How many goodly creatures are there here!~The Tempest V, i
How beauteous mankind is!
O brave new world,
That has such people in it!
Brave New World is a dystopian(or utopian depending on your point of veiw) novel by Aldous Huxley. It was only mildly successful on its first release but is now considered a classic.
Plot and Setting (warning spoilers)
The year is A.F 643 or 2590 AD almost and almost all the earth is united under the benevolent dictatorship of the world state. Humans are no longer born but decanted after being grown in bottles on conveyor belts. They are then conditioned via hypnopaedic(sleep teaching) and neo-Palovian techniques to uphold the vaules the world state asines to their eugenic caste. The only people exculded are the "savages" a technolicaly backwards people who live on worthless land know as savage reservations were they live a lifestyle descened but destect from their the one there native amrican ancestors lived before Colomus.
Is happiness the ultimant goal in life?
This question is raised both implicitly through the books dipiction of the world state as making almost everyone happy while simoultanously being a society that most of his readers would consider a dystopia and explicitly by the charaters Mustapha and John.
Are mind altering drugs inherently immoral
Most modren socieis veiw recrational drug use as bad often even criminal but in the world state it is common and encoraged for all segments of society to use large amounts of the drug Soma. In fact several of the more merable hypnopaedic sayings such as "a gram is better than a damn" are about its use.
Almost all off the inhabitants of the world state are extremely promiscuous and one of the more common sayings of there world is "everyone belongs to everyone else". It is common for people to have intercourse on the first date and either have multiple partners or frecently change partners.
The World state is legaly atheist but hase a pesdo-religion based on the worship of Ford and Freud who they belive to be diffent personas of the same histotrical figure. This includes following many of the philispical and phycolical beliefs along with many ritual pratices and saying which are often slightly modifed Christain traditions. One of the most noticable of theese is the sign of the T which is a clear refernce to the sign of the cross and the model T automobile. Another notable aspect of Fordism is that instead of giving dates in terms of A.D. they us A.F. or After Ford.
Plot of section one
The book begins with The Director of Hatcheries and conditioning giving a tour to some new workers, this introduces the DHC and the way children are grown and conditioned.
Bernard Marx is an Psychologist. He is also an Alpha and has the intelligence of one but has a very short stature which in the World State is usually associated with the lower castes. This is likely one of the reasons that he is very uncomfortable in the world state's society. He likes many things that are normal in most modern societies but very unusual in the world state. For example he likes romance before sex, thinking in silence and nature.
Lenita is a vaccination worker at the London hatchery. She is sought after by many of the male characters including Bernard and John 1 Both her caste and her actions give the inmpression that she is much more thourly brainwashed and less intellgent then most of the other major charaters patricualy the male ones such as Bernard.
"His Fordship" Mustapha Monds is one of the ten world controllers and the only one who actually appears in the book. He is outwardly a great proponent of the world state but is revealed to secretly harbor severe doubts about the possibility of god and whether human happiness is as important as his society says it is.
John aka Mr.Savage
John is from a savage reservation a large nearly worthless section of land that is allowed partial freedom from the world controlers and is kept in a state of technolicical backwardsness. but was born and raised by a member of the world state who was stranded there. He is very religious and loves Shakespeare, both of which play a major role in the plot.
The Directory of Hacheries and Conditioning
He is Bernard and Lenita's boss. He apeares to be a model citizen of the world state but secretly fathered John despite the world states strong taboo against viparious reproduction.
Impact and Reception
Lets be frank the general public was at best lukewarm and it bombed with the critics. There were some critics who liked it but not very much and most just hated it.
The book is now recagnized as a literary classic and though it is less well known than 1984 is still taught in many high schools and well known to the genral puplic.