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ALDOUS HUXLEY

BIOGRAPHY

Aldous Huxley was born in Surrey,


England, on July 26, 1894, to an illustrious
family deeply rooted in Englands literary
and scientific tradition.
He wanted to become a doctor, but an
eye disease which left him blind for about
three years prevented him from doing so.
Instead, he began studying English
Literature and he graduated in 1916.
In the following years, he published
Crome Yellow, Antic Hay and, in 1932,
Brave New World.
In his late years he started to experiment
with hallucinogenic drugs, and he wrote
some books about his experience. He
died on November 22, 1963, killed by a
lethal injection of LSD.
DYSTOPIAN NOVEL VS UTOPIAN NOVEL

A dystopian work exaggerates bad tendencies already present in the


society, projecting them into the future

Scientific progress as the origin of evil in human life

An utopia is an ideal society organized to create ideal conditions for human


beings

Scientific progress as a way to improve human life indefinitely


Published in 1932

Brave New World's title derives from Miranda's speech


in William Shakespeare's The Tempest, Act V, Scene I:
O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't.
William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act V, Scene I, ll. 203206
CONTEXT

The book is set in London in the year AD 2540 (632A.F.). It presents a


scientifically perfect society in which humans are hatched from eggs and
mass-produced in bottles using various methods. Human beings are
organized in a caste system based on intelligence, and intelligence is
regulated by the amount of oxygen to which the eggs are exposed. The
most intelligent are the Alphas and the least developed are the Epsilons;
between them are the Betas, Gammas and Deltas. Rigid control of all
the citizens assures stability and peace is guaranteed through the
state's process of conditioning all young people to think the same way.
Marriage is not allowed. Citizens are kept in a state of happiness with a
powerful tranquilizer called soma.
MAJOR CHARACTERS
John - the only major character to have grown up outside of the
World State, he finds himself unable to fit in to its society. His view
of the world is based on Shakespeares plays, which he read
growing up

Bernard Marx - an Alpha male with unorthodox beliefs about social


life. He is the one who takes John and his mother back to the World
State from the Savage Reservation they had lived in

Lenina Crowne - a vaccination worker, object of desire for many


characters, including John. Her moral values make her an example
of World State citizen.

Mustapha Mond - one of the World Controllers. For him,


humankinds ultimate goals are stability and happiness, as
opposed to emotions, human relations, and individual expression.
CHAPTER ONE
Setting: Central London Hatcheries, 632 AF

Plot: The Director of the Hatcheries is giving a guided tour to some


students. He explains how eggs are treated according to their future
caste and job, and shows them the conveyor belts on which the
fetuses grow up until they are ready. He also introduces them two
employees, Henry Foster and Lenina Crowne, who explain their jobs.

One egg, one embryo, one adultnormality. But a bokanovskified egg


will bud, will proliferate, will divide. From eight to ninety-six buds, and
every bud will grow into a perfectly formed embryo, and every embryo
into a full-sized adult. Making ninety-six human beings grow where only
one grew before. Progress.
-Brave New World, Chapter One
THEMES

The use of technology to control society

The consumer society

The incompatibility of happiness and truth

The dangers of an all-powerful state


SYMBOLS
SOMA

The drug soma is a symbol of the use of instant


gratification to control the World States populace. It is
also a symbol of the powerful influence of science and
technology on society. As a kind of sacrament, it also
represents the use of religion to control society.

All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of


their defects.
One cubic centimetre cures ten gloomy sentiments.
-about Soma

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