Review: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a novel written in 1931 and published in 1932. The novel is set in London of AD 2540 the novel predicts developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that is greatly related to the changing society. Aldous Huxley re-evaluated the novel in an essay, Brave New World Revisited (1958) and with Island (1962) which was his final novel.
The title of the novel is taken from Miranda’s speech in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Act V, Scene I:
How many godly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people isn’t.
Brave New World is a novel that takes place in a dystopian state. The World State is a generous dictatorship which is ruled by ten World Controllers. The World State has formed a stable global society where the population is limited forever. They control the population by:
- Human embryos are raised unnaturally in “hatcheries and conditioning centers”. Thre breeding and development of children predestine them to fit into one of the five castes with Greek letter names starting from Alpha which means the highest to Epsilon the lowest that fulfills different economic roles. The fetuses of Alpha and Beta are made naturally, whereas the Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon fetuses are blended with a chemical to exploit their intelligence and physical growth. On the other hand, the lower castes are made using ‘Bokanovsky’s Process’ which allows up to 96 clones to be made from one fertilized ovum.
- They educate the children with the use of sleep learning tactics; with sub conscious messages to mold the child’s self-image related to his/her caste.
- The lower castes are bred for low intelligence and are molded in such a way that they do not think. However, the upper castes are formed by conditioning and social taboos.
- The idea of spending time alone is considered as something bizarre and even condemned. On the other hand, the citizens spend their time on activities which do not require them to think. Emotional romantic relationships are known to be outdated, chastity and fidelity are causes for disapproval or mockery, and marriage, natural birth, parenthood, and pregnancy are considered to be disgusting and a disgrace to talk about the informal conversation.
- Mock religious services are the only ways to meet one’s spiritual needs. In this service, there are twelve people performing hypnosis and climax hymns in sex orgy.