Brave New World

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I. SUBJECT

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a satire about a utopian society where all people are divided by class and bred in order to do the work that is required of that class. It opened with on the process of this breeding, called conditioning, in the Central London Hatching and Conditioning Centre. The Director of the Hatchery was giving a tour to a group of boys, explaining the process of sleep-teaching, which is how morals and principles were implanted into the brains of children. The story moved on to Lenina Crowne and Bernard Marx, when Lenina admitted to a friend that she was attracted to Bernard.

Bernard, who was rather short and weak for his class, asked Lenina if she would accompany him to a Savage Reservation, a place where failed humans are sent to be studied. When Bernard asked the Director for a permit, the Director told him of a woman that was lost and never recovered. After departing for the Reservation, Bernard learned from a friend that the Director planned to exile him for being unsocial.

At the Reservation, Lenina and Bernard met Linda, who Bernard realized was the woman the Director had visited the Reservation with, and her son, John. Since John wishes to visit the “brave new world” his mother had told him about, Bernard receives permission to take John and Linda back with him. John became disturbed after touring the school and factories. When the Director comes to exile Bernard, the latter reveals that John is the son of the former, which caused the Director to resign. John left to the countryside. Some curious people followed him and wished for John to whip himself. Chaos ensues, and the following morning, John hanged himself for conforming to the disturbing society.

II. THEME

The theme of ...

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...es are carried out to their intensely unpleasant culminations” (Harmon 171). In the novel, negative qualities of today’s society are heightened and made worse, such as a consumerism and prejudice. Traits that we would find horrifying today but could still become possible also appear, for example production of the human embryo by machine means.

A sub-genre of the novel is satire. The definition of the satirical genre is, “A work or manner that blends a censorious attitude with humor and wit for improving human institutions or humanity” (46). At the time the novel was written, most of the traits portrayed by society were completely beyond belief, but today they are viewed as totally possible and completely unwanted. Huxley clearly predicted the outcome of today’s society, and today the novel is less of a satire and more of a negative prediction of what is to come.

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