BBW Book: Brave New World

Brave New WorldBrave New World by Aldous Huxley

Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publish Date: June 1, 1989 (First published in 1932)
Series: Brave New World #1
ISBN: 0060809833
ISBN-13: 9780060809836
2010 Challenged title
Reasons: insensitivity, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit

Synopsis: “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.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I remember reading this book in junior high. It wasn’t assigned for class or anything, but we were challenged to read a book out of our comfort zone. Having attended a Catholic school, you can imagine my excited thirteen-year-old self going to the library to pick out a book. I saw the cover of Brave New World and gravitated towards it. I had read Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and thought that maybe I could love this book in the same way. I was right. It was everything I hoped for, and more.

Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World sets in London, about six hundred years After Ford. For those of you who have not read it, this is set in the future. Huxley has deemed human life to be controlled by the head rules of the World State. In a world where material comfort and physical pleasure are the only concerns, life appears simple but without a deeper meaning.

We are introduced to Bernard Marx, who Huxley describes as an Alpha-Plus psychologist. Bernard is the only person who isn’t happy in this perfect world. In Huxley’s society of perfectly flawless people, Bernard’s flaw makes him an easy target for ridicule. There are rumors that undermines his status. But fortunately, Bernard has managed to woo Lenina Crowne, a pneumatic beauty, to a week vacation at the remote Savage Reservation in New Mexico.

From here on out, the perfect stops and chaos begins.

Bernard Marx is the earlier main character. He’s flawed but appears to be perfect. I felt compassion for him, but I also think that deep down inside, I was disgusted by him. Huxley did a great job with his writing, allowing my feelings and emotions to transition as the events took place.

John the Savage represents a unique human, alone in this perfectly crafted word and the only one with an identity and a family relationship unlike any other character. To me, John is the most important character, and funny enough, is the most complex. He’s the balance to Bernard being the complete opposite. He is the sole voice who does not follow society’s trends and patterns.

I think  Brave New World was one of my first introductions to dystopia. The expectations of perfections crumbles and leads to utter chaos. Huxley crafted such an interesting future where people are content that it seemed unbelievable. A world without knowing passion or pain? A world where you are content after taking a few pills?

Brave New World was written in 1932, between World War I and World War II. He portrayed the future in which happiness was the universal goal. The message that resonates within the book still holds true to this day. Huxley bases the story on real principles and where ignorance is bliss.

If you haven’t read  Brave New World, I highly recommend it. If not to broaden your horizons in genre, then to challenge your forward thinking. It is a fantastic book that has a lot of meaning to me. I guarantee you will enjoy it.

 

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