Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

Let me start by saying that I have always felt that the books written in interesting times are interesting and this is one of those books. It was published in 1932 and this was the era between the world war I and II.

This is one of the good books that I have read and I wish I would have  read it earlier. I am surprised to find that the book was universally criticized when it was first released and there was an instance of banning the book in a school in California. But perhaps it was bound to since the book is such a beautiful satire on both the American Capitalism and European ( Russian ) Communism/Socialism.

The society which he creates in his imaginary dystopia ( which is a satire of the utopian visions of the authors like H.G.Wells and Shaw etc, as I read ) is spine chilling. It produces a deeply caste biased and highly imbecile people who are genetically modified to suit the needs that they are to later fulfill. Mass production happens in factories which is then consumed by the creators themselves – referring to the Industrialization. People have senseless ways to entertain themselves or pass time – feelies and sex – reference to the evolving American (absence of?) culture. There is no thinking. Vrtues of our times are shown to be the vices of tomorrow and vice versa. Reproduction is shameful whereas copulation is good when the primary function of sex is to reproduce. Consumerism flourishes. Individuality and peculiarity are scoffed at. Conformity is the norm. Art and Literature and beauty are incomprehensible and despicable. The world is stable and harmonious yet it lacks the very essence of being human. Human is a machine in his world.

The world which Huxley has created is spine chilling. It scared the hell out of me. His vision is piercing and the satire is highly enjoyable. He shows to us the horror of too much science ( and that is what Mustapha Mond says too ). He literally mocks the utopian society that we look at. Mind control, dictatorship and totalitarian regimes are depicted to be terrible even if the intentions are good. The people dont get what they want but they get the end of want. There is adherence and acceptance.

A solid book. Marvellous social and political satire. Somehow sometimes direct words pinch less than the satirical way. It is absolute fun to read such a well written book.


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