Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
“But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”
These are words uttered in the face of tyranny and complete oppression, though they are very rare words to be spoken or even thought of in this world because every human passion and sense of creativity is repressed and eradicated through a long and complex process of conditioning. And that’s what makes this novel so powerful; it’s not unbelievable. Like Orwell’s 1984 and Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, there’s just enough truth within Brave New World for it to be real. It’s a cruel mirroring of our own existence, should we follow a certain path too strongly. And that's the wonder of speculative science fiction, though unlike the other two books, there’s no violence involved in Huxley’s world. It’s just as controlling and scary, but it’s done in a more indirect way.
Sex is on tap, everybody should be happy.
People don’t go missing in the night nor are they stoned to death by a group of their peers, but they have just as little freedom (even if they don’t realise it.) In this dystopia they are trained from birth to think and feel in a certain way, and, for whatever reason, should they ever deviate from their ordained path, they are fed drugs that induce happiness and serenity; thus, the populace is kept within their desired space, and persist with the tasks they were born to do. Very few of them even consider that this is wrong: this is all they have known. And to make things even more maniacally clever, all physical and sexual needs are fulfilled completely as everybody belongs to everybody else in every sense with the ultimate goal of people never developing desire. Nobody should want for anything else.
People are machines and houses are factories. They are mass produced and designed to be one thing and one thing only. All values are inverted. The idea of showing any emotion is horrific and repulsive. Love is unknown and alien. Death is associated with sweetness and relief. Children are fed candy when they are taught about death, they associate the two together, so when as adults they see death they think of treats rather than the loss of someone they have known and worked beside for years.
In Brave New World people are husks, empty and detached, without ever realising it. I can only admire and praise Huxley’s genius through the writing. Like all effective dystopian societies, reading and information plays an exceedingly important role. As with Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, all books have been destroyed and made inaccessible. John, one of the few characters who was born away from the new world, stumbles across a volume of Shakespeare and it changes his life. He can only think and feel in Shakespearean language and begins to view the world through a semi-romantic lens and only finds depravity when he walks into the new world.
It’s everything he hates. He has been termed the savage, though he knows and understands the real meaning of the term even if those who call him such do not. Naturally, he becomes depressed and isolated in this new space, a space that he cannot be a part of or accepted in (not that he would want to be.) And I found him by far the most interesting and compelling character within the story because he is the only one to really look beyond the boundaries of his own experience and to find it wanting.
So, this is a terribly important novel. If you haven’t read it already, you know what you have to do. This isn’t something to be missed. It’s a novel that made me think and imagine in a way a book hasn’t done in quite some time.
This Brave New World book review was written by Sean Barrs
Have you read Brave New World?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Brave New World reader reviews
9.5/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
All the Birds in the Sky
Charlie Jane Anders
Childhood friends Patricia Delfine, a witch, and Laurence Armstead, a mad scientist, parted ways under mysterious circumstances during middle school. But as adults they bot...
The Duke of Atreides has been manoeuvred by his arch-enemy, Baron Harkonnen, into administering the desert planet of Dune. Although it is almost completely without water, D...
The Martian Chronicles
The strange and wonderful tale of man’s experiences on Mars, filled with intense images and astonishing visions. Now part of the Voyager Classics collection....
John Golden: Freelance Debugger
John Golden is a debugger: he goes inside the computer systems of his corporate clients to exterminate the gremlins, sprites, and other fairies that take up residence. But ...
Tales of the Dying Earth
Seekers of wisdom and beauty include lovely lost women, eccentric wizards and man-eating melancholy deodands. Twk-men ride dragonflies and trade information for salt. There...
The Shootout Solution
Michael R Underwood
Leah Tang just died on stage. Well, not literally. Not yet. Leah's stand-up career isn't going well. But she understands the power of fiction, and when she's of...
In a future when Earth is a toxic, abandoned world and humanity has spread into the outer solar system to survive, the tightly controlled use of time travel holds the key t...
Gavin G Smith
In FRIENDLY FIRE, the Bastard Legion are hired to pull off a daring power-armoured heist of propriety tech. Getting the tech will be hard. Getting off the ...
It’s been a year since Binti and Okwu enrolled at Oomza University. A year since Binti was declared a hero for uniting two warring planets. A year since she abandoned...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: