Word Count: 750By: Aldous Huxley Brave New World opens in a technicallyadvanced future world. In the beginning of this book, we see the Director ofWorld Hatcheries lead the new hatchery students on a tour of aConditioning Center in London where babies are produced in bottles andpre-sorted to determine which class level they will be born into. Theseclass levelrange from Alpha-plus, the highest level, to Epsilon-minus,the lowest. There are no parents, and babies are conditioned from birthto learn certain behaviors. All diseases have been eliminated, and whenpeople are feeling down, they just take soma, a wonder drug. Also, people areconditioned from birth not to love one person, so there is no marriage andmost people have many lovers. There is no God; instead, Henry Ford isworshipped as the god Ford. Another accomplishment of this society is theelimination of aging. Bernard Marx has unorthodox viewpoints and is outcast as an eccentric. He likes being alone, but in this society being alone isdiscouraged. His isolation from society has made him very different fromeveryone else. His only friend is Helmholtz Watson, an accomplished intellectwho writes government propaganda. Watson has grown warof life asit is, and his supervisors have him under close watch. Two co-workersare discussing Lenina Crowne, another worker, in a changing room. Theyact as if she were property, able to be bought and sold. Bernard is disgustedby this, so he decides to ask Lenina to go to a Savage Reservation in NewMexico. Bernard visits the Director for permission to go. The Director tells astory of when he went to a Savage Reservation with Linda, a prettycolleague. During their visit,Linda was lost, and the Director had to leave. SoBernard and Lenina go to the Savage Reservation, which is inhabited by Indians.
They quickly find Linda among the Indians. At first they do not realizewho she is, but she explains what happened. Linda is aged and obese. Also,Linda has a son named John who is the Director’s child. John is educatedand mature, having read Shakespeare (forbidden in civilization). Bernard takesthe two back to London for study. Once back, Linda takes too muchsoma, so she falls into a coma. John is displayed by Bernard, who becomes a hero.
But “the Savage” (as John is called) is frightened by the new world he sees.
The fear and oppression he experiences make him long for his old life.
Lenina becomes infatuated with John, and her candid attempts to make himlove her end with his becoming angry at her openness. John vows never totake soma, or to succumb to civilization. John believes he can save himself ifhe avoids this brave new world. John enjoys conversations with Helmholtz,and Bernard becomes jealous. They soon realize that the three of themare different from the rest of society. At the bedside of his dying mother,John becomes enraged and throws the hospital soma supply out thewindow. Helmholtz and Bernard arrive, and Helmholtz helps John destroy thenarcotic. Bernard deserts the two and calls a guard. The three are taken to seeMustapha Mond, an elder wise man. Mond knows that all three harborrevolutionary minds, so he tells them that their only option is to live on an island withother such people. Mond then explains how society has developedwithoutpublic knowledge of history or literature. He explains that, inorder to keep society at a balance where everyone is happy, onlycertain people can read these books. The two men leave for the island, butJohn takes up residence in an abandoned lighthouse. He tries to “purify”himself from this awful society. Crowds soon come to see him, amongthem Lenina, whom he mauls terribly. He is given soma. When he awakens, herealizes what he has done, and he hangs himself. Huxley did an excellent job ofportraying the possible future. The most prominent theme is alienation.
Helmholtz, John, and Bernard were shunned for not having conventionalbeliefs. The future presented by Huxley is almost frightening, because in orderto achieve happiness, individuality and knowledge had to be sacrificed.
Huxley wrote this book to warn us. He wanted us to know that societyshould not be controlled, and that there is a price for a peaceful society.
Since society is still the same in the end, Huxley shows the samehopelessness that George Orwell showed in 1984. I liked this book because Huxleypaid attention to detail and created a thoroughly engrossing literarymasterpiece. Huxle “predictions” have begun to become reality. For instance,soma is strikingly similar to prozac. Huxley’s thinking was truly ahead of itstime.