Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
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Aldous Huxley's Brave New World is an imaginative glimpse into the future of our society and our world. First published in 1932, the book depicts a futuristic world where individuals are outcast and conformity is the norm.
The themes and ideas explored in the text are even more relevant today then they were when the book was written -- many of the technologies described have since been realized.
The book takes place several centuries in the future. In this new world, there are no countries. Humans are no longer born; they are grown, harvested and raised in factories. This is The World State, as earth is called, and this is where the story takes place. The book follows a series of characters, all of whom have different takes on the state.
The government and the culture emphasize stability and control, and use brainwashing, drugging and censorship in an effort to maintain control. "Community. Identity. Stability" is the motto of The World State. While the society in the book is utopian or thought of as perfect, the audience can clearly see the flaws in this clean, sterile and numb society.
The book follows three main characters. The first is a scientist named Bernard Marx, an outcast who is only half content with his culture. His opinion on the society is from the perspective of an outcast. His love interest, Lenina Crowne, fully believes in and has confidence in The World State and its leadership.
The analysis on the society comes from an outsider who was raised on a reservation, separate from the bustle of the "civilized" world. His name is simply John, and he is viewed as a complete savage. Through these different characters, Huxley shows the flaws and good sides of this civilization and makes us think about our own.
I enjoyed the book because Huxley changes perspectives and uses almost scriptlike dialogue at times. He describes several scenes at a time. While this method of writing may be a little confusing at first, it is refreshing compared to the monotonous writing that we see today. This writing style also helps to paint a detailed picture of the world the characters live in.
The world that Huxley illustrates is colorful and detailed. The governmental processes and daily lives of the citizens are described with an excellent vocabulary. The themes of the book are a lot deeper and more thought out than much of today's plot-based literature. While it can be a little tedious in its descriptions of places and scientific processes, it leaves the reader with satisfaction.
Brave New World is a speculation on where science and technology could lead us in the future, and it makes a good point. This is an important work of literature because of its well-thought-out messages and because of the important questions it raises about our society and the direction we are headed in.
Alexi Horowitz is sophomore at Santa Fe Prep.
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