Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade September 2001

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Explore the ways in which Huxley and Eliot present Religion in their novels.

Aldous Huxley and George Eliot both wrote about societies in which individuality was a central issue. Huxley was the author of "˜Brave New World,' which was first published in 1932. He writes about a time far in the future, when people do not have the freedom to make their own decisions, but are forced to conform within a society that dictates how their lives should be run. Huxley himself was brought up in a very strict, disciplined manner, and this is reflected in his novel. Huxley's formative experiences lead him to explore how strict and intolerant human society could potentially become. It must also be recognised that politics and the development of socialism and communism was a key issue for writers of this period. Huxley was well aware that communist societies were seeking to eliminate religion. However, any utopian idea of a perfect society could easily become subverted into a dictatorship as could be seen in Russia at the time.

George Eliot, whose proper name was Mary Ann Evans, was born in 1819, almost one hundred years earlier than Huxley. Eliot wrote about a time before her own, when people still lived in small communities before the Industrial Revolution. She too had a difficult childhood. Religion was an important and integrated part of her life as she was growing up. However, in her novel "˜Silas Marner,' we find that Silas turns away from religion, feeling that is has failed him. Possibly, this is a portrayal of Eliot's own lack of faith, as she had developed atheist convictions prior to writing the novel. This essay will look at the key religious issues that are examined by both writers and make comparisons between them.

Religion is one...