of his life have any bearing on the way he narrates the story and sets the scenes?

13. Could anything like Brave New World really happen? Has it happened in some form that we don't fully recognize?

http://www.readinggroupguides.com/gui...


message 4: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17741 comments Discussion questions for each chapter of the novel



*****These discussion questions contain SPOILERS !!!!

Chapter 1
1. Why is the first sentence strange? What does it set up?
2. What is the meaning of the World State’s motto “COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY?”
3. Why does the fertilizing room look so cold, when it ia actually hot inside? What goes on there?
4. Why do particulars “make for virtue and happiness,” while generalities “are intellectually necessary evils?”
5. How do people know who they are in this society?
6. Why use the Bokanovsky process at all? How is it an instrument “of social stability?”
7. Why don’t the Epsilons “need human intelligence?”


Chapter 2
1. What work does the conditioning do? Who gets conditioned? How does hypnopaedia work?
2. Why condition the Deltas to hate nature but love outdoor sports?
3. How does time work in this book? History? Why does Ford say “History is Bunk?”
4. What are the various castes like, and why?
5. How do the students demonstrate their own conditioning?

Chapter 3
1. How do the children play together? What is childhood like?
2. How is our world depicted? How do we get from here to there?
3. Why must games be so complex in this society?
4. Why are strong emotions dangerous? Family relationships? Romance? Religion? Art? Culture?
5. How is sexuality used in this novel? Do you see any problems with it?
6. What does Mustapha Mond do? What is his relationship to history?
7. Is there anything unusual about Lenina Crowne? Bernard Marx? What? Why?
8. How does Huxley use the cinematic technique toward the end of this chapter?
9. What is soma? What are its uses?
10. How do people age in this society?

Chapter 4
1. What is life like for the Epsilon-Minus Semi-Moron who runs the elevator?
2. How do the other Alphas relate to Bernard?
3. What does Lenina do on her date?
4. What does she think of the lower castes?
5. Why is Bernard the way he is? What does he really want?
6. Why is Helmholtz the way he is? What does he want? How is he different from Bernard?


Chapter 5
1. What do Lenina and Henry talk about on their way home? What happens at the crematorium?
2. Why are stars depressing?
3. What are the solidarity services like? What role do they play? How does Bernard fit?

Chapter 6
1. Why is being alone a bad thing?
2. What do Lenina and Bernard do on their first date? Why is the ocean important? The moon?
3. What does Bernard say about freedom? What does he mean?
4. How does the date end?
5. What does it mean to be infantile in this society?
6. How does the director feel about Bernard? Why is he warning him?
7. What does his story mean? What does it show us about him?
8. How does Helmholtz feel about Bernard after he hears the story of the meeting with the director?
9. What do we learn from the Warden? What are the reservations like?
10. What does the word Malpais mean?


Chapter 7
1. How is the mesa like a ship?
2. Why doesn’t Lenina like their Indian guide?
3. What is the city itself like? What are the people like? How does Lenina respond? Bernard?
4. What ceremony do the witness? What does it mean? What does it seem like to Lenina?
5. What idols emerge from the ground?
6. How is John Savage different? What does he want? How does he respond to Lenina?
7. What is Linda’s story? What has her life been like here? How does Linda react to her?

Chapter 8
1. What was John’s upbringing like? His relationship with Linda? His education?
2. Why doesn’t linda want to be called a mother?
3. What social positions do Linda and John hold in Malpais?
4. What does John want in his life?
5. What does Linda tell him about the Other Place?
6. What does he learn from Shakespeare? How does he relate to Hamlet? The Tempest?
7. What does it mean to discover “Time and Death and God?”
8. What do John and Bernard have in common?
9. Why does Bernard want to take John to London?

Chapter 9
1, Why does Mustapha Mond agree to the plan?
2. What happens when John watches Lenina sleep? What does he think or feel?

Chapter 10
1. How and why was the DHC planing to make an example out of Bernard?
2. Why is unorthodoxy worse than murder?
3. How does Linda act in the hatchery? How does the DHC react? The spectators?

Chapter 11
1. Why does John become popular, but not Linda?
2. How does Bernard’s life change? How does he react? What does Helmholtz think?
3. How does Linda spend her time?
4. How does Bernard talk in public?
5. What does Mustapha Mond think of Bernard’s reports?
6. What does John think of the caste system? Of the clones? How does he use The Tempest now?
7. What do we learn about the reservations at Eton? What does John think?
8. How do the children respond to dying? Why?
9. How does Lenina feel about John?
10. What does John think about the feelies? Why?

Chapter 12
1. Why does John decide not to come to Bernard’s party? What does this mean for Bernard?
2. How does Lenina feel at the party? Why does she feel this way?
3. How does John feel? Why is he reading Romeo and Juliet?
4. What does it mean that Lenina likes looking at the moon now?
5. What role does Mustapha Mond play as a censor? Why des he do it? What does he censor? What does he really want?
6. How does Bernard’s position change? How do John and Helmholtz respond to Bernard now?
7. Why is Helmholtz in trouble with the authorities? What has he done that is dangerous, and why is it dangerous? Why did he do it? What does he want?
8. What does Helmholtz think of Shakespeare? Romeo and Juliet?
9. What does Helmholtz think is necessary for good writing?

Chapter 13
1. What are the consequences of Lenina’s emotion? What is happening?
2. How does she feel for John? What does she do to get what she wants?
3. How does John feel for Lenina? What does he want to do to prove it?
3. How does John react to Lenina’s actions? Why does he respond this way? What did he want from her?

Chapter 14
1. What is the hospital for the dying like? What are the dying like?
2. Note the television. Recall TV did not exist as we know it in 1932.
3. Why is Linda dying?
4. What memories flood over John as he stands before his mother? Why these particular memories? What are his memories of the “other place”? What role does memory play in civilization?
5. Why are the Delta children at the hospital? What does John think of this?
6. Why isn’t death terrible for those in the civilized world? What does this mean for the individual?

Chapter 15
1. The title phrase recurs here. How is it used differently than before? What does it mean now?
2. Why does John decide to interfere with the soma distribution? Why does he say it is poison?
3. What is John’s conception of slavery and freedom? Manhood? Liberty?
4. What does he think of the Deltas to whom he delivers his speech?
5. What roles do Bernard and Helmholtz play here? What does this tell us about their characters?
6. How does the soma riot end? What does it mean to be happy and good?

Chapter 16
1. How would you describe Bernard’s behavior in this chapter? Why does he act this way?
2. Why doesn’t John like civilization?
3. Why does Mond say old and beautiful things are forbidden?
4. Why can’t tragedies be written now? What is necessary for tragedy?
5. What does art mean in the new world? What can’t it mean? What is Helmholtz’s role?
6. What does Mond say is the role of liberty? Happiness? Stability? Truth and Beauty?
7. How does Mond explain the caste system? Do you agree?
8. What would happen with an entire society of Alphas?
9. Why must science be constrained? Progress? Do you agree?
10. What choice did Mond make as a young physicist? Why? What is his real position?
11. Why does Helmholtz make the choice he makes?


Chapter 17
1. Why does Mond want to talk with John alone? What do they talk about?
2. What is the significance of their discussion of religion? What does John argue religion can give to civilization? Why does Mond argue that it is unnecessary and potentially dangerous?
3. What does Mond believe is the role of God? How is it related to the self?
4. What role does solitude play in spirituality?
5. How does John argue that the civilized man has been degraded? From what and to what?
6. What are your conceptions of the roles of self-denial, chastity, nobility, heroism? What would John or Mond say?
7. What role does Mond say soma plays in this? What is an “opiate of the masses”?
8. What does it mean “to suffer the sling and arrows of outrageous fortune” or oppose them?
9. What does John mean by saying that nothing in civilization costs enough?
10. In saying no to civilization, what does John say yes to? Would you make the same decision?

Chapter 18
1. How does John purify himself?
2. Where does he go, and what does he plan to do there?
3. Does this represent a healthy alternative from society?
4. Why the self-flagellation?
5. What are his thoughts of Lenina?
6. What makes the film so popular back in London?
7. What does Lenina want? What does John think she wants?
8. How does the crowd respond? What happens that evening? What becomes of Lenina?
9. What is John’s decision? Why does he make it? Were there alternatives?

Overall
1. How do you know who you are? 2. Is this a utopia or a dystopia? What might this decision entail?
3. How is this related to E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops”? Modern Times?
4. What is so special about Ford or Freud?
5. At what price happiness?
6. What should be the goal of any society?
7. Who has power here?
8. How is stability maintained?
9. What role does the individual play in this society? How is that individual defined?
10. Who is the stability good for?
11. From whose point of view are we seeing this society?
12. What point of view does John represent?
13. Isn’t this “peace on earth and goodwill towards men”?
14. What would you be willing to give up for world peace, an end to poverty, hunger, etc.?
15. What would you consider to be a utopia?

http://wiki.english.ucsb.edu/index.ph...


message 5: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1216 comments Interesting that the book description uses the word utopia.
Utopia:
—n
(sometimes not capital) any real or imaginary society, place, state, etc, considered to be perfect or ideal

I've read two chapters and see nothing perfect or ideal about it!


message 6: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17741 comments The book I think can be categorized as satire.

Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement.[1:] Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satire

So, it's really a Distopia.

A dystopia (from Ancient Greek: δυσ-: bad-, ill- and Ancient Greek: τόπος: place, landscape) (alternatively, cacotopia,[1:] or anti-utopia) is, in literature, an often futuristic society that has degraded into a repressive and controlled state, though under the guise of being utopian.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distopia


message 7: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17741 comments Julie, like you, I've read the first two chapter. I hope to read more tonight. It seems like my type of book.

Comment on Chapter 1 & 2

I like the way he puts in little things. For example BF before the date. Also instead of exclaiming oh God ! The character says Oh Ford !

In chapter 2 we see the how the hate for books and flowers is created. And also how the sleeping children are "conditioned" as they sleep. It made me think of the song from South Pacific.

"You've got to be taught To hate and fear, You've got to be taught From year to year, It's got to be drummed In your dear little ear You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid Of people whose eyes are oddly made, And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade, You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late, Before you are six or seven or eight, To hate all the people your relatives hate, You've got to be carefully taught!"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You'...

I am sure you all know Ivan Pavlov(1849-1936), He won the Nobel Prize in 1904. BNW published in 1932 so the idea of Behaviorism was still fairly new.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Pavlov
Pavlov is widely known for first describing the phenomenon of classical conditioning.

And lastly, I really like how he is bringing consumerism in to the mix. I am big into books on simplicity and mindless consumerism, so this struck a nerve with me. Even though I will admit to my share in the madness. The way Huxley describes Consumerism it seems like a merry-go-round that we can't get off or the whole thing collapses. Not the positive way it often is viewed by some today. The confusion of needs and wants. The drive to acquire more and more, with no end in sight. The need to have the latest thing. The unbelievable waste as we throw away perfectly good things: clothes, food, and other consumer items to acquire new things. I can't tell you how many perfectly good TV's I've seen thrown away as people replace them with even bigger TV's. Okay...okay....I'll get off my soap box. ....for now ! :)


message 8: by Mike (new)

Mike (mikesgoodreads) | 294 comments Chapter 1

I only got through the first chapter today. I'm a slow reader and I will probably re-read the first chapter again along without the second tomorrow. But I wanted to post something as it's the official start date of the read.

1. Why is the first sentence strange? What does it set up?
Describes building as "only thirty-four stories". A world where skyscrapers have become common?

2. What is the meaning of the World State’s motto “COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY?”
Because your life is preprogrammed there is nothing to disturb the way things happen? I'm not sure.

3. Why does the fertilizing room look so cold, when it ia actually hot inside? What goes on there?
It's a hatchery for humans. Right?

4. Why do particulars “make for virtue and happiness,” while generalities “are intellectually necessary evils?”
I'll have to get back to this one. Maybe it's like they want no deviation at all from the set plan?

5. How do people know who they are in this society?
Their identity is genetically inbred?

6. Why use the Bokanovsky process at all? How is it an instrument “of social stability?”
It controls your behavior, your destiny, and all like that?

7. Why don’t the Epsilons “need human intelligence?”
They are drones.

My first chapter scribblings...

I noticed the students who are scribbling away as the director talks are described as a group of "boys". At first I thought maybe Huxley's future had become patriarchal. But perhaps it was actually a conception based on the time when he wrote the book. Perhaps I am reading too much into it.

"Fretsawyers"?
Not a word in the dictionary.
Found a site named for the phrase though... http://philandfret.blogspot.com/

"Like chickens drinking"
I like the allusion.

"freemartins?"

As y'all know, this is my first ever read-along discussion ever. I'll probably be pointing out some mundane things that struck me as I read this. I'm purposely not googling questions, perceived misconceptions and etcetera, I have as I read so I will not just parrot what I learn there. So, if my posts sound like a "beta-minus" wrote them sometimes, so be it.  


message 9: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1216 comments Alias Reader wrote: "I like the way he puts in little things. For example BF before the date. Also instead of exclaiming oh God ! The character says Oh Ford !

I was a little slow in "getting" the Ford thing. I kept wondering what A.F. could possibly mean. They continue to mention it in chapter 3. I think "Lord" is a more accurate translation than "God" since they even refer to someone as His Fordship so-and-so.


message 10: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments I think the point of "Ford" as Lord, or God, or whatever you would like to call it -- is that now you are in a society that worships machines. And Ford was the inventor of the assembly line methods that allowed everyone to be able to afford to buy a car.

It is pointed out that they don't want children just playing with a ball and a stick. They want them to play with something that requires manufacturing -- something that you would have to buy -- because that increases consumerism which is what the economy is based on.

And yes, they want no deviation from the set plan.


message 11: by Alias Reader (last edited Sep 02, 2010 07:44AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17741 comments I've read chapter 3, so my answers may be off base as things won't become clearer until later in the book.

Mike wrote:

1. Why is the first sentence strange? What does it set up?
Describes building as "only thirty-four stories". A world where skyscrapers have become common?
------------

This went right over my head. Thanks for pointing it out. Is the # 34 important or is it that the Hatchery is small to be inconspicuous? Don't know yet.
----
Mike:2. What is the meaning of the World State’s motto “COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY?”
Because your life is preprogrammed there is nothing to disturb the way things happen? I'm not sure.
----
~Community vs. individuality- Individuality is frowned upon. And they seem to try to bred it out

~Identity- people only have the identity that is given them or bred into them?

~Stability- I'm not sure but it seemed they are at a point where they want to just keep things constant. Change is bad. The population seems to be just where they they want it to be. It's all planned. So when they say there was an earthquake and many died, they just ramped up people production to get to the status quo.

--------
Mike:3. Why does the fertilizing room look so cold, when it ia actually hot inside? What goes on there?
It's a hatchery for humans. Right?
---------
It's cold because they've taken out all uncertainty. It's become just a scientific process. Love is not part of the equation. Science is certainly not viewed in a positive light in BNW. It's been taken to the extreme.
---------
Mike: 4. Why do particulars “make for virtue and happiness,” while generalities “are intellectually necessary evils?”
I'll have to get back to this one. Maybe it's like they want no deviation at all from the set plan?
---------
Perhaps generalities allow for uniqueness and they don't want that.
---------

Mike: 5. How do people know who they are in this society?
Their identity is genetically inbred?
-----------

It's a caste system. They are engendered into one of these groups. Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas & Epsilons.
-----------

Mike:

I noticed the students who are scribbling away as the director talks are described as a group of "boys".
-----------
Interesting. Maybe girls are not engineered into the higher castes?

Fretsawyers"?

- The sentence reads:
"Not philosophers but fretsaywers..."
Fret= to worry... maybe worry unproductively?
Sawyer- form of soothsayer? See into the future
So people who worry about the future?

"freemartins?"
Free martins cannot reproduce.
Free from reproduction concerns?
Martins= ?

Thanks for doing the chapter question, Mike. This made me look at the first chapter much more closely.


message 12: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17741 comments Chapter 3

I really liked how the various slogans and random sentences made up this chapter. It's well done.

The slogan reminded me of viral marketing or ideas in todays world.
Richard Dawkin coined the word meme for this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme
meme is a unit of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes, in that they self-replicate and respond to selective pressures.

The British scientist Richard Dawkins coined the word "meme" in The Selfish Gene (1976) as a concept for discussion of evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. Examples of memes given in the book included melodies, catch-phrases, beliefs (notably religious beliefs), clothing fashion, and the technology of building arches.

It sort of fits with the slogan in the book "62,400 repetitions make one truth."
That might help explain when polls are taken and people have actual facts incorrect.

I'm reading a book on Joe McCarthy, in it he noted that the important thing is to get your idea out there first. People never remember the rebuttal.

This sentence "There were those strange rumours of old forbidden books hidden in a safe in the Controller's study. Bibles, poetry- Ford knew what."

I thought I would point out that September 25−October 2, 2010
is Banned Book Week
"Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States."
http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy...


message 13: by Alias Reader (last edited Sep 02, 2010 08:01AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17741 comments I was a little slow in "getting" the Ford thing. I kept wondering what A.F. could possibly mean. Julie wrote:
------------

I've read chapters 1-3

I am assuming AF is After Ford. But I was a bit confused because Ford is still alive. So I am guessing it means After Ford took control.


message 14: by Julie (last edited Sep 02, 2010 09:01AM) (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1216 comments Bobbie57 wrote: "I think the point of "Ford" as Lord, or God, or whatever you would like to call it -- is that now you are in a society that worships machines. And Ford was the inventor of the assembly line methods..."

From wikipedia:
Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947), a prominent American industrialist, supporter of workers' welfare and pacifism, was the founder of the Ford Motor Company and father of modern assembly lines used in mass production. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. As owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with "Fordism", that is, mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers. Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace.

Definately fits in with the book's value of consumerism. Also, even humans are "manufactured" in mass production in the book.


message 15: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1216 comments Alias Reader wrote: "1. Why is the first sentence strange? What does it set up?
Describes building as "only thirty-four stories". A world where skyscrapers have become common?
------------

This went right over my head. Thanks for pointing it out. Is the # 34 important or is it that the Hatchery is small to be inconspicuous? Don't know yet.
"


Maybe its just part of the whole bigger is better attitude? They talk about simple toys being crazy and things in chapter 3. Big compliated toys, big complicated buildings....


message 16: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1216 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Mike:3. Why does the fertilizing room look so cold, when it ia actually hot inside? What goes on there?
It's a hatchery for humans. Right?
---------
It's cold because they've taken out all uncertainty. It's become just a scientific process. Love is not part of the equation. Science is certainly not viewed in a positive light in BNW. It's been taken to the extreme.
"


I actually missed anything in the book about it looking cold in there, but when I saw the question, this is pretty much what immediately came to mind. cold=emotionless. Babies from science rather than relationships.


message 17: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1216 comments Alias Reader wrote: "
------------

I've read chapters 1-3

I am assuming AF is After Ford. But I was a bit confused because Ford is still alive."


Is he?


message 18: by Alias Reader (last edited Sep 02, 2010 10:02AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17741 comments Julie wrote: "Bobbie57 wrote: "I think the point of "Ford" as Lord, or God, or whatever you would like to call it -- is that now you are in a society that worships machines. And Ford was the inventor of the asse..."

---------------

Yes, note many of the historical names in the book.
Ford, Marx, Lenina,Freud, Trotsky etc.

The one that doesn't seem to fit is Henry Foster. Is Foster a historical figure? Or is the Henry from Henry Ford?

Also Mustapha Mond. Mond "1. The world; a globe as an ensign of royalty"


message 19: by Alias Reader (last edited Sep 02, 2010 10:06AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17741 comments Julie wrote: "Alias Reader wrote: "
------------

I've read chapters 1-3

I am assuming AF is After Ford. But I was a bit confused because Ford is still alive."

Is he?"

----------------
I thought he was in Chapter 3. Maybe I am misreading and they are only quoting him. Perhaps I am confusing Fordship Mustapha Mond with Ford. Sorry !

Edit:-- I see the sentence that confused me.
Chapter 3
The D.H.C. looked at him nervously. There were those strange rumours of old forbidden books hidden in a safe in the controller's study. Bibles, poetry- Ford knew what."

I realize now the author was substituting Ford again for God. as in -only God new what was in the study.

When I read it the first go around, I thought it was Ford a character in the novel.- as in _ Mr. Ford knew what was in the study.

Sorry !! I misread it the first time. Thanks for catching that. Have I confused you all enough ?? LOL


message 20: by J (new)

J (blkdoggy) | 131 comments In the middle of chapter 4.
In chapter 3 " Ending is better than mending. The more stitches the less riches"

Don't we get the same messages in commercials ?
Buy this car/these clothes this jewelery ?
And look cool/ wealthy/ successful ?
I love the commercial 'He went to Jareds' a. 'He' men must give jewelry to women to show they care. b. If it's not expensive 'he' does not love me.
Buy Cadillac - Give yourself luxury and POWER!!

Love the references- Shes' really pneumatic


message 21: by Jan (new)

Jan | 18 comments " Ending is better than mending. The more stitches the less riches"

Boy, if this doesn't say everything. Calling Dr. Kevorkian!


message 22: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1216 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Sorry !! I misread it the first time. Thanks for catching that. Have I confused you all enough ??

The end of chapter 3 was more confusing than you are. :-)


message 23: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17741 comments Jorge wrote: "In the middle of chapter 4.
In chapter 3 " Ending is better than mending. The more stitches the less riches"

Don't we get the same messages in commercials ?
..

Love the references- Shes' really pneumatic
."

----------------

Yes, this is one of the prescient things about BNW.

She's really pneumatic ...,LOL It reminds me of something that you would see they guys from Waynes World say.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne...


message 24: by Mike (new)

Mike (mikesgoodreads) | 294 comments Chapter 2

2. Why condition the Deltas to hate nature but love outdoor sports?
They'd still buy cars. They'd hate nature but be drawn out of the cities and "outdoor sports" always needed  "stuff" for them to buy to be played. So, it was all about selling them stuff.  

3. How does time work in this book? History? Why does Ford say “History is Bunk?”
I'm not sure about the bunk statement. But I know that history is very subjective to them. Maybe that's it.

4. What are the various castes like, and why?
They each wear their own color, are similar physically, and think alike. It's so they'll stay within their own castes

5. How do the students demonstrate their own conditioning?
They quote things fed to them by hypnopaedia about soma and other things. Lenina expresses some reservations about promiscuity but then remembers "everyone belongs to everyone else".

My random notes on chapter 2..,

I read a article once claiming that a person's height does pay a role in their "success" in life. Or it was saying that people, I think it was focused on men, who were taller were higher wage earners and generally more affluent, all that. 

"Suffer the children". Giving the director Christ like reverence.

So far I love this book. Huxley's writing (prose?) is great.


message 25: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments The person's height thing has also shown up in research on elections. Short people don't do as well as tall. Of course that probably wasn't noticed so much before TV.

By the way -- I looked up something called cliffsnotes. They used to be in pamphlets to help you study for your school exams. Anyway -- now like everything else in our lives -- you can click on this wonderful site which gives you literature notes FREE.

It is www.cliffsnotes.com -- Then you click on literature and on the name of the book that you want. It has analysis and summaries chapter by chapter.

Henry Ford actually said "History is Bunk." Don't really know what that was about.

Barbara


message 26: by madrano (new)

madrano | 10359 comments I wanted to add the same thing Barbara noted, Henry Ford actually said, "History is Bunk." Here's a note about the statement. http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/18...

deb


message 27: by Jan (new)

Jan | 18 comments >>www.cliffsnotes.com<<

Thank you for this link, Barbara. I hadn't heard of it before. I put it in my favorite places.


message 28: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1216 comments Jan wrote: ">>www.cliffsnotes.com<<

Thank you for this link, Barbara. I hadn't heard of it before. I put it in my favorite places."


Cool! Thanks Barbara


message 29: by Alias Reader (last edited Sep 03, 2010 09:50AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17741 comments For many books, especially classics, all you have to do is Google- Notes and the title of the book.

You will get all the various Notes (including Cliffs). Personally, I like Pink Monkey.

That said, I usually just use these sites to print out a character list. As for their analysis, what I will sometimes do is read a few chapters of the book, than read the notes to see if I missed anything. I don't like to read the notes first and have them color my views.


message 30: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments Alias -- that is pretty funny because I do the same thing. As in -- read the book and then read the notes.
Reading the notes first spoils it.


message 31: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1084 comments madrano wrote: "I wanted to add the same thing Barbara noted, Henry Ford actually said, "History is Bunk." Here's a note about the statement. http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/18...

deb"


Thanks Deb,
OK -- so it appears that he meant that one should live in the present not in the past. I agree, however, I don't think that precludes knowing history.


message 32: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17741 comments Bobbie57 wrote: "Alias -- that is pretty funny because I do the same thing. As in -- read the book and then read the notes.
Reading the notes first spoils it."


-----------

Great minds....and all that. ;)


message 33: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17741 comments Bobbie57 wrote:
OK -- so it appears that he meant that one should live in the present not in the past. I agree, however, I don't think that precludes knowing history...."
--------------

I agree 100% with you, Barbara. How would we avoid making the same mistakes over and over again?

As to the phrase in the context of the book, they've brainwashed the populace. They don't want them thinking or philosophizing about anything. That only leads to questioning. It's better to have a clean slate and not look back on history. Unless it is to degrade the way things were.


message 34: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1216 comments Alias Reader wrote: "As to the phrase in the context of the book, they've brainwashed the populace. They don't want them thinking or philosophizing about anything. That only leads to questioning. It's better to have a clean slate and not look back on history. Unless it is to degrade the way things were."

Yep. They might get too many ideas if they think about something other than the way things are now for them. That wouldn't work too well with the brainwashing.


message 35: by J (new)

J (blkdoggy) | 131 comments Thank you ladies for the links. Kewl Pink Monkey, I's like da name. I was actually going to look on B&N for the cliff notes.
In reference to the 'History is Bunk' I was thinking the same thing, not to live in the past but look to the future. But lest we forget.
'Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it' George Santanaya


message 36: by J (new)

J (blkdoggy) | 131 comments Julie wrote: "Alias Reader wrote: they've brainwashed the populace. They don't want them thinking or philosophizing about anything.

That's always been my problem I think too much and question everything. Not a good mix with religion or government. : )



message 37: by Mike (last edited Sep 05, 2010 04:45PM) (new)

Mike (mikesgoodreads) | 294 comments Chapters 3,4 and 5

Chapter 3
1. How do the children play together? What is childhood like?
They are made to be sexual with each other. I think it's so the are conditioned to feel like their bodies are not theirs bit everybodys. They are conditioned to likes and dislikes, certain behaviors and mindsets in brutal and insidious ways. "They'll be safe from books and botany all their lives". Craaa eeee peeee!

2. How is our world depicted? How do we get from here to there?
Dirty, barbaric, and backward. There were descriptions of a family were it was like a squalid germ factory. Which it sorta is, LoL. I don't mean that the way it might sound but, you know, life is messy. It's like when I drink water from the tap I expect it not to be 100% pure. Who knows what's all in there. But it's refreshing just the same. Thing about a society like that, if a germ ever did get loose they'd drop like flies. Immune systems are like muscles I think. In BNW they have a sterile, cold and high strung (without the soma) existence.        

3. Why must games be so complex in this society?
To increase consumerism.

4. Why are strong emotions dangerous? Family relationships? Romance? Religion? Art? Culture?
String emotions would likely be a monkey wrench in the machinery. All that give one a sense of individuality. It's all "unproductive".

5. How is sexuality used in this novel? Do you see any problems with it?
Monogamy is considered bad, I don't know, selfish maybe, and they feel threatened if they desire to be with only one person. From my perspective woman are objectified but that is ever present right here in our "scared old world". Really I guess both genders are objectified in the book. I can't word exactly what I mean here. One problem with sexuality I see in the book is ideally ones own sexual behavior should be in alignment with their own morals or value system. I just now realized that one thing about sexuality in the society is it's never for procreation.

6. What does Mustapha Mond do? What is his relationship to history?
Well, let's see, he's the Ford-Ship lolly pop but he ain't on no sweet trip to a candy shop. He's a big wig and people see him as a sort of god. I think he might be a hypocrite but let me stick to what I know here. He's one of the ten world controllers. The "one of the ten" was emphasized for some reason. I don't get exactly get the question about his relationship to history. He tows the line and all. I am confused about the exchange between him and the D.H.C., Forbidden books were mentioned in that part. I know they belong to Mond but I felt like the full meaning of the exchange eluded me. The forbidden book mystery has me thinking he clearly sees what is really happening, he's not blinded by conditioning, but would never enlighten another.      

7. Is there anything unusual about Lenina Crowne? Bernard Marx? What? Why?
Lenina seems to almost see the truth. Deep down she doesn't really want to "belong to everyone else". She is attracted to Bernard I think partly because of his smallness and his uniqueness. She says once he's like a little creature she wants to pet or something. Bernard is inferior because he thinks he is inferior. And he is, but you know what I mean. But I guess the unusual thing about him is they screwed up hatching him and he's sorta stuck between castes. And even the lower castes intimidate him. He's not a happy camper like his peers seem to be. The conditioning didn't work on him correctly.

8. How does Huxley use the cinematic technique toward the end of this chapter?
Huh?

9. What is soma? What are its uses?
Soma is some real good dope. It's used to keep reality at bay.

Chapter 4
1. What is life like for the Epsilon-Minus Semi-Moron who runs the elevator?
This part creeped me out. Poor little guy. Always going up and down and must be reminded to do so. He suddenly remembers what the roof and fresh air is when the doors open up there.

2. How do the other Alphas relate to Bernard?
He's a depressing inferior. Rumored to be so by a mistake in his test tube phase.

3. What does Lenina do on her date?
They played obstacle golf or something. I know they went to a country club type place. 

4. What does she think of the lower castes?
She glad she's not in the lower castes. She didn't really express any strong views about them that I remember. 

5. Why is Bernard the way he is? What does he really want?
Accident in tube birth. He wants a woman and respect but he also wants to just be left alone. He has no place je feels comfortable. 

6. Why is Helmholtz the way he is? What does he want? How is he different from Bernard?
Accident in tube birth too but made him too good. He wants to be able to quit dumbing down his work. Everything is too easy for him.  

Chapter 5
1. What do Lenina and Henry talk about on their way home? What happens at the crematorium?
They use the bodies to get phosphorus I think. The talk about how lesser castes don't make good on this final payment.    

2. Why are stars depressing?
I comprehended he was saying the stars were depressing but the why of it I didn't get.

3. What are the solidarity services like? What role do they play? How does Bernard fit?
It's like a wacky religious service. I am not getting what role they play. He doesn't fit. He doesn't like it, placates his way through it and leaves repulsed and fixated about a woman's unibrow.

My thoughts...
The book is kind of losing me. At first it was real interesting but now with the who's gonna date who stuff I'm not as into it but I feel like it's gonna pick back up starting from chapter 6 on.

I re-read chapters 1 and 2 again and I got more of how creepy it was that the word mother and concept of one was obscene. Huxley really me sort of squirm. And about the Epsilon-Minus Semi-Moron who runs the elevator, it was just paragraph or two but he made me feel a strong compassion or similar feeling about the creature. Just that little piece really drew me in to it. 


message 38: by Mike (new)

Mike (mikesgoodreads) | 294 comments Bobbie57 wrote: "The person's height thing has also shown up in research on elections. Short people don't do as well as tall. Of course that probably wasn't noticed so much before TV.

By the way -- I looked up s..."


I've looked up Henry Ford and can't find anything but I thought there was controversy about him, maybe not. I am getting confused here too but Henry Ford must of not relished the fact that he was in this book. But the calendar in BNW does start when he invented a car, right?


message 39: by Mike (new)

Mike (mikesgoodreads) | 294 comments I googled up one interesting idea about the Ford connection...

"Brave New World is an Utopian society. During World War I, Henry Ford ventured to Europe in an attempt to stop the war, showing his love of universal peace. From this, we can see that Ford was not only a very influential person in transportation, but also tried to establish a 'perfect' world in which World War I would be ended as soon as possible. For this reason, I believe Ford's peace beliefs influenced Huxley's choice to date his new society from Ford."

Clipped from here... 
http://knol.google.com/k/tim-hung/hen...#


message 40: by madrano (new)

madrano | 10359 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Bobbie57 wrote:
OK -- so it appears that he meant that one should live in the present not in the past. I agree, however, I don't think that precludes knowing history...."
--------------

ALIAS REPLIED: "I agree 100% with you, Barbara. How would we avoid making the same mistakes over and over again?..."


Indeed. Jorge quoted Santanaya, which is where my thoughts landed, as well.

Mike, i thought the controversy about Ford was that he embraced eugenics. Or maybe that's just one of several? Not sure.

deborah


message 41: by J (new)

J (blkdoggy) | 131 comments Chapter 5 Solidarity Services
Was it just me or was Huxley mocking religion in the narration of the solidarity services ? To me it felt as he was describing a revival, with people jumping up stating that they heard the footsteps. In addition I also would be spooked with the uni-brow. : )


message 42: by Mike (new)

Mike (mikesgoodreads) | 294 comments Jorge wrote: "Chapter 5 Solidarity Services
Was it just me or was Huxley mocking religion in the narration of the solidarity services ? To me it felt as he was describing a revival, with people jumping up stat..."


I got the same impression Jorge. He made the service seem so ridiculous but seemed to draw on some revivals where people are passing out, getting miraculous healed and all that. Like the ones where the preacher or whatever is a con man.


message 43: by Mike (new)

Mike (mikesgoodreads) | 294 comments Chapter 6

1. Why is being alone a bad thing?

It may be that you are left to your devices, no one else is around to reinforce conditioning cliches. Also they are all like cells in a single body. They can not be allowed to become independent and self-reliant. They all need to stay dependent on each other.

2. What do Lenina and Bernard do on their first date? Why is the ocean important? The moon?

Lenina cries for one thing. They go into crowds while Bernard wants to be alone with her outside of the bedroom. He doesn't even want to sleep with her yet. He wants to "walk and talk" at first but she ain't having it. The ocean gives him a sense of himself. It gives him a feeling of "I" as opposed to "We". In this case he wanted to feel that feeling you get alone with someone and you feel like your the only two in the universe. The moon reference escaped me. But I guess it's all about about when we look at the vastness of the ocean, the stars, the sky and all that, we see how small we are. And from that we see how big we really are. Or something.    

3. What does Bernard say about freedom? What does he mean?

I was unable to come up with an exact reference to this question in the chapter. It's seems an important point of course and want to explore it.

4. How does the date end?

He finally surrenders to the fact that he is not going to find the emotional connection he desires with her. He's physically attracted to her, sure, but he wants to get to know her, share thoughts and feelings, be her friend. But again, she ain't having it. I get the feeling she can almost understand what he is saying and would want that in her life but the conditioning keeps kicking in and then the subconscious fear, numbed desperation, and perverted altruism take over. So, giving in, Bernard ogles her on the way home and then takes soma and has sex with her. She's relieved he's finally conforming to the expected behavior and not making her feel uncomfortable.    

5. What does it mean to be infantile in this society?

To have and show emotion. To allow yourself to be vulnerable. To be independent. To be introspective. To not be numbed. To not conform.  

6. How does the director feel about Bernard? Why is he warning him?

He has contempt for him. But beyond that he's tripping because he told that he was once maybe falling in love with a yellow (he thinks) haired Beta-Minus (again, he thinks. He's for sure she was real pneumatic) woman while on a camping trip with her. And that he had strong emotions in general about a big storm where he got hurt and she was probably killed. So he's giving Bernard a stern warning about possible consequences of his behavior to lessen the significance of his own emotional behavior. He's doing this to regain his dominance and diminish an embarrassing confidence he shared with Bernard. I also felt like the warning was to put fear into Bernard about talking about the interaction. Cool thing is, this empowers Bernard.      

7. What does his story mean? What does it show us about him?

The director sees the truth. He knows what's happening. At least he has glimpses of it. He has strong emotions and knows he must hide them. He is not fully conditioned either.  

8. How does Helmholtz feel about Bernard after he hears the story of the meeting with the director?

Bernard walked away empowered from the meeting like I mentioned above but I felt like he lost the empowerment with bravado. He even told a lie, an embellishment, of the way he handled his departure from the meeting. Helmholtz likes (and respects?) Bernard and sees that Bernard is unique. He sees that Bernard is emotionally more mature and open minded than all the others around him. But that only serves to make him embarrassed by Bernard's sort of childish gushing about the meeting. Helmholtz holds Bernard to a higher standard? I guess. The paradox of the two and the reasons the two like each other is interesting. And the paradox became clearer to me here.    

9. What do we learn from the Warden? What are the reservations like?

The people outside and inside the reservation are imprisoned. The people outside just don't know it. The people inside have a freedom unknown to those outside. They are born, have families, have religious freedom and all that. Life inside the reservation is yet to be revealed except from the Warden's and shuttle pilot's descriptions. To me, in some ways, these two view the people inside the reservation the way occupying armies often view the occupied people. And I think maybe Huxley was likely drawing on the Native American's plight to write this part of of the book.    

10. What does the word Malpais mean?

A rough and barren land in southwest, to quote the dictionary. Is there a deeper meaning to it in the book?

---------------

After feeling like the book was kind of dragging in chapters 4 and 5, chapter 6 drew me back in and the pages are turning easier again.  


message 44: by Mike (new)

Mike (mikesgoodreads) | 294 comments Chinese Experiment Seeks Secrets To Happiness
From NPR


Story here.. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...

BNW parallels perhaps?

Excerpt...
"Last year, a book called China Is Unhappy topped the best-seller lists in the Middle Kingdom. It was a nationalistic screed arguing that China should stop debasing itself and stand up to its critics. But is China really unhappy? And how can it become happier?

That's a question that a number of psychologists — as well as an entire Chinese town — are struggling to answer."



message 45: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17741 comments I am enjoying your responses to the questions, Mike. I agree with your replies.

I've just finished chapter 13.

I have a question about the names for the characters. If the idea is to make them forget the past or at the very least view it with contempt, why give people the names of famous people from the past?

Is it someone who is in charge, who knows the real deal with the "past" and it's their idea of an inside joke?


message 46: by Alias Reader (last edited Sep 06, 2010 04:54PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17741 comments It's interesting with all the latest science in the BNW, it is not perfected. People have to take Soma to be able to forget their unhappiness. They are also kept constantly busy. And if everything was grand in BNW "they" wouldn't need to brainwash everyone.

Which makes me think of the Alpa + people, even they need to take Soma and be brainwashed. If this is so, I wonder if there is some Oz like person behind the curtain. Someone who knows the real deal and is pulling all the strings.


message 47: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17741 comments Mike wrote: "Chapter 6

1. Why is being alone a bad thing?

It may be that you are left to your devices, no one else is around to reinforce conditioning cliches. Also they are all like cells in a single body. T..."

================

When I was at the point of your reply (chapter 6), I was dreading to learn what the "Savage Reservation" was all about.

Now that I know, I'll wait for you all to catch up a bit. I have A LOT of questions !

Huxley's views are not so black/white. I'm not sure what his thesis is in BNW. Perhaps when I finish it will be clearer.


message 48: by J (new)

J (blkdoggy) | 131 comments "What does the word Malpais mean?"

In Spanish you can brake it down to 2 words

'Mal' translating to 'Bad' and 'Pais' translating to 'Country'

I was wondering whether that was the acutal name of a town or Mr. Huxley knew some spanish or at least the meaning and purposely called it Bad Country.


message 49: by J (new)

J (blkdoggy) | 131 comments In my view this 'Brave New World' seems somewhat like Communism / Socialism. Where everything is controlled by the government, what you view on television and what you read. In addition the media and news sources are controlled, they tell you want they want you to know. Things are done for the 'revolution' or for the better of the country. Communism is taught early in school a sort of brainwashing.
I also feel that later on in the book it will be discovered that people higher up in the 'government' know or have information which is not allowed or know truths which have not been told to the masses.


message 50: by Julie (new)

Julie (readerjules) | 1216 comments Alias Reader wrote: "It's interesting with all the latest science in the BNW, it is not perfected. People have to take Soma to be able to forget their unhappiness. They are also kept constantly busy. And if everythi..."

I think this is because they are trying to go against human nature. It is natural for us to feel all kinds of emotions.


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