Brave New World: Review

Imagine living in a world where babies are born from test tubes, but not only that, they can also be manufactured so that one egg can divide itself multiple of times until there are 96 identical twins instead of just one baby. Imagine a society where people are firm believers in proverbs like “everyone belongs to everyone else” and “when the individual feels, the community reels.”

Aldous Huxley’s take on the distant future is what results in the Brave New World. A society those very foundation is solidified by total dictatorship shared by 10 Controllers who stabilize the society with the help of highly advanced technology and psychological hypnotism.

Brave New World is set in London where each person is conditioned through hypnopaedia (sleep teaching) since birth to follow “suggestions from the state” which is applied according to their caste. And within this society we find our protagonist Bernard Marx who is not like everyone else due to the fact that he strives for individuality in a society that recoils from it. As the story unfolds we notice the stark contrast between Bernard and the other characters as well as his development into becoming the very thing that he despises, his conformation into the society.

While the novel has an intriguing storyline, Huxley tends to throw in various characters at times that only appear very briefly before disappearing, but sometimes reappearing in later chapters or not at all. By doing so, there has been a disruption in the flow of the story due to being constantly interrupted to remember who that particular character is and what the relationship between the character and the setting is about. However, Huxley balances out these flittering characters by also having consistent characters like Bernard Marx, the Savage, Lenina Crowne, Helmhotlz Watson, and Mustapha Mond. But even with this balance, the characters have a loss of depth to them, therefore, it is hard to get a real grasp on the characters, even the ones that are present throughout the novel due to the fact that Huxley does not go beyond providing the basic information of the character other than for the story to move along. This has in turn lessened the amount of association between the reader and the character.

Other than that, Huxley has succeeded in creating a story that makes the reader go past the comfort zone in which they are familiar with yet, still holds the enticement for the reader to continue with reading his novel, perhaps due to the eerie quality of being quite similar to the world we live in now.

-Ellen Shing

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