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3: Brave New World

Originally posted by audrey_e at Book 3: Brave New World
3 BRAVE NEW WORLD Aldous Huxley (England, 1932)

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In a society where everyone is conditioned to be happy at all times, Bernard Marx is one of the few who question the system.

Brave New World and 1984 are probably the two most famous dystopian novels in the anglophone world, and since they're often compared to each other, I can say the latter is far more memorable and convincing.
Based on the world we live in today, I find it hard to believe that eradication of fear and anxiety is a potential threat, just like I do not believe absence of emotional attachment through conditioning would benefit those in power in any way. I'm also skeptical of the fact that Huxley's imagined society would let its outliers in peace on an island. The fear and worship system of 1984 seems far more relevant.
I'm not saying there's no value to Brave New Word's warning; I agree that distractions are used by governments and people to prevent a society from thinking about serious issues. I thought several passages illustrated that idea very well. Yet this novel is not as visionary as I expected it to be.
Having said that, I really enjoyed Huxley's writing style. It flowed beautifully and was occasionally surprising. The chapter in which different voices are mixed together was particularly impressive.

3/5

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
marycatelli
Feb. 1st, 2014 04:10 am (UTC)
Yeah, there is a certain extent that it was built on the best science of its day -- and science marches on.

On the other hand, dystopian and utopian writers alike assume a certain malleability to human nature that comes across as implausible.
audrey_e
Feb. 3rd, 2014 12:08 am (UTC)
"dystopian and utopian writers alike assume a certain malleability to human nature that comes across as implausible"

Well-put. I agree.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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