A 21’st century visit to Huxley’s “Brave New World”

stewi87 By stewi87, 28th Nov 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Dramatic Fiction

How does Huxley's dystopic novel mirror the society we live in today?

Introduction

When Huxley wrote Brave New World in 1932, he created a dystopic vision that referred to a lot of problems of his time. It is therefore time to check, whether we are still facing the same problems today, or whether humanity has taken entirely different road than Huxley has foreseen in his novel. It makes sense to read Brave New World alongside other dystopian novels, such as 1984 by George Orwell.

Ethics

The question of ethics plays an important role in Brave New World. Huxley’s new society has overcome the traditional role of the family. In fact, sex and reproduction are separated altogether. In this society a total sexual freedom is achieved by keeping women infertile. Sex is then seen as something everybody should do with everybody as often as possible; otherwise he/she counts as a social outsider, represented in the novel by Bernard Marx. On the other hand children are reproduced by cloning (‘budding’) embryos. They are controlled and specialized according to their functions they later have in society. To do so, they are divided into four classes, reaching from the total moron (for the simplest of work) to the genius (assuming a leader position).

Freedom

Personal freedom is seen as something bad in Brave New World. Every individual that thinks outside the box is deported to Iceland, where the too independent thinkers live in a resort. In the new world it is much more important to fit into society than to live an individual life. Everyone who has a problem with this can take “soma”, a stimulating drug that does not have any side effects. The controlling leader of the Brave New World has to make sure that every action of the citizens conforms to the economy of the state.

And Today?

It is now time to ask some important questions that are raised by looking at Huxley’s work: Do we, as a society still believe in notions of family, or are these not that important anymore? Do we have sexual freedom today, or could we have it in the near future? Do we want to control reproduction as much as we can? Is personal freedom more important than economic values to our society? How much are we controlled by the state, or big companies today? Because Brave New World raises all these questions, I would think that it is worth rereading the novel, and thus reevaluate our morals and goals in life. Maybe you could leave me some answers to my questions in the commentary box?

Tags

Aldous, Brave New World, Dystopia, Dystopia Books, Dystopic, Economy, Ethics, Freedom, Future, Huxley, Personal Freedom, Review

Meet the author

author avatar stewi87
I have a degree in English languages and literatures, and I absolutely love reading and reviewing books.

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Comments

author avatar Retired
8th Dec 2014 (#)

We have lost our personal freedoms, those that allow us to be everything we can be. Governments control us, from telling us what products we can buy or not, what we should think, and what we can and cannot do. We are living in Orwell's world of 1984, only ours is worse.

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