"O brave new world, that hath such people in it!"
Brave New World is a classic - it is a dystopian novel similar in theme to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. I was recommended to read this book, by my cousin, as I enjoy dystopian novels. Brave New World revolves around the idea of totalitarianism and is set in a futuristic world where a combination of science and pleasure form a rather feudalistic society. This idea of totalitarianism is achieved through test tube babies, and hypnotism, resulting in a pre-ordained caste system consisting of intelligent humans suited to the highest positions and conversely, serf-like beings genetically programmed to carry out menial works. In this world of Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas and the unfortunate Epsilons, exists drug-induced happiness, caused by what is known as soma. Here, "everyone belongs to everyone else" emphasising the system of forced promiscuity, brainwashed into the people from the moment of birth. At the core of this book is the horrific idea of eugenics and despite being written several decades ago, its message remains valid for our generation.
Brave New World explores the negatives of a ostensibly successful world in which everyone appears to be content and satisfied, with excessive carnal pleasures yet really, this stability is only achieved by sacrificing freedom in its true sense and the idea of personal responsibility.
I think this book is really interesting as it explores the dangers of technology and what it can do to a whole world; indeed, Huxley is trying to convey the idea that technology does not have the power to save us successfully. This theme is what makes the novel controversial - yet a classic that we can relate to, especially in today's world, where technology is close enough to ruling our lives, what with high tech computers, music players and gaming consoles fast becoming a natural part of our lives. Additionally, Brave New World explores the idea of just how far science can go without being immoral. Would we really want to live in a world where eugenics rule and despite everyone being equal on the surface, deep underneath bubbles the idea of inequuality and unfairness? Not for me, thanks! The novel presents the contradictory idea of a Utopia, a perfect world, yet the word "utopia" is derived from two Greek words meaning "good place" and "no place"; this suggests that the perfect world is impossible.
It is true that this book is a complex read and I must confess that some parts I did not understand; however, the novel's meaning has left a deep impression on me. It's certainly a book I won't forget, and I would recommend it to readers aged fourteen and over as the ideas presented are complex, and Huxley writes in a very adult-like manner, with exceedingly complicated sentences and very complex vocabulary.
Overall, Brave New World is a scary depiction of what could soon be our future. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this well written and thought provoking novel.