Monday, September 2, 2013

Brave New World

It is a world where everyone is conditioned to be happy in their caste, and their assigned jobs. If you experience momentary unhappiness, there is a pill for that. Diseases are taken care of during the gestation process, mother is a dirty word, and everyone is part of the all. The protagonist doesn't quite fit in. He recognizes all the trite phrases that people are conditioned to respond with. He doesn't like taking drugs to be happy, or the sports people participate in. He struggles to find his place in a uniform society when he is not the same.

Brave New World was about the idea of choosing what is more important to you. The freedom to live life how you choose, or safety. Removing all the problems has the negative consequence of removing true pleasure and happiness as well.

The characters were hard to like or get interested in because there wasn't much to them. I realize that was one of the points Huxley was making. There isn't much to interest you in a person if they are the same as everyone else. There are slight variances, but nothing really noteworthy in most of the characters' behavior.

There are only a few names the government assigns to people. I thought it was interesting that the names given are actually from famous figures. People that were involved with politics, economics, and technology. Some examples are: Lenin, Darwin, Ford, Rothschild, Marx, Napoleon, Diesel, and Helmholtz.

Some of the reasons this book has been banned or challenged are:

  •  anti-family
  •  offensive language
  •  anti-religion
  •  centers around negative activity
  •  sexually explicit scenes
  •  insensitivity
  •  racism
  •  making promiscuous sex look fun

I didn't care for the book. I didn't like the style of writing. Huxley took too long to get to his point. The way he wrote some of the chapters made it difficult to read, as they were broken up and choppy. I do think people should read it at least once, as a reminder of the need to periodically examine ourselves, and the society we live in.

1 comment:

  1. I read Brave New World when I was pretty young, and it was one of the first books that made me confront my comfort boundaries. Perhaps this has something to do with why I extrapolated so much meaning out of its imagery, and referred to it often in literature classes I later took.

    It would be interesting to read again. While I do think the book is quite laden with imagery that Huxley used intentionally, and that I still find potent (in my own interpretation), my views back then were overly simple. I admit I didn't realize at the time that Huxley was actually commenting on the affect of scientific advances on society, and placing such advances as the origin of his dystopia.

    I also didn't focus all that much on the writing style, but agree that some works, even among the classics, suffer from being sub-par in this category.