This novel has always held a strange fascination for me. I have had this book in my collection for quite some time and do like to revisit it once in a while. The title alone brings up so many emotions and questions alone, even today it still feels ever so curious. First published in 1932, Brave New World is a dystopian story written by Aldous Huxley and in this post, I would too discuss some of the things I really enjoy about it.
First of all, these views are mine, I’m just discussing how the book makes me feel about it and thus, it could be completely different to what the author intended, but It’s how I like to enjoy my reading and thought process. Think of me as a Delta who is examining a piece of literature for the first time. I understand there is a rich background to this story regarding our own historical tapestry but I know there are far better people out there to discuss those elements; all I want to do is compare it to my own existence and how it affects me.
Brave New World is set in our future in the year AF632 which is set after the first model T-Automobile for the Ford Company leaves the production line. In this new world, we have a government called the World State. Right from the start, we are introduced to an almost Willy Wonka style factory, but instead of chocolates and sweets, it’s polished chrome, bleached floors and an almost sterile feel that leaves you feeling cold. Embryos sit in test-tubes ready for distribution, babies receiving shock therapy and children taught lessons in their sleep throughout every hour of the day. I will admit that the first few chapters of the book were very hard for me to read and I had to go back again until I understood what the author was describing. Once the children are ready for shipment, they are separated into a class system created by the government and put in into the correct locations in life.
The World State is a government that has helped restore humanity, but at what cost? Basically, those basic emotions we need in life are given to us in different and more efficient ways to help build a sustainable climate for everyone to live in. Loving one person is unknown and sharing people is a way to get your kicks, so to speak. There is a drug called soma that the people of this new civilization use daily to help ease any pains they feel. I must admit this isn’t something far from our own current situation in life as drugs, both illegal and prescribed take a huge grip on our own culture, not to forget shopping, alcohol and many many more vices that we are creating for ourselves.
The most enjoyable thing about this book to me is the characters and the way it looks at the human condition. I think it would be very difficult for me to try and give the story and plot justice as after the first few chapters, each line becomes much more important than the last. The secret of life is something most people ask themselves about every day, why are we here? This is where the World State fails because they think they can contain that curiosity. And fail they do ever so elegantly as some of the adults they have created start to ask themselves that very question I mentioned earlier. Not only do we get to meet characters for this new world but one or two from a world with no rules and very tribalistic upbringing and we watch as both collide in a glorious and a very disturbing way.
But what did I learn from this book? Well a hell of a lot really! I have learnt that nothing really changes in life. This book was written in 1932 and the questions asked in the book are still, if not even more relevant today as our own landscape changes ever so quickly before our eyes. It has helped me look at my own curiosity in life and my place in the universe because this class system is no different than the one that we live in today without realising. I started this blog over a year ago to help me look into films, book and other forms of art that I enjoy but find hard too, well put into words. Now I feel like that is becoming easier and my curiosity is becoming even greater for knowledge that is in our zeitgeist. I know this is a classic book that has been examined time and time again and will never stop. Well, I’m having a bit of it also, regardless of any academic background or position in life that I hold, that’s what this book has taught me so well.
Getting back to the story, more importantly, the ending. Well to me, technology and a more natural upbringing can be used very well if used if both are used in the right way. That does not happen at the end of this book for one of these characters at least. It actually left me with an uneasy feeling in my stomach with the way we have become so used to this digital and consumer age. Then we have the opposite end of the spectrum where your instincts could be almost animal like if you live a life with no rules and no guidelines to help you along the way. I suppose it’s about finding that sweet spot many people find right away or can spend a lifetime searching for. For me, that is why this book is so successful because it can mean a million different things to a million different readers. This isn’t the first time I have read this book and it won’t be the last and hopefully one day I can write something deeper, but for now, this is enough for me to start with. Hopefully If you have read the book you could get the points I have tried to make and if haven’t read it, I hope I have left you with enough curiosity to get yourself a copy and enjoy this wonderful story as well.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. I really enjoy writing but have struggled lately with worrying what some readers might think about it, but then I remembered why I started this site in the first place, just a place for me to write down my thoughts and share them with the world, no big deal. This book makes me value and appreciate that freedom to do that . . . . so much. – Adios
“I believe one would write better if the climate were bad. If there were a lot of wind and storms, for example…” – Helmholtz Watson.
Well, it has been a while since I actually sat down and wrote something and it feels great. My next post will be looking at My Journey into Science-Fiction Part 10, looking at the 1994 film Twelve Monkeys.