Sunday, 4 October 2009

Book Review: Brave New World

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Synopsis: In the future the world is organized. There is stability and everyone is happy. Or at least so it would seem on the surface. Only in the reservation do people live a different life. A life where there are mothers and fathers and religion and feelings. When the two worlds meet some lives are forever changed.

My Thoughts: I first read this book when I was seventeen or eighteen. It was one of the few books that I have ever been told to read that I loved unconditionally from the get go (some I loved after a while). I loved this book despite the loneliness of most of the main characters. In a society where everyone is conditioned to loath loneliness loneliness still creeps in to the lives of those who have been conditioned to think and into the lives of those who, for unexplained reasons, are different. As Huxley writes "Yes, that's just it.' The young man nodded. 'If one's different, one's bound to be lonely" (pg124). As someone who was lonely as and felt different as a teenager I could readily identify with several of the characters. I love how Huxley weaves in our heritage and what was happening in the world at the time into making predictions about the future. Predictions that are looking increasingly as if they are coming true.

Brave New World is an often banned or challenged book, something I find ironic since in the book books have been banned. If people read books then they are not consuming perishables. I always find it interesting that in dystopian novels reading of books is banned. In both The Giver (my other banned book) and in Brave New World only reference books are allowed and even these are sanitized to show only that which the controllers want the population to read. It is fascinating when so much power is ascribed to books. They are truly powerful.


Amanda said...

I read both this one and 1984 by Orwell in the same year in high school - I think it was a presentation on dystopian literature - and I loved this one much more than 1984. I haven't read it since I was 16 or 17 though. I'm due for a reread.

hopeinbrazil said...

Thanks for the good review. I'm long overdue to read this one.