Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

bravenewworld_aldoushuxleyDo you sometimes wish you did not have parents? Would you like to have free time to do whatever you wish? Would you rather not choose a favorite color?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, maybe you should move to the utopian society pictured in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

But on the other hand, maybe not…

The setting of this novel is a society where all people are decanted rather than born. Before they are ‘born,’ they are predestined to their position in society. For the Epsilon Semi-Morons, this means having their intelligence and growth stunted or even being part of a Bokanovsky Group, where one will have at least 50 identical twins. For an Alpha Plus, this means becoming an individual, because these are the people who will grow up to be World Controllers.

The people in the novel are encouraged to take part in whatever activities bring them pleasure, including erotic play. Additionally, there is soma, the drug that brings the person away from the problems of the world, in something called a soma-holiday. There is no such thing as God in this world; they worship Henry Ford. Their calendar system is based off the invention of the Model-T Ford.

One day, however, in this seemingly perfect world, Bernard Marx and his girlfriend for the week go to a savage reservation in New Mexico, where life is still going on as it was before this civilization developed. His girlfriend, Lenina, is revolted by the fact that people here have their own children, that they can grow fat, and that people get married and stay dedicated to one person their whole life! Here, Lenina and Bernard meet John and Linda, two people with surprising ties to civilization. The decision to bring them back to their society, as expected, causes conflict.

My favorite part of the novel was how thought out this futuristic society is. Though to me, it is very disgusting, and I would definitely not want to live there. It seems very realistic that it might occur even today, thought the novel was written in 1932. Also, though sad, the very end of the novel was poetic and very eloquently written.

I would definitely recommend this book to older teens. Some of the ideas and descriptions in the novel are certainly for older audiences. Additionally, I found that there was a lot of vocabulary that was new to me, and I had to keep looking up new words, so that is something to consider. But if you do decide to read this book, you should enjoy it. It is a very fascinating novel.

-Leila S.

Brave New World is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Public Library and Overdrive.