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Today's review is for:
Brave New World
It was under the category: A Controversial Book
This is a dystopian future book that was written in the 1932s. What Huxley thought the future would look like. A Nine Year War has taken place. Now people take a daily dose of drugs (called soma) that keep them happy all the time. Babies are only born in laboratories. No one is a father or mother, husband or wife. They attend entertainment that is called "Feelies" which is interactive movies that simulate sight, touch and hearing. They are content and have been programmed throughout their lives to like their society. They have different levels - Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma and Epsilon - and they are bread to be in these various classes. The Alphas are the leaders, and Epsilons and the day laborers. The people are programmed to like the class they are put into and that they would not want to be anything else. There are a few outliers (an Alpha who isn't content with his station in life) and the Savages - who have never been part of the civilized community. They beg the question - should mindless happiness take the place of deep thought and expression?
I liked this book pretty well. I liked it more than 1984, that is for sure. It is a book about a society that is more interested in profits and consumerism than its people. There is the annihilation of religion. There is a drug (soma) that is the cure for all the ails you. The people in this future just want to be happy with their station in life, and never have individual thinking.
The book overall was good until it got to the end. Then it just lost me. Once the savage is brought back to the community, it got hard to follow. It is started jumping all over the place. John the Savage went from being a savage to meeting with the local world-controller. I think Huxley was trying to use this opportunity to describe why society is the way it is now, but he did a poor job with it.
It is a classic book, and for the most part, I would recommend reading it.
Down in Rhode Island they grow a lot of plants and on the road leading from my parents' house to Newport, there is a huge farm and in the middle of it is a perfect square brick building with perfectly square evenly spaced windows, and big letters on the side that read "NURSERY." Every time I drive by that building, I think of this book and imagine it is full of babies getting electric shock treatments. I read it in my formative years. It has stuck with me.ReplyDelete