Brave New World is often compared to the better known 1984 dystopian novels which describe a future run by an overbearing government. Brave New World was actually written first and in my opinion is the worse of the two but that does not mean it is a bad book by any means.
The story tells the tale of a future where human beings are no longer conceived but instead cloned and have been categorised into pre-determined roles due to controlled levels of intelligence - alphas, for example, are the most intelligent group and hold jobs in high up positions. Epsilons are on the other end of the spectrum and hold such basic jobs as lift assistant (a quaint idea now considering the book takes place in the future).
Society has completely changed. There is a New World Order (that is, one government which rules the entire world) and things like casual sex and encouraged while drug taking is seen as the answer to everything. It is suggested that soma, the government supplied drug which makes people feel relaxed and carefree, is one of the sources of their control. This is quite true though as Huxley demonstrates that from the minute they are cloned humans are trained to know their place and role in society.
There are a few places left on Earth that haven't been touched by modern technology and humans still live there and breed naturally - that is where the story takes place. It, like 1984, is the story of one man's fight against 'the man'.
Another excellent example of a negative utopia which generally is named in the same breath as Orwell's 1984...but there is very little in common beyond that. The book opens by showcasing it's perfection of societal division, where social groupings and career roles are predetermined by a eugenics program implemented after years of research and development. As well, within the opening introduction, we discover that the old social mores and customs have been eliminated … more
John and Mond debate the value of the World State’s policies, John arguing that they dehumanize the residents of the World State and Mond arguing that stability and happiness are more important than humanity. Mond explains that social stability has required the sacrifice of art, science, and religion. John protests that, without these things, human life is not worth living. Bernard reacts wildly when Mond says that he and Helmholtz will be exiled to distant islands, and he is … more
One of the noticeable things about this novel at its conclusion is that you don't really find any fully likable characters. While most novels have a clear and defined party you should sympathize with and join for the journey throughout the work Brave New World does not. Lenina, John, and Bernerd all have appalling or ironic behavior that make them difficult to like. The other characters, while developed and rich are even worse. This isn't a bad thing but an interesting story … more
To me, Brave New World and 1984 are two sides to the same dystopian coin, but it's 1984 that tends toward popularity and glory, while Brave New World is often only discovered by people who are already fans of the science fiction genre and looking to expand their classics reading. I, too, am guilty of this and only discovered Brave New World a few years ago. Now I say to myself "How can you call yourself a Science Fiction fan without having read this (and … more