Brave New World

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Brave New World is a dystopic novel written by British author Aldous Huxley in 1931. The book gives an account of a futuristic society in which the earth is governed by a single world government, which uses new laws, and new ethics to achieve its ends. Using the coercive eugenics of mechanical breeding and elimination, indoctrination through subconscious conditioning, and suppression of dissent, the novel explores the future of technology, totalitarianism, and the degradation of society. Huxley foresaw many topics of concern for today's political leaders, including in vitro cloning, and more importantly, what must a society do when the science has cured all diseases and no one gets ill or dies.

Summary

In a futuristic setting, a world government is set up and nationalities are abolished and denounced. Childbirth is replaced by mechanical breeding. The society is a strict, caste-like hierarchy, Alpha being the highest class and Epsilon the lowest. The hierarchical status of each individual is determined by machine-automated selection, in such a way that everyone loves being in their caste. The lowly Epsilons wouldn't want to think all the time like the Alphas do.

At the opening of the story, a group of high-caste students are led visiting the Central London Hatching and Conditioning Centre, where the selection, caste-stratification, and breeding are done. The Director also lead the kid observe the babies being conditioned through high-tech means.

A woman, Lenina, and the eccentric Bernard Marx decide to take a vacation to the "Savage" Reservation, in which people there are born through old means and are not conditioned. They are shocked by the difference between the primitive lifestyle, the aged and the ill on the reservation, and their own high-tech organized society. Bernard and Lenina meet Linda, a woman from their world who has been lost in the reservation when on a vacation with the Director, and his son, John. They try to bring them back to the "New World".

When they succeed in getting the mother and son back to their world, John, who grew up in the reservation, finds himself incompatible with the new society. In the meantime, Bernard faces possible exile due to the fact that he casually utters disapproval to the world government. More dramatic events ensue.

References