Brave New World
by Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley was born in Surray, England on the date of July 26, 1894.
He went to Balliol College, Oxford. He wished to become a doctor, but an eye infection blinded him, and prevented him to endure his studies. He did exercises for his eyes, and with self-discipline eventually recovered from most of his infection and could somewhat see. Huxley resumed his studies at Oxford, and accomplished a degree in 1916.
In 1921, he began to travel down the road of creative writing, and he began expressing himself through poetry and short stories. There after, he began writing essays and novels. His works are said to "exhibit an interest in mysticism". He received the Award of Merit for the Novel from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in the year 1959.
Huxley married Maria Nys in 1919, and they had a child named Matthew.
Maria died in 1956, and Huxley married Laura Axchera. Huxley died November 22, 1963 in Los Angeles, California.
In the "Brave New World", year 632 after Ford (who invented mass-production), universal human happiness has been achieved. People are created in hatcheries and conditioned from the very beginning of their lives. They learn to hate books because they make people think. Love, marriage, monogamy and giving birth to a child is forbidden and disregarded. People are divided into five groups: alphas, betas, gammas, deltas and the least intelligent epsilons. The smallest doubts in the peoples minds are blown away with a drug called soma, that makes everybody happy instantly.
Bernard Marx is an alpha and meets Lenina Crowne (also an alpha) and persuades her to join him on a trip to the savage resort, where people that did not fit into the "brave new world" are brought.
They get to know John, a man that was born in a normal way and bring him to the civilized world as a celebrated guest. Everyday he is shown more details of this perfectly organised world when one day he can't stand it anymore and hangs himself.
Due to a productionfailure Bernard is small and very unattractive which makes it hard for him to find a lot of women. This is why he has an aversion to the system of "Brave New World". Not only his looks are different from the other alphas, also his character is peculiar. He likes to spend time on his own, think about life and is not as much funloving as all other people are. From time to time he also doubts whether soma, the ultimate happiness-drug is a good invention or not.
Lenina is very attractive and one of the most popular members of civilization. She has a tendency to date only one person at a time while monogamy is highly disregarded. Her friend Fanny often tells her to change her men more frequently but she always seems to feel a bit of love. She also felt love for John.
He was born in a normal way and has been living in the savage resort all his life. When he is taken to the "brave new world" he doesn't like it at all. He causes a lot of trouble there and even a riot until the "police" calms down everybody with soma. His impression of this new world is so abormal that he finally hangs himself.
the use of technology to control society:
In "Brave New World" the society is under total control. In our modern world, there are people that are very afraid of our near future because of controls. In the USA, every phonecall is monitored and recorded as soon as anybody says a word that appears in a certain list (e.g. "bomb"). Although this is not at all comparable to the "brave new world", the tendency that everything will be controlled by the government is already there. Let's hope that it will only help to prevent crime and nothing else (like we can see it in the film "public enemy nr.1", which is of course very unrealisitc but gives us ideas of what could happen very soon).
the freedom of the mind:
As soon as anybody has the smallest doubts upon the system, he is given soma which makes him forget and happy again. This point is actually very controversial because in the opionion of many people soma is a great thing. It makes people happy again and that is what counts. But still, they have no choice whether they want to be given soma or not. Afterwards they don't care.
The "brave new world" impressed me very much and I am still not sure what to think about this system. Actually, this utopia is great but it causes horrid illusions in most peoples minds. We are used to think what we like, to decide for ourselves what we do and what we do do not want to do. And we also know that we need ups AND downs to be completely happy. If we were happy all the time, our lives would become dreary at some stage. Soma changes the situation completely. If this is a drug that can make you happy all the time (and not only for a short while) it is just perfect. But inventing a drug to which the human body does not get used to at some stage is probably impossible. As soon as soma failed, the complete system of "brave new world" would crash completely. But as long as it works, it would be the paradise on earth for everyone that is lower than alpha.
I liked the book pretty much and can recommend it to everybody.