Mar 28, 2022

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

A short summary of the novel The story takes place in A.F. 632, about seven centuries after the twentieth century in the World State city of London. The abbreviation A.F. stands for After Ford, the incredible industrialist Henry Ford who invented large scale manufacturing procedures. According to the novel, World Controllers rule the world and guarantee the security of society through the conception of a system that consists of different classes. At the top of the system, there are two classes, Alphas, and Betas. They represent the intelligentsia of the social structure. They are mainly scientists, politicians, and other top minds. At the bottom of the system, there are three other classes, namely, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons. They are principally the world's industrial working classes. The whole society lives in a state of eternal happiness thanks to a drug named soma. This drug guarantees that nobody ever feels depressed or experience pain. The members of every class receive provisions of the drug. This 'brave new world' is also characterized by pre- and post-natal conditioning which further guarantees peaceful social stability.

What is the main message of Brave New World? One of the most salient messages of Brave New World is the alarm raised by Huxley against the dangers of technology. Using scientific and technological advances to control society may give more power to totalitarian states to change the way human beings think and act. Relying on technologies may end up controlling human beings and stifling freedom. The real meaning of freedom is another theme discussed by Aldous Huxley. Lenina, one of the characters in the novel, insists that everyone has a great deal of freedom in the World State. It is the freedom to get whatever you want and to have a wonderful time. But is it really freedom? Soma, the drug that everyone has a right to, transform people into a hypnotic state in which they don't have to question things and accept the so-called happy life it provides them with. Another message Brave New World tries to convey is related to self-gratification and happiness. Is always satisfying desire conducive to real happiness? The World State makes sure that all its citizens get precisely what they desire all the time. But what is the cost of this so-called happiness? The novel shows that the price of this superficial happiness is false stability. It is stability at the expense of deep thinking and true passion. It is a stability that eliminates human experience as enriching and character-forming.

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