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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Brave New World is a novel written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley and published in 1932. Set in London of AD 2540 (632 A.F. – "After Ford" – in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation, and operant conditioning that combine to profoundly change society. Huxley answered this book with a reassessment in an essay, Brave New World Revisited (1958) and with his final work, a novel titled Island (1962).
In 1999, the Modern Library ranked Brave New World fifth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. In 2003, Robert McCrum writing for The Observer listed Brave New World number 53 in "the top 100 greatest novels of all time", and the novel was listed at number 87 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.
Brave New World's title derives from Miranda's speech in William Shakespeare's The Tempest, Act V, Scene I:
O wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in't.
—William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act V, Scene I, ll. 203–206
This line itself is ironic; Miranda was raised for most of her life on an isolated island, and the only people she ever knew were her father and his servants, an enslaved savage, and spirits, notably Ariel. When she sees other people for the first time, she is understandably overcome with excitement, and utters, among other praise, the famous line above. However, what she is actually observing is not men acting in a refined or civilized manner, but rather drunken sailors staggering off the wreckage of their ship. Huxley employs the same irony when the "savage" John refers to what he sees as a "brave new world".
Translations of the title often allude to similar expressions used in domestic works of literature in an attempt to capture the same irony: the French edition of the work is entitled Le Meilleur des mondes ("The Best of All Worlds"), an allusion to an expression used by the philosopher Gottfried Leibniz and satirized in Candide, Ou l'Optimisme by Voltaire (1759).
Huxley wrote Brave New World in 1931 while he was living in Italy. By this time, Huxley had already established himself as a writer and social satirist. He was a contributor to Vanity Fair and Vogue magazines, had published a collection of his poetry (The Burning Wheel, 1916) and four successful satirical novels: Crome Yellow (1921), Antic Hay (1923), Those Barren Leaves (1925) and Point Counter Point (1928). Brave New World was Huxley's fifth novel and first dystopian work.
Huxley said that Brave New World was inspired by the utopian novels of H.G. Wells, including A Modern Utopia (1905) and Men Like Gods (1923). Wells' hopeful vision of the future's possibilities gave Huxley the idea to begin writing a parody of the novel, which became Brave New World. He wrote in a letter to Mrs. Arthur Goldsmith, an American acquaintance, that he had "been having a little fun pulling the leg of H. G. Wells," but then he "got caught up in the excitement of my own ideas." Unlike the most popular optimist utopian novels of the time, Huxley sought to provide a frightening vision of the future. Huxley referred to Brave New World as a "negative utopia" (see dystopia), somewhat influenced by Wells' own The Sleeper Awakes (dealing with subjects like corporate tyranny and behavioral conditioning) and the works of D. H. Lawrence.
George Orwell believed that Brave New World must be partly derived from the novel We by Yevgeny Zamyatin.
Huxley visited the newly opened and technologically advanced Brunner and Mond plant, part of Imperial Chemical Industries, or ICI, Billingham, United Kingdom, and gives a fine and detailed account of the processes he saw. The introduction to the most recent print[vague] of Brave New World states that Huxley was inspired to write the classic novel by this Billingham visit.
Although the novel is set in the future it deals with contemporary issues of the early 20th century. The Industrial Revolution had transformed the world. Mass production had made cars, telephones, and radios relatively cheap and widely available throughout the developed world. The political, cultural, economic and sociological upheavals of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the First World War (1914–1918) were resonating throughout the world as a whole and the individual lives of most people. Accordingly, many of the novel's characters are named after widely recognized, influential and in many cases contemporary people (see below).
Huxley used the setting and characters from his science fiction novel to express widely held opinions, particularly the fear of losing individual identity in the fast-paced world of the future. An early trip to the United States gave Brave New World much of its character. Not only was Huxley outraged by the culture of youth, commercial cheeriness, sexual promiscuity and the inward-looking nature of many Americans, he had also found a book by Henry Ford on the boat to America. There was a fear of Americanization in Europe. Thus seeing America firsthand, and from reading the ideas and plans of one of its foremost citizens, Huxley was spurred to write Brave New World with America in mind. The "feelies" are his response to the "talkie" motion pictures, and the sex-hormone chewing gum is a parody of the ubiquitous chewing gum, which was something of a symbol of America at that time.
In an article in the 4 May 1935 issue of the Illustrated London News, G. K. Chesterton explained that Huxley was revolting against the "Age of Utopias". Much of the discourse on man's future before 1914 was based on the thesis that humanity would solve all economic and social issues. In the decade following the war the discourse shifted to an examination of the causes of the catastrophe. The works of H. G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw on the promises of socialism and a World State were then viewed as the ideas of naive optimists.
After the Age of Utopias came what we may call the American Age, lasting as long as the Boom. Men like Ford or Mond seemed to many to have solved the social riddle and made capitalism the common good. But it was not native to us; it went with a buoyant, not to say blatant optimism, which is not our negligent or negative optimism. Much more than Victorian righteousness, or even Victorian self-righteousness, that optimism has driven people into pessimism. For the Slump brought even more disillusionment than the War. A new bitterness, and a new bewilderment, ran through all social life, and was reflected in all literature and art. It was contemptuous, not only of the old Capitalism, but of the old Socialism. Brave New World is more of a revolt against Utopia than against Victoria.
For Brave New World, Huxley unsurprisingly received nearly universal criticism from contemporary critics, although his work was later embraced. Even the few sympathetic critics tended to temper their praises with disparaging remarks.
The Introduction (Chapters 1–6)
The novel opens in London in 632 (AD 2540 in the Gregorian Calendar). The vast majority of the population is unified under the World State, an eternally peaceful, stable global society in which goods and resources are plentiful (because the population is permanently limited to no more than two billion people) and everyone is happy. Natural reproduction has been done away with and children are created, 'decanted' and raised in Hatcheries and Conditioning Centres, where they are divided into five castes (which are further split into 'Plus' and 'Minus' members) and designed to fulfill predetermined positions within the social and economic strata of the World State. Fetuses chosen to become members of the highest castes, 'Alpha' and 'Beta', are allowed to develop naturally while maturing to term in "decanting bottles", while fetuses chosen to become members of the lower castes ('Gamma', 'Delta', 'Epsilon') are subjected to in situ chemical interference to cause arrested development in intelligence or physical growth. Each 'Alpha' or 'Beta' is the product of one unique fertilized egg developing into one unique fetus. Members of lower castes are not unique but are instead created using the Bokanovsky process which enables a single egg to spawn (at the point of the story being told) up to 96 children and one ovary to produce thousands of children. To further increase the birthrate of Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons, Podsnap's Technique causes all the eggs in the ovary to mature simultaneously, allowing the hatchery to get full use of the ovary in two years' time. People of these castes make up the majority of human society, and the production of such specialized children bolsters the efficiency and harmony of society, since these people are deliberately limited in their cognitive and physical abilities, as well as the scope of their ambitions and the complexity of their desires, thus rendering them easier to control. All children are educated via the hypnopaedic process, which provides each child with caste-appropriate subconscious messages to mold the child's lifelong self-image and social outlook to that chosen by the leaders and their predetermined plans for producing future adult generations.
To maintain the World State's Command Economy for the indefinite future, all citizens are conditioned from birth to value consumption with such platitudes as "ending is better than mending," "more stiches less riches" i.e., buy a new item instead of fixing the old one, because constant consumption, and near-universal employment to meet society's material demands, is the bedrock of economic and social stability for the World State. Beyond providing social engagement and distraction in the material realm of work or play, the need for transcendence, solitude and spiritual communion is addressed with the ubiquitous availability and universally endorsed consumption of the drug soma. Soma is an allusion to a ritualistic drink of the same name consumed by ancient Indo-Aryans. In the book, soma is a hallucinogen that takes users on enjoyable, hangover-free "holidays". It was developed by the World State to provide these inner-directed personal experiences within a socially managed context of State-run 'religious' organizations; social clubs. The hypnopaedically inculcated affinity for the State-produced drug, as a self-medicating comfort mechanism in the face of stress or discomfort, thereby eliminates the need for religion or other personal allegiances outside or beyond the World State.
Recreational sex is an integral part of society. According to the World State, sex is a social activity, rather than a means of reproduction (sex is encouraged from early childhood). The few women who can reproduce are conditioned to use birth control, even wearing a "Malthusian belt" (which resembles a cartridge belt and holds "the regulation supply of contraceptives") as a popular fashion accessory. The maxim "everyone belongs to everyone else" is repeated often, and the idea of a "family" is considered pornographic; sexual competition and emotional, romantic relationships are rendered obsolete because they are no longer needed. Marriage, natural birth, parenthood, and pregnancy are considered too obscene to be mentioned in casual conversation. Thus, society has developed a new idea of reproductive comprehension.
Spending time alone is considered an outrageous waste of time and money, and wanting to be an individual is horrifying. Conditioning trains people to consume and never to enjoy being alone, so by spending an afternoon not playing "Obstacle Golf," or not in bed with a friend, one is forfeiting acceptance.
In the World State, people typically die at age 60 having maintained good health and youthfulness their whole life. Death isn't feared; anyone reflecting upon it is reassured by the knowledge that everyone is happy, and that society goes on. Since no one has family, they have no ties to mourn.
The conditioning system eliminates the need for professional competitiveness; people are literally bred to do their jobs and cannot desire another. There is no competition within castes; each caste member receives the same food, housing, and soma rationing as every other member of that caste. There is no desire to change one's caste, largely because a person's sleep-conditioning reinforces each individual's place in the caste system. To grow closer with members of the same class, citizens participate in mock religious services called Solidarity Services, in which twelve people consume large quantities of soma and sing hymns. The ritual progresses through group hypnosis and climaxes in an orgy.
In geographic areas nonconducive to easy living and consumption, securely contained groups of "savages" are left to their own devices. These appear to be similar to the reservations of land established for the Native American population during the colonisation of North America. These 'savages' are beholden of strange customs, including self-mutilation and religion, a mere curio in the outside world.
In its first chapters, the novel describes life in the World State as wonderful and introduces Lenina Crowne and Bernard Marx. Lenina, a hatchery worker, is socially accepted and comfortable with her place in society, while Bernard, a psychologist, is an outcast. Although an Alpha Plus, Bernard is shorter in stature than the average of his caste—a quality shared by the lower castes, which gives him an inferiority complex. His work with sleep-teaching has led him to realize that what others believe to be their own deeply held beliefs are merely phrases repeated to children while they are asleep. Still, he recognizes the necessity of such programming as the reason why his society meets the emotional needs of its citizens. Courting disaster, he is vocal about being different, once stating he dislikes soma because he'd "rather be himself." Bernard's differences fuel rumours that he was accidentally administered alcohol while incubated, a method used to keep Epsilons short.
Bernard's only friend is Helmholtz Watson, an Alpha Plus lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering (Department of Writing). The friendship is based on their similar experiences as misfits, but unlike Bernard, Watson's sense of loneliness stems from being too gifted, too intelligent, too handsome, and too physically strong. Helmholtz is drawn to Bernard as a confidant: he can talk to Bernard about his desire to write poetry.
The Reservation and the Savage (Chapters 7–9)
Bernard is on holiday at a Savage Reservation with Lenina. The reservation, located in New Mexico, consists of a community named Malpais. From afar, Lenina thinks it will be exciting. She finds the aged, toothless natives who mend their clothes rather than throw them away repugnant, and the situation is made worse when she discovers that she has left her soma tablets at the resort hotel.
In typical tourist fashion, Bernard and Lenina watch what at first appears to be a quaint native ceremony. The village folk, whose culture resembles the contemporary Indian groups of the region, descendants of the Anasazi, including the Puebloan peoples of Acoma, Laguna, and Zuni, and the Ramah Navajo, begin by singing, but the ritual quickly becomes a passion play where a village boy is whipped to unconsciousness.
Soon after, the couple encounters Linda, a woman who has been living in Malpais since she came on a trip and became separated from her group, among whom was a man to whom she refers as "Tomakin" but who is revealed to be Bernard's boss, the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning, Thomas. She became pregnant despite adhering to her "Malthusian Drill" and there were no facilities for an abortion. Her shame at pregnancy was so great that she decided not to return to her old life, but to stay with the "savages". Linda gave birth to a son, John (later referred to as John the Savage) who is now 18.
Conversations with Linda and John reveal that their life has been hard. For 18 years, they have been treated as outsiders: the native men treated Linda like a sex object while the native women regularly beat and ostracized her because of her promiscuity, and John was mistreated and excluded for his mother's actions and the color of his skin. John was angered by Linda's lovers, and even attacked one in a jealous rage while a child. John's one joy was that his mother had taught him to read, although he only had two books: a scientific manual from his mother's job, which he called a "beastly, beastly book," and a collection of Shakespeare's works (which have been banned in the World State for being subversive). Shakespeare gives John articulation to his feelings, though, and he especially is interested in Othello, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet. At the same time, John has been denied the religious rituals of the village, although he has watched them and even has had some religious experiences on his own in the desert.
Old, weathered and tired, Linda wants to return to her familiar world in London, as she misses living in the city and taking soma. John wants to see the "brave new world" his mother has told him so much about. Bernard wants to take them back to block Thomas from his plan to reassign Bernard to Iceland as punishment for his asocial beliefs. Bernard arranges permission for Linda and John to leave the reservation.
John also seems to have an attraction to Lenina, as while Bernard is away, getting the permission to move the savages, he finds her suitcase and ruffles through all of her clothes, taking in the smells. He then sees her "sleeping" in a soma-induced comatose state and stares at her, thinking all he has to do to see her properly is undo one zip. He later tells himself off for being like this towards Lenina, and seems to be extremely shy around her.
The Savage visits the World State (Chapters 10–18)
Upon his return to London, Bernard is confronted by Thomas, the Director of the Hatchery and Conditioning Centre who, in front of an audience of higher-caste Centre workers, denounces Bernard for his asocial behavior. Bernard, thinking that for the first time in his life he has the upper hand, defends himself by presenting the Director with his long-lost lover and unknown son, Linda and John. John falls to his knees and calls Thomas his father, which causes an uproar of laughter. The humiliated Director resigns in shame.
Spared from reassignment, Bernard makes John the toast of London. Pursued by the highest members of society, able to bed any woman he fancies, Bernard revels in attention he once scorned. The victory, however, is short-lived. Linda, decrepit, toothless, and friendless, goes on a permanent soma holiday while John, appalled by what he perceives to be an empty society, refuses to attend Bernard's parties. Society drops Bernard as swiftly as it had taken him. Bernard turns to the person he'd believed to be his one true friend, only to see Helmholtz fall into a quick, easy camaraderie with John. Bernard is left an outcast yet again as he watches the only two men with whom he ever connected find more of interest in each other than they ever did in him.
John and Helmholtz's island of peace is brief. Lenina tries to seduce John, but John pushes her away, calling her out on her sexually wanton ways. Whilst Lenina is in the bathroom, humiliated and putting her clothes on, John receives a telephone call from the hospital telling him that his mother is extremely unwell. He rushes over to see her and sits at her bedside, trying to get her out of her soma holiday so that he can talk to her. He is heartbroken when his mother succumbs to soma and dies. He is extremely annoyed by the young boys that enter the ward to be conditioned about death and annoy John to the point where he starts to use violence to send them away. John's grief bewilders and revolts the hospital workers, and their lack of reaction to Linda's death prompts John to try to force humanity from the workers by throwing their soma rations out a window. The ensuing riot brings the police, who quell the riot by filling the room with vaporized soma. Bernard and Helmholtz arrive to help John, but only Helmholtz helps him, while Bernard stands to the side, torn between risking involvement by helping or escaping the scene.
Following the riot, Bernard, Helmholtz and John are brought before Mustapha Mond, the Resident World Controller for Western Europe. Bernard (who breaks down during the middle of the conversation) and Helmholtz are told they will be exiled to islands of their choice. Mond explains that this exile is not so much a threat to force freethinkers to reform and rejoin society as it is a chance for them to act as they please because they will not be able to influence the population. He also divulges that he too once risked banishment to an island because of some scientific experiments that were deemed controversial by the state, giving insight into his sympathetic tone. Helmholtz chooses the Falkland Islands, believing that their terrible weather will inspire his writing, but Bernard simply does not want to leave London; he struggles with Mond and is thrown out of the office. After Bernard and Helmholtz have left, Mustapha and John engage in a philosophical argument on the morals behind the existing society and then John is told the "experiment" will continue and he will not be sent to an island. John meets with Bernard and Helmholtz once again before their departures from London and Bernard apologizes to John for his opportunistic behavior, having come to terms with his imminent exile and having restored his friendship with Helmholtz.
In the final chapter, John isolates himself from society in a lighthouse outside London where he finds his hermit life interrupted from mourning his mother by the more bitter memories of civilization. To atone, John brutally whips himself in the open, a ritual the Indians in his own village had denied him. His self-flagellation, caught on film and shown publicly, destroys his hermit life. Hundreds of gawking sightseers, intrigued by John's violent behavior, fly out to watch the savage in person. Even Lenina comes to watch, crying a tear John does not see. The sight of the woman whom he both adores and blames is too much for him; John attacks and whips her. This sight of genuine, unbridled emotion drives the crowd wild with excitement, and — handling it as they are conditioned to — they turn on each other, in a frenzy of beating and chanting that devolves into a mass orgy of soma and sex. In the morning, John, hopeless, alone, horrified by his drug use in which he participated that countered his beliefs, makes one last attempt to escape civilization and atone. When thousands of gawking sightseers arrive that morning, frenzied at the prospect of seeing the savage perform again, they find John has hanged himself.
John – the illicit son of the Director and Linda. He was born and reared on the Savage Reservation ("Malpais") after Linda was unwittingly left behind by her errant lover. John the Savage is an outsider both on the Reservation - where the ignorant natives still practice marriage, natural birth, family life and religion - and the ostensibly civilised Brave New World: a totalitarian welfare-state based on principles of stability and happiness, albeit happiness of a shallow and insipid nature. The Savage has read nothing but The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. He quotes them extensively and, for the most part, aptly, though his allusion to "Brave New World" [Miranda's words in The Tempest] takes on a darker and bitterly ironic resonance as the novel unfolds. John the Savage is intensely moral. He is also somewhat naïve. In defiance of BNW's social norms, he falls romantically in love with Lenina, but spurns her premature sexual advances. After his mother Linda's death, the Savage becomes ever more disillusioned with utopian society. Its technological wonders and soulless consumerism are no substitute for individual freedom, human dignity and personal integrity. He debates passionately and eruditely with World Controller Mustapha Mond on the competing merits of primitivism versus the World State. After his spontaneous bid to stir revolt among the lower castes has failed, the Savage retreats to an old abandoned lighthouse, whips himself in remorse for his sins, and gloomily cultivates his garden. But he is hounded by reporters and hordes of intrusive brave new worlders. Guilt-ridden, the Savage finally hangs himself after - we are given to infer - he has taken the soma he so despises when it was sprayed into an adrenaline struck crowd. This Soma influence triggered an orgy which John was also consumed in. When he awoke the next morning, he realized the mistake he had committed. "'Oh, my God, my God!' He covered his eyes with his hand." (Huxley, 259)
Bernard Marx – a sleep-learning specialist at the Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. Bernard is a misfit. He is unusually short for an Alpha; an alleged accident with alcohol in Bernard's blood-surrogate before his decanting has left him slightly stunted. Bernard's independence of mind stems more from his inferiority-complex and depressive nature than any depth of philosophical conviction. Unlike his fellow utopians, Bernard is often angry, resentful and jealous. At times, he is also cowardly and hypocritical. His conditioning is clearly incomplete. He doesn't enjoy communal sports, solidarity services, or promiscuous sex. He doesn't even get much joy out of soma. Bernard is in love with the highly beddable Lenina. He doesn't like her sleeping with other men, though in BNW "everyone belongs to everyone else". Bernard's triumphant return to utopian civilisation with John the Savage from the Reservation precipitates the downfall of the Director, who had been planning to exile him. Bernard's triumph is short-lived. Success goes to his head. Despite his tearful pleas, he is ultimately banished to an Island, one for others like himself, for his non-conformist behaviour.
Helmholtz Watson – handsome and successful Alpha-plus lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering. Helmholtz is a friend of Bernard. He is restive at the stifling conformism and philistinism of the World State. Not least, he feels unfulfilled writing endless propaganda doggerel. Helmholtz is ultimately exiled to an Island - a cold asylum for disaffected Alpha-plus non-conformists - after reading a heretical poem to his students on the virtues of solitude and for helping John destroy the Soma rations of Delta's after Linda's death.
Lenina Crowne – a young, beautiful and sexually liberated Beta. Lenina is a popular and promiscuous vaccination-worker at the Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. Somewhat quirky - she normally dates only one person at a time - Lenina is basically happy and well-conditioned. She uses soma to suppress unwelcome emotions. Lenina has a date with Bernard, to whom she feels ambivalently attracted; and she goes to the Reservation with him. On returning with relief to civilisation, she tries and fails to seduce John the Savage. The Savage loves and desires Lenina; but owing to his quixotic nature, he is repelled by her forwardness and the prospect of pre-marital sex. So he casts her aside as an "impudent strumpet". Despite John's rejection of her promiscuity, Lenina begins to grow attached and emotionally drawn to him, emotions which deeply trouble her and actually move her to sadness for the first time in her life when she sees how he suffers in his Lighthouse exile.
Mustapha Mond – Resident World Controller of Western Europe. He presides over one of the ten zones of the World State, the global government set up after the cataclysmic Nine Years' War and great Economic Collapse. Sophisticated and good-natured, His Fordship is an urbane and hyperintelligent apologist for Brave New World and its velvet-gloved totalitarianism. Mond defends BNW's ethos of "Community, Identity, Stability" by comparing his harmonious post-Fordist civilisation with the horrors of the suppressed historical past. In his youth, Mond had himself flirted with doing illicit scientific research and heterodox belief. He still keeps a small library of forbidden books in his safe. Yet he opted for training as a future world leader rather than exile. The Controller argues that art, literature and scientific freedom must be sacrificed in order to secure the ultimate utilitarian goal of maximising societal happiness. He defends the genetic caste system, behavioural conditioning and the lack of personal freedom in the World State as a price worth paying for achieving social stability. Stability is the highest social virtue because it leads to lasting happiness.
Fanny Crowne – Lenina Crowne’s friend (they have the same last name because only ten thousand last names are in use in the World State). Fanny’s role is mainly to voice the conventional values of her caste and society. Specifically, she warns Lenina that she should have more men in her life because it looks bad to concentrate on one man for too long.
Henry Foster – One of Lenina’s many lovers, he is a perfectly conventional Alpha male, casually discussing Lenina’s body with his coworkers. His success with Lenina, and his casual attitude about it, infuriate the jealous Bernard.
Linda – John’s mother, and a Beta. While visiting the New Mexico Savage Reservation, she became pregnant with the Director’s son. During a storm, she got lost, suffered a head injury and was left behind. A group of Indians found her and brought her to their village. Linda could not get an abortion on the Reservation, and she was too ashamed to return to the World State with a baby. Her World State–conditioned promiscuity makes her a social outcast. She is desperate to return to the World State and to soma. When she returned she was treated to a series of soma baths and a pleasant death.
The Director – The Director administrates the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. He is a threatening figure, with the power to exile Bernard to Iceland. But he is secretly vulnerable because he fathered a child (John), a scandalous and obscene act in the World State.
The Arch-Community-Songster – The Arch-Community-Songster is the secular, shallow equivalent of a cardinal in the World State society.
The Warden – The Warden is the talkative chief administrator for the New Mexico Savage Reservation. He is an Alpha-minus.
Others Freemartins: In the book, a "freemartin" (mentioned in chapters 1, 3, 11 and 17) is a woman who has been deliberately made sterile by exposure to hormones during fetal development; in the book, government policy requires freemartins to form 70% of the female population.
Of Malpais John the Savage ("Mr Savage"), son of Linda and Thomas (Tomakin/The Director), an outcast in both primitive and modern society. While he does not appear until partway through the story, he becomes the protagonist shortly after his introduction. Linda, a Beta-Minus. John the Savage's mother, and Thomas's (Tomakin/The Director) long lost lover. She is from England and was pregnant with John when she got lost from Thomas in a trip to New Mexico. She is disliked by both savage people because of her "civilized" behaviour, and by civilized people because of her weight and appearance. Popé, a native of Malpais. Although he reinforces the behaviour that causes hatred for Linda in Malpais by sleeping with her and bringing her Mezcal, he still holds the traditional beliefs of his tribe. John also attempts to kill him, in his early years. He gave Linda a copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare.
These are non-fictional and factual characters who lived before the events in this book, but are of note in the novel: Henry Ford, who has become a messianic figure to The World State. "Our Ford" is used in place of "Our Lord", as a credit to popularizing the use of the assembly line. Huxley's description of Ford as a central figure in the emergence of the Brave New World might also be a reference to the utopian industrial city of Fordlândia commissioned by Ford in 1927. Sigmund Freud, "Our Freud" is sometimes said in place of "Our Ford" due to the link between Freud's psychoanalysis and the conditioning of humans, and Freud's popularization of the idea that sexual activity is essential to human happiness and need not be limited to procreation. It is also strongly implied that citizens of the World State believe Freud and Ford to be the same person. H. G. Wells, "Dr. Wells", British writer and utopian socialist, whose book Men Like Gods was an incentive for Brave New World. "All's well that ends Wells" wrote Huxley in his letters, criticizing Wells for anthropological assumptions Huxley found unrealistic. Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, whose conditioning techniques are used to train infants. William Shakespeare, whose banned works are quoted throughout the novel by John, "the Savage". The plays quoted include Macbeth, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, King Lear, Troilus and Cressida, Measure for Measure and Othello. Mustapha Mond also knows them because he, as a World Controller, has access to a selection of books from throughout history, including the Bible. Thomas Robert Malthus, whose name is used to describe the contraceptive techniques (Malthusian belt) practiced by women of the World State. Reuben Rabinovitch, the character in whom the effects of sleep-learning, hypnopædia, are first noted. John Henry Newman, Mustapha Mond discussed Cardinal Newman with the Savage after reading a quote from his book
Sources of names and references
The limited number of names that the World State assigned to its bottle-grown citizens can be traced to political and cultural figures who contributed to the bureaucratic, economic, and technological systems of Huxley's age, and presumably those systems in Brave New World: Bernard Marx, from George Bernard Shaw (or possibly Bernard of Clairvaux or possibly Claude Bernard) and Karl Marx. Henry Foster, from Henry Ford American industrialist, see above. Lenina Crowne, from Vladimir Lenin, the Bolshevik leader during the Russian Revolution. Fanny Crowne, from Fanny Kaplan, famous for an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Lenin. Ironically, in the novel, Lenina and Fanny are friends. George Edzel, from Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford. Polly Trotsky, from Leon Trotsky, the Russian revolutionary leader. Benito Hoover, from Benito Mussolini, dictator of Italy; and Herbert Hoover, then-President of the United States. Helmholtz Watson, from the German physician and physicist Hermann von Helmholtz and the American behaviorist John B. Watson. Darwin Bonaparte, from Napoleon I, the leader of the First French Empire, and Charles Darwin, author of The Origin of Species. Herbert Bakunin, from Herbert Spencer, the English philosopher and Social Darwinist, and Mikhail Bakunin, a Russian philosopher and anarchist. Mustapha Mond, from Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of Turkey after World War I, who pulled his country into modernization and official secularism; and Sir Alfred Mond, an industrialist and founder of the Imperial Chemical Industries conglomerate. Primo Mellon, from Miguel Primo de Rivera, prime minister and dictator of Spain (1923-1930), and Andrew Mellon, an American banker and Secretary of the Treasury (1921-1932). Sarojini Engels, from Friedrich Engels, co-author of The Communist Manifesto along with Karl Marx: and Sarojini Naidu, an Indian politician. Morgana Rothschild, from J. P. Morgan, US banking tycoon, and the Rothschild family, famous for its European banking operations. Fifi Bradlaugh, from the British political activist and atheist Charles Bradlaugh. Joanna Diesel, from Rudolf Diesel, the German engineer who invented the diesel engine. Clara Deterding, from Henri Deterding, one of the founders of the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company. Tom Kawaguchi, from the Japanese Buddhist monk Ekai Kawaguchi, the first recorded Japanese traveler to Tibet and Nepal. Jean-Jacques Habibullah, from the French political philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Habibullah Khan, who served as Emir of Afghanistan in the early 20th century. Miss Keate, the Eton headmistress, from nineteenth-century headmaster John Keate. Arch-Community Songster of Canterbury, a parody of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Church's decision in August 1930 to approve limited use of contraception. Popé, from Popé, the Native American rebel who was one of the instigators of the conflict now known as the Pueblo Revolt. John the Savage, after the term "noble savage" originally used in the verse drama The Conquest of Granada by John Dryden, and later erroneously associated with Rousseau.
Fordism and society
Main article: World state in Brave New World
The World State is built upon the principles of Henry Ford's assembly line—mass production, homogeneity, predictability, and consumption of disposable consumer goods. At the same time as the World State lacks any supernatural-based religions, Ford himself is revered as the creator of their society but not as a deity, and characters celebrate Ford Day and swear oaths by his name (e.g., "By Ford!"). In this sense, some fragments of traditional religion are present, such as Christian crosses, which had their tops cut off in order to be changed to a "T". The World State calendar numbers years in the "AF" era—"Annum Ford"—with year 1 AF being equivalent to 1908 AD, the year in which Ford's first Model T rolled off his assembly line. The novel's Gregorian calendar year is AD 2540, but it is referred to in the book as AF 632.
From birth, members of every class are indoctrinated by recorded voices repeating slogans while they sleep (called "hypnopædia" in the book) to believe their own class is superior, but that the other classes perform needed functions. Any residual unhappiness is resolved by an antidepressant and hallucinogenic drug called soma (named for an intoxicating drink in ancient India) distributed by the Arch-Community Songster of Canterbury, a secularised version of the Christian sacrament of Communion ("The Body of Christ").
The biological techniques used to control the populace in Brave New World do not include genetic engineering; Huxley wrote the book before the structure of DNA was known. However, Gregor Mendel's work with inheritance patterns in peas had been re-discovered in 1900 and the eugenics movement, based on artificial selection, was well established. Huxley's family included a number of prominent biologists including Thomas Huxley, half-brother and Nobel Laureate Andrew Huxley, and brother Julian Huxley who was a biologist and involved in the eugenics movement. Nonetheless, Huxley emphasizes conditioning over breeding (see nature versus nurture); human embryos and fetuses are conditioned through a carefully designed regimen of chemical (such as exposure to hormones and toxins), thermal (exposure to intense heat or cold, as one's future career would dictate), and other environmental stimuli, although there is an element of selective breeding as well.
Ban, accusation of plagiarism
Brave New World has been banned and challenged at various times. In 1932, the book was banned in Ireland for its language, and for supposedly being anti-family and anti-religion. The American Library Association ranks Brave New World as No. 52 on their list of most challenged books. In 1980, it was removed from classrooms in Miller, Missouri among other challenges. In 1993, an unsuccessful attempt was made to remove the novel from a California school's required reading list because it "centered around negative activity".
The book was banned in India in 1967 with Huxley accused of being a "pornographer."
In 1982, Polish author Antoni Smuszkiewicz in his book Zaczarowana gra presented accusations of plagiarism against Huxley. Smuszkiewicz presented similarities between Brave New World and two science fiction novels written by Polish author Mieczysław Smolarski, namely Miasto światłości (The City of the Sun, 1924) and Podróż poślubna pana Hamiltona (The Honeymoon Trip of Mr. Hamilton, 1928).
Comparisons with George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four
Social critic Neil Postman contrasts the worlds of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World in the foreword of his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death. He writes:
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us.
Journalist Christopher Hitchens, who himself published several articles on Huxley and a book on Orwell, noted the difference between the two texts in the introduction to his 1999 article "Why Americans Are Not Taught History":
We dwell in a present-tense culture that somehow, significantly, decided to employ the telling expression "You're history" as a choice reprobation or insult, and thus elected to speak forgotten volumes about itself. By that standard, the forbidding dystopia of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four already belongs, both as a text and as a date, with Ur and Mycenae, while the hedonist nihilism of Huxley still beckons toward a painless, amusement-sodden, and stress-free consensus. Orwell's was a house of horrors. He seemed to strain credulity because he posited a regime that would go to any lengths to own and possess history, to rewrite and construct it, and to inculcate it by means of coercion. Whereas Huxley ... rightly foresaw that any such regime could break but could not bend. In 1988, four years after 1984, the Soviet Union scrapped its official history curriculum and announced that a newly authorized version was somewhere in the works. This was the precise moment when the regime conceded its own extinction. For true blissed-out and vacant servitude, though, you need an otherwise sophisticated society where no serious history is taught.
Brave New World Revisited
1st UK edition Brave New World Revisited (Harper & Brothers, US, 1958; Chatto & Windus, UK, 1959), written by Huxley almost thirty years after Brave New World, was a non-fiction work in which Huxley considered whether the world had moved toward or away from his vision of the future from the 1930s. He believed when he wrote the original novel that it was a reasonable guess as to where the world might go in the future. In Brave New World Revisited, he concluded that the world was becoming like Brave New World much faster than he originally thought.
Huxley analysed the causes of this, such as overpopulation as well as all the means by which populations can be controlled. He was particularly interested in the effects of drugs and subliminal suggestion. Brave New World Revisited is different in tone because of Huxley's evolving thought, as well as his conversion to Hindu Vedanta in the interim between the two books.
The last chapter of the book aims to propose action which could be taken in order to prevent a democracy from turning into the totalitarian world described in Brave New World. In Huxley's last novel, Island, he again expounds similar ideas to describe a utopian nation, which is generally known as a counterpart to his most famous work.
Brave New World Pre-visited. Huxley's Crome Yellow (1921), Ch V, has Mr Scogan, a believer in "the goddess of Applied Science," looking forward optimistically to "the next few centuries" when "In vaste state incubators, rows upon rows of gravid bottles will supply the world with the population it requires. The family system will disappear; society, sapped at its very base, will have to find new foundations; and Eros, beautifully and irresponsibly free, will flit like a gay butterfly from flower to flower through a sunlit world."
Related works The First Men in the Moon (1901) by H.G. Wells. The whole lunar population lives in a single harmonious society, where the offspring starts life in small containers. There it is decided what kind of caste they will belong to for the rest of their existence, and their development at this stage is affected to make sure they fit their caste perfectly. Men Like Gods (1923) by H.G. Wells. A utopian novel that was a source of inspiration for Huxley's dystopian Brave New World. The Scientific Outlook (1931) by philosopher Bertrand Russell. When Brave New World was released, Russell thought that Huxley's book was based on his book The Scientific Outlook, released the previous year. Russell contacted his own publisher and asked whether or not he should do something about this "apparent plagiarism". His publisher advised him not to, and Russell followed this advice. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) by George Orwell Kurt Vonnegut said that in writing Player Piano (1952) he "cheerfully ripped off the plot of Brave New World, whose plot had been cheerfully ripped off from Yevgeny Zamyatin's We." Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (1985) by Neil Postman alludes to how television is goading modern Western culture to be like what we see in Brave New World, where people are not so much denied human rights like free speech, but are rather conditioned not to care.
Radio Brave New World (radio broadcast) CBS Radio Workshop (27 January and 3 February 1956) Brave New World (radio broadcast) BBC Radio4 (May 2013)
Brave New World (1980) Directed by Burt Brinckerhoff Kristoffer Tabori as John Savage Bud Cort as Bernard Marx Keir Dullea as Thomas Grambell Julie Cobb as Linda Lysenko Ron O'Neal as Mustapha Mond Marcia Strassman as Lenina Disney
Brave New World (1998) Directed by Leslie Libman and Larry Williams Tim Guinee as John Savage Peter Gallagher as Bernard Marx Leonard Nimoy as Mustapha Mond Sally Kirkland as Linda Lysenko Rya Kihlstedt as Lenina Crowne
Brave New World title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database: Brave New World Aldous Huxley; Perennial, Reprint edition, 1 September 1998; ISBN 0-06-092987-1
Brave New World Revisited Aldous Huxley; Perennial, 1 March 2000; ISBN 0-06-095551-1
Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited Aldous Huxley (with a foreword by Christopher Hitchens); Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2005; ISBN 0-06-077609-9
Brave New World & Brave New World Revisited Aldous Huxley (with an introduction by Margaret Atwood); Vintage Canada Edition, 2007; ISBN 978-0-307-35655-0
Huxley's Brave New World (Cliffs Notes) Charles and Regina Higgins; Cliffs Notes, 30 May 2000; ISBN 0-7645-8583-5
Spark Notes Brave New World Sterling, 31 December 2003; ISBN 1-58663-366-X
Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (Barron's Book Notes) Anthony Astrachan, Anthony Astrakhan; Barrons Educational Series, November 1984; ISBN 0-8120-3405-8
Also publications for NSW HSC students.
See also Alpha (ethology) List of quotes from Shakespeare in Brave New World
1.^ "100 Best Novels". Random House. 1999. Retrieved 2007-06-23. This ranking was by the Modern Library Editorial Board of authors. 2.^ "100 greatest novels of all time". Guardian. 2003. Retrieved 2012-10-10. 3.^ "BBC - The Big Read". BBC. April 2003, Retrieved 26 October 2012 4.^ Anon. "Brave New World". In Our Time. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 5.^ Bate, Jonathan; Rasmussen, Eric (2007). William Shakespeare: Complete Works. The Royal Shakespeare Company. Chief Associate Editor: Héloïse Sénéchal. Macmillan Publishers Ltd. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-230-00350-7. 6.^ see e.g. 'Leibniz', by Nicholas Jolley (Routledge, 2005) 7.^ Aldous Huxley, Letters of Aldous Huxley, ed. by Grover Smith (New York and Evanston: Harper & Row, 1969), p. 348: "I am writing a novel about the future — on the horror of the Wellsian Utopia and a revolt against it. Very difficult. I have hardly enough imagination to deal with such a subject. But it is none the less interesting work" (letter to Mrs. Kethevan Roberts, May 18, 1931). 8.^ Heje, Johan (2002). "Aldous Huxley". In Darren Harris-Fain. British Fantasy and Science-Fiction Writers, 1918-1960. Detroit: Gale Group. p. 100. ISBN 0-7876-5249-0. 9.^ George Orwell: Review, Tribune, 4 January 1946. 10.^ , 18 August 2006 Missing or empty |title= (help) (radio interview with We translator Natasha Randall) 11.^ The Vintage Classics edition of Brave New World.[page needed] 12.^ G.K. Chesterton, review in The Illustrated London News, 4 May 1935 13.^ Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. Harper Perennial Modern Classics; Reprint edition (17 October 2006), P.S. Edition, ISBN 978-0-06-085052-4 — "About the Book." — "Too Far Ahead of Its Time? The Contemporary Response to Brave New World (1932)" p. 8-11 14.^ Huxley, Brave New World, 1932. (London: HarperCollins, first Perennial Modern Classics edition) p. 113. "Youth almost unimpaired till sixty, and then, crack! The end". – Bernard Marx 15.^ chapter 3, "Our Ford-or Our Freud, as, for some inscrutable reason, he chose to call himself whenever he spoke of psychological matters–Our Freud had been the first to reveal the appalling dangers of family life" 16.^ Meckier, Jerome (2006). "Onomastic Satire: Names and Naming in Brave New World". In Peter Edgerly Firchow and Bernfried Nugel. Aldous Huxley: modern satirical novelist of ideas. Lit Verlag. pp. 187ff. ISBN 3-8258-9668-4. OCLC 71165436. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 17.^ Knaut, Andrew L. (1995). The Pueblo Revolt of 1680: conquest and resistance in seventeenth-century New Mexico. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. p. 168. ISBN 0-8061-2992-1. OCLC 231644472. 18.^ "Banned Books". Classiclit.about.com. 2009-11-02. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 19.^ "Banned Books". pcc.edu. Retrieved 2010-06-11. 20.^ "The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000". American Library Association. Retrieved 2012-07-27. 21.^ Grumbine, Robert (1996-06-03). "Notes on Book Banning". Retrieved 2009-01-28.[unreliable source?] 22.^ Banned Books, Alibris.[dead link] 23.^ Partap Sharma, "Barer Bones" in C.K. Razdan. Bare Breasts and Bare Bottoms: Anatomy of Film Censorship in India. Bombay: Jaico House, 1975. 24.^ Smuszkiewicz, Antoni (1982). Zaczarowana gra (in Polish). Poznań: Wydawn. Poznanskie. OCLC 251929765.[page needed] 25.^ Christopher Hitchens, "Goodbye to All That: Why Americans Are Not Taught History." Harper's Magazine. November 1998, pp. 37–47. 26.^ "Brave New World Revisited – HUXLEY, Aldous | Between the Covers Rare Books". Betweenthecovers.com. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 27.^ Russell, Bertrand; John G. Slater With the Assistance of Peter Köllner (1996). The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, Vol. 10 – A Fresh Look at Empiricism, 1927–42. Routledge. p. xxii. ISBN 978-0-415-09408-5. Retrieved 17 September 2008. 28.^ "Interview with Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.". Playboy. July 1973.
Bibliography Huxley, Aldous (1998). Brave New World (First Perennial Classics ed.). New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-092987-1. Huxley, Aldous (2005). Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited (First Perennial Classics ed.). New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-077609-9. Huxley, Aldous (2000). Brave New World Revisited (First Perennial Classics ed.). New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-095551-1. Postman, Neil (1985). Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. USA: Penguin USA. ISBN 0-670-80454-1. Higgins, Charles & Higgins, Regina (2000). Cliff Notes on Huxley's Brave New World. New York: Wiley Publishing. ISBN 0-7645-8583-5. Russell, Robert (1999). Zamiatin's We. Bristol: Bristol Classical Press. ISBN 978-1-85399-393-0.
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Brave New World
Wikibooks has more on the topic of: Brave New World 1957 interview with Huxley as he reflects on his life work and the meaning of Brave New World Aldous Huxley: Bioethics and Reproductive Issues Audio review and discussion of Brave New World at The Science Fiction Book Review Podcast Brave New World on In Our Time at the BBC. (of Brave_New_World listen now) Literapedia page for Brave New World
[hide] v· t· e
Works by Aldous Huxley
Crome Yellow (1921)· Antic Hay (1923)· Those Barren Leaves (1925)· Point Counter Point (1928)· Brave New World (1932)· Eyeless in Gaza (1936)· After Many a Summer (1939)· Time Must Have a Stop (1944)· Ape and Essence (1948)· The Genius and the Goddess (1955)· Island (1962)
"Happily Ever After"· "Eupompus Gave Splendour to Art by Numbers"· "Cynthia"· "The Bookshop"· "The Death of Lully"· "Sir Hercules"· "The Gioconda Smile"· "The Tillotson Banquet"· "Green Tunnels"· "Nuns at Luncheon"· "Little Mexican"· "Hubert and Minnie"· "Fard"· "The Portrait"· "Young Archimedes"· "Half Holiday"· "The Monocle"· "Fairy Godmother"· "Chawdron"· "The Rest Cure"· "The Claxtons"· "After the Fireworks"· "Jacob's Hands: A Fable" (published 1997) co-written with Christopher Isherwood
Short story collections
Limbo (1920)· Mortal Coils (1922)· Little Mexican (US title: Young Archimedes) (1924)· Two or Three Graces (1926)· Brief Candles (1930)· Collected Short Stories (1957)
The Burning Wheel (1916)· Jonah (1917)· The Defeat of Youth (1918)· Leda (1920)· Arabia Infelix (1929)· The Cicadias and Other Poems (1931)· Collected Poetry (1971)
Along the Road (1925)· Jesting Pilate (1926)· Beyond the Mexique Bay (1934)
On the Margin (1923)· Essays New and Old (1926)· Proper Studies (1927)· Do What You Will (1929)· Vulgarity in Literature (1930)· Music at Night (1931)· Texts and Pretexts (1932)· The Olive Tree (1936)· Ends and Means (1937)· Words and their Meanings (1940)· Science, Liberty and Peace (1946)· Themes and Variations (1950)· The Doors of Perception (1954)· Adonis and the Alphabet (US title: Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow) (1956)· Heaven and Hell (1956)· Collected Essays (1958)· Brave New World Revisited (1958)· Literature and Science (1963)· The Human Situation: 1959 Lectures at Santa Barbara (1977)· Moksha: Writings on Psychedelics and the Visionary Experience (1999)
Pride and Prejudice (1940)· Madame Curie (uncredited, 1943)· Jane Eyre (1944)· A Woman's Vengeance (1947)· Prelude to Fame (1950)· Alice in Wonderland (uncredited, 1951)
The Perennial Philosophy (1945) Grey Eminence (1941)· The Devils of Loudun (1952)
The Discovery (based on Frances Sheridan) (1924)· The World of Light (1931)· The Gioconda Smile (play version, also known as Mortal Coils) (1948)· The Genius and the Goddess (play version, with Betty Wendel) (1957)· The Ambassador of Captripedia (1965)· Now More Than Ever (1997)
The Crows of Pearblossom (1944, published 1967)· The Travails and Tribulations of Geoffrey Peacock (1967)
The Art of Seeing (1942)· Selected Letters (2007)
Categories: 1932 novels British science fiction novels Dystopian novels Futurology books Genetic engineering in fiction Mind control in fiction Novels about consumerism Novels about totalitarianism Novels by Aldous Huxley Novels set in London Satirical novels Chatto & Windus books
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