Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

A general View

Brave New World is set 600 years after it was written. The nine-year war has destroyed our customs and traditions, religions, family life and the idea of freedom has disappeared. It is a world without wars and patriotism.

This base of stability consists of the improvement of mankind through the reproduction in vitro: human beings are produced as a result of a mass production.

Once they have born, they are subjected to ‘neopavlovian’ methods; they listen to some slogans while they are sleeping, in order to buy things and to be happy with what they are, since their society is based on a caste system, in which there are: alphas, betas, gammas, deltas and epsilons; each of them with established functions.

Children grow up without parents, and sexuality is not seen as something bad, furthermore, it is an activity the child is persuaded to practise since they are very young.

There are no diseases, and geriatrics makes people feel young, and when death arrives, it is fast and without any kind of suffering.

Moreover, in order to make up for strong stimulus, there is a sensationalistic cinema where the public is able to experience emotions from their seats. And if there is still someone who does not feel happy, there is a drug called SOMA which is supplied by the state and makes us hallucinate without causing any harm.

A general summary

Huxley introduces us four characters that are conscious of the possibility of other ways of life. One of them is the main character Bernard Marx. He is an alpha but physically he is not as the rest of alphas; actually he looks like a gamma; and because of this he is not happy.

Apart from this new world, there is an Indian reservation in Nuevo Mexico, where millions of Indians live in a primitive way.  Within that people there is a man who has been brought up in that culture, but whose mother is a beta that got lost in the reservation when she was visiting it and was unable to come back to England. Because of his mother, this man learnt to speak English and he read an old book of Shakespeare.

Bernard goes to visit the reservation and he comes back with this man (the savage) and his mother. They will produce a lot of amazement in England. There, the savage feels overwhelmed. He sees that all his concepts of moral have no sense in that world, and he decides to hang himself.

In my opinion this is a very good novel since it was written when there were not all the technologies that there are nowadays. Today, ecological problems, hunger, overpopulation, and the fast development of industries are very common; but they were not so common half a century ago.

I think that Huxley is giving us some advice: if society continues focussing on progress and technologies without its moral progress as well, the future of the world will be one like the book describes.



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