Monday, September 12, 2011
Thoughts: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
The novel first focuses on Bernard Marx. He lives in a world where marriage and religion are considered taboo, and wanting to be alone makes you a social outcast. Bernard travels with the beautiful Lenina Crowne to one of the Reservations, the last remaining places on earth where the nuclear family is still intact. There, they discover John Savage, a Citizen of the World State who was born and raised in the Reservation.
First of all, I couldn’t believe that this book was written in 1931. Huxley tackled issues that are still being discussed today. It made me think long and hard about the importance of individuality in today’s society, and whether an individual should be sacrificed for “the greater good.” The book also made me realize how lucky I am to be living in today’s society. Poverty and unhappiness were absent from Civilization, but Truth and Beauty could only be found in the almost-primitive conditions of Reservations. There was no middle ground where people who felt “different” could escape to.
While reading, I didn’t let myself look anything up, so I had to figure out a lot of things on my own. The characters kept saying things like “The year of Our Ford” or “Our Fordship,” and I wondered, “Who is this Ford person?” I discovered, after I finished the book, that His Fordship is actually Henry Ford, an American industrialist and the founder of the Ford Motor Company. That was pretty funny, and the way Huxley seems to make fun of everything reminded me of Kurt Vonnegut.
I was disappointed when I reached the part where John Savage and the World Controller (he’s kind of like the President of the ENTIRE WORLD) debated about the current state of society. I hate it when authors treat characters as mouthpieces for their opinions. Overall, though, I liked Brave New World a lot.