A brave new world by Aldous Huxley Title: In this novel Huxley describes a futuristic world and society so I don't think that the title needs further explanation.
When: The novel takes place in the year 2495 or in other words in 632 A.D. (after the birth of the American car magnate Henry Ford in 1863) Where: Actually there is no specific location where the novel takes place. It's more a mental construction of the general situation over the entire world.
This is a futuristic social novel. It describes the economy 500 years from now.
Before I go any further I would like to explain the way of life in that period. Humans are bred and conditioned by scientific methods to create a society in which people have peaceful, responsibly happy lives but no individual freedom or opportunity for passion. The human race is separated in 5 different classes: the Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons.
And they live their life according to these classes. For example: an alpha can work, as a director while an epsilon has to do the dirty work. But doesn't mind doing that work because he was thought to like it even before he was born. The word mother is considered disgusting because everyone is born out of a bottle. It is a world in which all aspects of individuality are discouraged and group unity is everything; a world in which faithfulness to one sexual partner is viewed with disapproval and in which unhappiness can be cured by a couple of Soma tablets (an Indian drug that makes people forget their troubles and be happy).
Characters: Bernard Marx: Member of the Psychology Bureau of the Central London Hatchery. He feels differently than other members of society, which is thought to be caused by an accidental dosage of alcohol into his blood surrogate while he was still in the tube.
Lenina Crowne: One of the most popular members of civilization. She is very attractive, and tends to date one person at a time rather that "everybody belongs to everybody".
She develops an obsession for John.
Helmholtz Watson: An Emotional Engineer of the civilization. He is very handsome and strong, and thus has lots of women. Throughout the story, he feels as though he has the power to say something important, and yet he doesn't know what to say.
Mustapha Mond: The resident controller for Western Europe. He knows everything about the history of civilization.
John (the savage): John was born in a reservation of social outcasts, better known as savages. His mother is Linda and his father is Thomas, the director of hatchery and conditioning. He does not adjust well to civilization.
Linda: Was left behind to live on the savage reservation when she accidentally got pregnant. She is disliked by civilization because of her aged body, which is something the civilization has never been exposed to.
D.H.C.: Director of Hatchery and Conditioning who gloats on his position. He reassigned when they found out that he is a father.
Fanny Crowne: Lenina's friend that reminds her of the standards and rules of society.
Plot: Bernard invites Lenina to join him at a savage reservation in New Mexico. But when he asks for permission to leave the Director of the Centre tells him that he also went to that reserve 20 years ago, with a girl called Linda. But one day Linda went for a walk and she disappeared.
When Bernard and Lenina go to the Savage Reservation they meet Linda and John who's the Director and Linda's son. Linda bumped her head when she went on that legendary walk and was recovered by a couple of hunters from the reservation.
They wouldn't allow her to leave anymore because she was pregnant and in the new world that was considered obnoxious.
Bernard, Lenina, Linda and John go to London and the director is so horrified and ashamed by the appearance of Linda and his son that he resins from his duty as director. There is a great deal of media attention for John, the savage, and it is only possible to meet John true Bernard therefore he becomes very popular.
However nobody is interested in Linda so she spends all her time eating Soma until she goes in a coma and dies. Linda's death affects John and he starts to misbehave; he throws Soma tablets out the window and together with the help of Helmholtz he tries to start raids against the new civilisation.
But unfortunately they're arrested by the police and taken to Mustapha Mond, the resident controller of Western Europe. He decides to sent Bernard and Helmholtz to an island where they will live with other people like them, people who feel their individuality and freedom. But he wants John to stay to continue experimenting with him.
John only wants to be alone and he decides to run away from that civilisation. He moves to an abandoned lighthouse. There he plans to live in a self-sufficient way. He gets in contact with his old religion again and tries to "purify"ÃÂ himself from the new world and ways. But he is soon to be recovered by reporters and they won't leave him alone. Finally as a last resort he commits suicide.
Opinion: I think that being without a worry doesn't necessarily mean that you're happy. To be happy you also have to be able to control your own life and make your own mistakes. I wouldn't want to live in the utopia that the author describes because everything is decided for you even before you're born.