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Brave New World pdf, Book, Summary by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World pdf Overview

Brave New World pdf is a social science fiction novel by English author Aldous Huxley, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Largely set in a futuristic World State, whose citizens are environmentally engineered into an intelligence-based social hierarchy.

The novel Brave new world pdf anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that are combined to make a dystopian society which is challenged by only a single individual.

READ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets pdf J. K. Rowling, Book 2

The novel is often compared to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (published 1949).

Brave New World pdf Book Review

Brave New World Summary (Wikipedia)

The novel Brave pdf new world opens in the World State city of London in AF (After Ford) 632 (AD 2540 in the Gregorian calendar), where citizens are engineered through artificial wombs and childhood indoctrination programmes into predetermined classes (or castes) based on intelligence and labor. Lenina Crowne, a hatchery worker, is popular and sexually desirable, but Bernard Marx, a psychologist, is not. He is shorter in stature than the average member of his high caste, which gives him an inferiority complex. His work with sleep-learning allows him to understand, and disapprove of, his society’s methods of keeping its citizens peaceful, which includes their constant consumption of a soothing, happiness-producing drug called Soma. Courting disaster, Bernard is vocal and arrogant about his criticisms, and his boss contemplates exiling him to Iceland because of his nonconformity. His only friend is Helmholtz Watson, a gifted writer who finds it difficult to use his talents creatively in their pain-free society.

Bernard takes a holiday with Lenina outside the World State to a Savage Reservation in New Mexico, in which the two observe natural-born people, disease, the aging process, other languages, and religious lifestyles for the first time. The culture of the village folk resembles the contemporary Native American groups of the region, descendants of the Anasazi, including the Puebloan peoples of Hopi and Zuni. Bernard and Lenina witness a violent public ritual and then encounter Linda, a woman originally from the World State who is living on the reservation with her son John, now a young man. She, too, visited the reservation on a holiday many years ago, but became separated from her group and was left behind. She had meanwhile become pregnant by a fellow-holidaymaker (who is revealed to be Bernard’s boss, the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning). She did not try to return to the World State, because of her shame at her pregnancy. Despite spending his whole life in the reservation, John has never been accepted by the villagers, and his and Linda’s lives have been hard and unpleasant. Linda has taught John to read, although from the only book in her possession—a scientific manual and another book John found: the complete works of Shakespeare. Ostracized by the villagers, John is able to articulate his feelings only in terms of Shakespearean drama, quoting often from The Tempest, King Lear, Othello, Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet. Linda now wants to return to London, and John, too, wants to see this “brave new world”. Bernard sees an opportunity to thwart plans to exile him, and gets permission to take Linda and John back. On their return to London, John meets the Director and calls him his “father”, a vulgarity which causes a roar of laughter. The humiliated Director resigns in shame before he can follow through with exiling Bernard.

Bernard, as “custodian” of the “savage” John who is now treated as a celebrity, is fawned on by the highest members of society and revels in attention he once scorned. Bernard’s popularity is fleeting, though, and he becomes envious that John only really bonds with the literary-minded Helmholtz. Considered hideous and friendless, Linda spends all her time using soma, while John refuses to attend social events organized by Bernard, appalled by what he perceives to be an empty society. Lenina and John are physically attracted to each other, but John’s view of courtship and romance, based on Shakespeare’s writings, is utterly incompatible with Lenina’s freewheeling attitude to sex. She tries to seduce him, but he attacks her, before suddenly being informed that his mother is on her deathbed. He rushes to Linda’s bedside, causing a scandal, as this is not the “correct” attitude to death. Some children who enter the ward for “death-conditioning” come across as disrespectful to John until he attacks one physically. He then tries to break up a distribution of soma to a lower-caste group, telling them that he is freeing them. Helmholtz and Bernard rush in to stop the ensuing riot, which the police quell by spraying soma vapor into the crowd.

Bernard, Helmholtz, and John are all brought before Mustapha Mond, the “Resident World Controller for Western Europe”, who tells Bernard and Helmholtz that they are to be exiled to islands for antisocial activity. Bernard pleads for a second chance, but Helmholtz welcomes the opportunity to be a true individual, and chooses the Falkland Islands as his destination, believing that their bad weather will inspire his writing. Mond tells Helmholtz that exile is actually a reward. The islands are full of the most interesting people in the world, individuals who did not fit into the social model of the World State. Mond outlines for John the events that led to the present society and his arguments for a caste system and social control. John rejects Mond’s arguments, and Mond sums up John’s views by claiming that John demands “the right to be unhappy”. John asks if he may go to the islands as well, but Mond refuses, saying he wishes to see what happens to John next.

Jaded with his new life, John moves to an abandoned hilltop lighthouse, near the village of Puttenham, where he intends to adopt a solitary ascetic lifestyle in order to purify himself of civilization, practicing self-flagellation. This draws reporters and eventually hundreds of amazed sightseers, hoping to witness his bizarre behavior.

For a while it seems that John might be left alone, after the public’s attention is drawn to other diversions, but a documentary maker has secretly filmed John’s self-flagellation from a distance, and when released the documentary causes an international sensation. Helicopters arrive with more journalists. Crowds of people descend on John’s retreat, demanding that he perform his whipping ritual for them. From one helicopter a young woman emerges who is implied to be Lenina. John, at the sight of a woman he both adores and loathes, whips at her in a fury and then turns the whip on himself, exciting the crowd, whose wild behavior transforms into a soma-fuelled orgy. The next morning John awakes on the ground and is consumed by remorse over his participation in the night’s events.

That evening, a swarm of helicopters appears on the horizon, the story of last night’s orgy having been in all the papers. The first onlookers and reporters to arrive find that John is dead. John, although madly in love with Lenina, was not able to bear her promiscuity, and, being constantly disturbed by visitors, he had hanged himself.

Brave New World Author – Aldous Leonard Huxley

Aldous Huxley author of brave new world
Aldous Huxley author of brave new world

Aldous Leonard Huxley (26 July 1894 – 22 November 1963) the author of the brave new world was an English writer and philosopher. He wrote nearly 50 books—both novels and non-fiction works—as well as wide-ranging essays, narratives, and poems.

Born into the prominent Huxley family, he graduated from Balliol College, Oxford, with an undergraduate degree in English literature. Early in his career, he published short stories and poetry and edited the literary magazine Oxford Poetry, before going on to publish travel writing, satire, and screenplays. He spent the latter part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death. By the end of his life, Huxley was widely acknowledged as one of the foremost intellectuals of his time. 

Aldous Leonard Huxley was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature nine times and was elected Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature in 1962.

Aldous Leonard Huxley was a pacifist. He grew interested in philosophical mysticism and universalism, addressing these subjects with works such as The Perennial Philosophy (1945)—which illustrates commonalities between Western and Eastern mysticism—and The Doors of Perception (1954)—which interprets his own psychedelic experience with mescaline. In his most famous novel Brave New World (1932) and his final novel Island (1962), he presented his vision of dystopia and utopia, respectively.

Brave New World Characters

Bernard Marx, a sleep-learning specialist at the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. Although Bernard is an Alpha-Plus (the upper class of the society), he is a misfit. He is unusually short for an Alpha; an alleged accident with alcohol in Bernard’s blood-surrogate before his decanting has left him slightly stunted. Bernard’s independence of mind stems more from his inferiority complex and depressive nature than from any depth of philosophical conviction. Unlike his fellow utopians, Bernard is often angry, resentful, and jealous. At times, he is also cowardly and hypocritical. His conditioning is clearly incomplete. He doesn’t enjoy communal sports, solidarity services, or promiscuous sex. He doesn’t even get much joy out of soma. Bernard is in love with Lenina but he doesn’t like her sleeping with other men, even though “everyone belongs to everyone else”. Bernard’s triumphant return to utopian civilization with John the Savage from the Reservation precipitates the downfall of the Director, who had been planning to exile him. Bernard’s triumph is short-lived; he is ultimately banished to an island for his non-conformist behavior.

John, the illicit son of the Director and Linda, born and reared on the Savage Reservation (“Malpais’ ‘) after Linda was unwittingly left behind by her errant lover. John (“the Savage” or “Mr. Savage”, as he is often called) is an outsider both on the Reservation—where the natives still practice marriage, natural birth, family life and religion—and the ostensibly civilized World State, based on principles of stability and happiness. He has read nothing but the complete works of William Shakespeare, which he quotes extensively, and, for the most part, aptly, though his allusion to the “Brave New World” (Miranda’s words in The Tempest) takes on a darker and bitterly ironic resonance as the novel unfolds. John is intensely moral according to a code that he has been taught by Shakespeare and life in Malpais but is also naïve: his views are as imported into his own consciousness as are the hypnopaedic messages of World State citizens. The admonishments of the men of Malpais taught him to regard his mother as a whore; but he cannot grasp that these were the same men who continually sought her out despite their supposedly sacred pledges of monogamy. Because he is unwanted in Malpais, he accepts the invitation to travel back to London and is initially astonished by the comforts of the World State. However, he remains committed to values that exist only in his poetry. He first spurns Lenina for failing to live up to his Shakespearean ideal and then the entire utopian society: he asserts that its technological wonders and consumerism are poor substitutes for individual freedom, human dignity and personal integrity. After his mother’s death, he becomes deeply distressed with grief, surprising onlookers in the hospital. He then withdraws himself from society and attempts to purify himself of “sin” (desire), but is unable to do so. He finds himself gathering a lot of trouble for both his body and mind. He soon does not realize what is real or what is fake, what he does and what he does not do. Soon everything he thinks about or feels just becomes blurred and unrecognizable. Finally he hangs himself in despair.

Helmholtz Watson, a handsome and successful Alpha-Plus lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering and a friend of Bernard. He feels unfulfilled writing endless propaganda doggerel, and the stifling conformism and philistinism of the World State make him restive. Helmholtz is ultimately exiled to the Falkland Islands—a cold asylum for disaffected Alpha-Plus non-conformists—after reading a heretical poem to his students on the virtues of solitude and helping John destroy some Deltas’ rations of soma following Linda’s death. Unlike Bernard, he takes his exile in his stride and comes to view it as an opportunity for inspiration in his writing.

Lenina Crowne, a young, beautiful fetus technician at the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. Lenina Crowne is a Beta who enjoys being a Beta. She is a vaccination worker with beliefs and values that are in line with a citizen of the World State. She is part of the 30% of the female population that are not freemartins (sterile women). Lenina is promiscuous and popular but somewhat quirky in her society: she had a four-month relation with Henry Foster, choosing not to have sex with anyone but him for a period of time. She is basically happy and well-conditioned, using soma to suppress unwelcome emotions, as is expected. Lenina has a date with Bernard, to whom she feels ambivalently attracted, and she goes to the Reservation with him. On returning to civilization, she tries and fails to seduce John the Savage. John loves and desires Lenina but he is repelled by her forwardness and the prospect of pre-marital sex, rejecting her as an “impudent strumpet”. Lenina visits John at the lighthouse but he attacks her with a whip, unwittingly inciting onlookers to do the same. Her exact fate is left unspecified.

Mustapha Mond, Resident World Controller of Western Europe, “His Fordship” Mustapha Mond presides over one of the ten zones of the World State, the global government set up after the cataclysmic Nine Years’ War and great Economic Collapse. Sophisticated and good-natured, Mond is an urbane and hyper intelligent advocate of the World State and its ethos of “Community, Identity, Stability”. Among the novel’s characters, he is uniquely aware of the precise nature of the society he oversees and what it has given up to accomplish its gains. Mond argues that art, literature, and scientific freedom must be sacrificed to secure the ultimate utilitarian goal of maximizing societal happiness. He defends the caste system, behavioral conditioning, and the lack of personal freedom in the World State: these, he says, are a price worth paying for achieving social stability, the highest social virtue because it leads to lasting happiness.

Fanny Crowne, Lenina Crowne’s friend (they have the same last name because only ten thousand last names are in use in a World State comprising two billion people). Fanny voices the conventional values of her caste and society, particularly the importance of promiscuity: she advises Lenina that she should have more than one man in her life because it is unseemly to concentrate on just one. Fanny then, however, warns Lenina away from a new lover whom she considers undeserving, yet she is ultimately supportive of the young woman’s attraction to the savage John.

Henry Foster, one of Lenina’s many lovers, is a perfectly conventional Alpha male, casually discussing Lenina’s body with his coworkers. His success with Lenina, and his casual attitude about it, infuriates the jealous Bernard. Henry ultimately proves himself every bit the ideal World State citizen, finding no courage to defend Lenina from John’s assaults despite having maintained an uncommonly longstanding sexual relationship with her.

Benito Hoover, another of Lenina’s lovers. She remembers that he is particularly hairy when he takes his clothes off.

The Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning (DHC), also known as Thomas “Tomakin” Grahambell, he is the administrator of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, where he is a threatening figure who intends to exile Bernard to Iceland. His plans take an unexpected turn, however, when Bernard returns from the Reservation with Linda (see below) and John, a child they both realize is actually his. This fact, scandalous and obscene in the World State, not because it was extramarital (which all sexual acts are), but because it was procreative, leads the Director to resign his post in shame.

Linda, John’s mother, decanted as a Beta-Minus in the World State, originally worked in the DHC’s Fertilizing Room, and subsequently lost during a storm while visiting the New Mexico Savage Reservation with the Director many years before the events of the novel. Despite following her usual precautions, Linda became pregnant with the Director’s son during their time together and was therefore unable to return to the World State by the time that she found her way to Malpais. Having been conditioned to the promiscuous social norms of the World State, Linda finds herself at once popular with every man in the pueblo (because she is open to all sexual advances) and also reviled for the same reason, seen as a whore by the wives of the men who visit her and by the men themselves (who come to her nonetheless). Her only comforts there are mescal brought by Popé as well as peyotl. Linda is desperate to return to the World State and to soma, wanting nothing more from her remaining life than comfort until death.

The Arch-Community-Songster, the secular equivalent of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the World State society. He takes personal offense when John refuses to attend Bernard’s party.

The Director of Crematoria and Phosphorus Reclamation, one of the many disappointed, important figures to attend Bernard’s party.

The Warden, an Alpha-Minus, the talkative chief administrator for the New Mexico Savage Reservation. He is blond, short, broad-shouldered, and has a booming voice.

Darwin Bonaparte, a “big game photographer” (i.e. filmmaker) who films John flogging himself. Darwin Bonaparte became known for two works: “feely of the gorillas’ wedding”, and “Sperm Whale’s Love-life”. He had already made a name for himself but still seeks more. He renewed his fame by filming the savage, John, in his newest release “The Savage of Surrey”. His name alludes to Charles Darwin and Napoleon Bonaparte.

Dr. Shaw, Bernard Marx’s physician who consequently becomes the physician of both Linda and John. He prescribes a lethal dose of soma to Linda, which will stop her respiratory system from functioning in a span of one to two months, at her own behest but not without protest from John. Ultimately, they all agree that it is for the best, since denying her this request would cause more trouble for Society and Linda herself.

Dr. Gaffney, Provost of Eton, an Upper School for high-caste individuals. He shows Bernard and John around the classrooms, and the Hypnopaedic Control Room (used for behavioral conditioning through sleep learning). John asks if the students read Shakespeare but the Provost says the library contains only reference books because solitary activities, such as reading, are discouraged.

Miss Keate, Head Mistress of Eton Upper School. Bernard fancies her, and arranges an assignation with her.

Brave New World Book Information

brave new world pdf
brave new world pdf
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harper Perennial (October 18, 2006)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0060850523
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0060850524
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 870L
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 7.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 0.7 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Best Sellers Rank: #579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • #8 in Dystopian Fiction
  • #10 in Genetic Engineering Science Fiction (Books)
  • #11 in Cyberpunk Science Fiction (Books)
  • Customer Reviews: 
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars
  • 21,338 ratings

Brave New world pdf Reviews


Editorial Reviews

“[A] masterpiece. … One of the most prophetic dystopian works of the 20th century.” — Wall Street Journal

“As sparkling, as provocative, as brilliant…as the day it was published.” — Martin Green

“One of the 20th century’s greatest writers.” — Washington Post

“Chilling. . . . That he gave us the dark side of genetic engineering in 1932 is amazing.” — Providence Journal-Bulletin

“A genius . . . a writer who spent his life decrying the onward march of the Machine.” — The New Yorker

“Aldous Huxley is the greatest 20th century writer in English.” — Chicago Tribune

“Huxley uses his erudite knowledge of human relations to compare our actual world with his prophetic fantasy of 1931. It is a frightening experience, indeed, to discover how much of his satirical prediction of a distant future became reality in so short a time.” — New York Times Book Review

“A sometimes appallingly accurate view of today’s world.” — St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“It’s time for everyone to read or reread Brave New World.” — Raleigh News & Observer

Reviews of Brave New World from Amazon Buyers

Ashutosh S. Jogalekar

5.0 out of 5 stars Fine-tuning the future
Reviewed in the United States on September 29, 2017
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Before there was ‘The Matrix’ and ‘Bladerunner’, before there was even ‘1984’, there was ‘Brave New World ‘. It is astonishing that Aldous Huxley wrote this tale of technological dystopia in 1932. The social elements from the story are similar to those in Orwell and Kafka and others, namely a society of obedient sheep run by the state and benevolent dictators through brainwashing and groupthink. But what’s striking about the novel is how it so astutely anticipates a society taken over by benevolent technocrats rather than politicians, a scenario that appears increasingly likely in the age of AI and genetic engineering.

Huxley came from an illustrious scientific family with social connections. His grandfather was Thomas Henry Huxley, Darwin’s close friend, publicist and “bulldog”, whose famous smackdown of Bishop Samuel Wilberforce has been relished by rationalists fighting against religious faith ever since. His brother was Julian Huxley, a famous biologist who among other accomplishments wrote a marvelous tome on everything that was then known about biology with H. G. Wells. Steeped in scientific as well as social discourse, possessing a deep knowledge of medical and other scientific research, Aldous was in an ideal position to write a far-reaching novel.

This he duly did. The basic premise of the novel sounds eerily prescient. Sometime in the near future, society has been regimented into a caste system where people are genetically engineered by the state in large state-run reproductive farms. Anticipating ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, only a select few women and men are capable of providing fertile eggs and sperm for this careful social engineering. The higher castes are strong, intelligent and charismatic. The lower castes are turgid, obedient and physically weak. They don’t begrudge those from the upper castes because their genetic engineering has largely removed their propensity toward jealousy and violence. Most notably, because reproduction is now the responsibility of the state, there is no longer a concept of a family, of a father or mother. There is knowledge of these concepts, but it’s regarded as archaic history from a past era and is met with revulsion.

How is this population kept under control? Not shockingly at all, through sex, drugs and rock and roll. Promiscuity is encouraged from childhood onwards and is simply a way of life, and everyone sleeps with everyone else, again without feeling jealousy or resentment (it was this depiction of promiscuity that led the book to be banned in India in the 60s). They flood their bodies with a drug called soma whenever they feel any kind of negative emotion welling up inside and party like there’s no end. They are brainwashed into believing the virtues of these and other interventions by the state through subliminal messages played when they are sleeping; such unconscious brainwashing goes all the way back to their birth. People do die, but out of sight, and when they are still looking young and attractive. Death is little more than a nuisance, a slight distraction from youth, beauty and fun.

Like Neo from ‘The Matrix’, one particular citizen of this society named Bernard Marx starts feeling that there is more to the world than would be apparent from this state of induced bliss. On a tryst with a particularly attractive member of his caste in an Indian reservation in New Mexico, he comes across a man referred to as the savage. The savage is the product of an illegitimate encounter (back when there were parents) between a member of a lower caste and the Director of Hatcheries who oversees all the controlled reproduction. He has grown up without any of the enlightened instruments of the New World, but his mother has kept a copy of Shakespeare with her so he knows all of Shakespeare by heart and frequently quotes it. Marx brings the savage back to his society. The rest of the book describes the savage’s reaction to this supposed utopia and its ultimately tragic consequences. Ultimately he concludes that it’s better to have free will and feel occasionally unhappy, resentful and angry than live in a society where free will is squelched and the population is kept bathed in an induced state of artificial happiness.

The vision of technological control in the novel is sweeping and frighteningly prescient. There is the brainwashing and complacent submission to the status quo that everyone undergoes which is similar to the messages provided in modern times by TV, social media and the 24-hour news cycle. There are the chemical and genetic interventions made by the state right in the embryonic stage to make sure that the embryos grow up with desired physical or mental advantages or deficiencies. These kinds of interventions are the exact kind feared by those wary of CRISPR and other genetic editing technologies. Finally, keeping the population preoccupied, entertained and away from critical thinking through sex and promiscuity is a particularly potent form of societal control that has been appreciated well by Victoria’s Secret, and that will not end with developments in virtual reality.

In some sense, Huxley completely anticipates the social problems engendered by the technological takeover of human jobs by robots and AI. Once human beings are left with nothing to do, how does the state ensure that they are prevented from becoming bored and restless and causing all kinds of trouble? In his book “Homo Deus”, Yuval Harari asks the same questions and concludes that a technocratic society will come up with distractions like virtual reality video games, new psychoactive drugs and novel forms of sexual entertainment that will keep the vast majority of unemployed from becoming bored and potentially hostile. I do not know whether Harari read Huxley, but I do feel more frightened by Huxley than by Harari. One reason I feel more frightened is because of what he leaves out; the book was published in 1932, so it omits any discussion of nuclear weapons which were invented ten years later. The combination of nuclear weapons with limitless societal control through technology makes for a particularly combustible mix.

The biggest prediction of Huxley’s dystopia, and one distinctly different from that made by Orwell or Kafka, is that instead of a socialist state, people’s minds are much more likely to be controlled in the near future by the leaders of technology companies like Google and Facebook who have formed an unholy nexus with the government. With their social media alerts and Fitbits and maps, the tech companies are increasingly telling us how to live our lives and distracting us from free thinking. Instead of communist regimes like the Soviet Union forcibly trampling on individual choice and liberty, we are already gently but willingly ceding our choices, privacy and liberties to machines and algorithms developed by these companies. And just like the state in Huxley and Orwell’s works, the leaders of these corporations will tell us why it’s in our best interests to let technology control our lives and freedom, when all the while it would really be in their best interests to tell us this. Our capitulation to their inventions will look helpful and voluntary and will feel pleasurable and even noble, but it will be no less complete than the capitulation of every individual in “Brave New World” or “1984”. The only question is, will there be any savages left among us to tell us how foolishly we are behaving?

Jo Jo
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 23, 2020
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Quite depressing but so timely accurate. Everyone should read it – together with 1984 – G. Orwell.


bal of balham
5.0 out of 5 stars If you never read another book read this one!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 18, 2017
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I had never thought to read this book and was actually searching for a film (The Shape of Things to Come) which I thought was from a story by Aldous Huxley. Instead I bought Brave New World and am glad to have do so. Written at a time (1932) when science fiction was very much still in its infancy the predictions of medical and technical advances are remarkable for their accuracy and the changes to social mores coupled with eugenics is frighteningly familiar. This book should be compulsory reading for everyone, in particular those world leaders (both secular and religious), scientists, the armed forces, industrialists and overzealous do-gooders who wish to impose upon in so many ways.


JayOTee
5.0 out of 5 stars Should have read this way earlier…
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 9, 2016
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Brave New World depicts a simple, light-hearted and perfectly content society, where, through conditioning from the moment you burst into life in the test tube to your irrelevant death, no-one suffers, no-one complains, and no-one is ever alone. A world where you are constantly stimulated by synthetic machinery, and require nothing but one or two pills to escape a stray emotion here or there, or induce a mental holiday to avoid the possibility of facing them. No worries.

And also no art, no literature or true creation of any kind. No gods or spirituality, no adventure or surprises or passion of any kind, ever. No parents or families or friends or intimacy. No scientific advancement. No private thoughts. Everyone is for everyone else. Your time must be shared. You can never experience solitude and reflection. You can never have autonomy. Your words are not your own. Your body is not inviolate. If you are not like this you are shipped off to an island with the few other defective members of society who are like you. Whether that is lucky or unlucky is a matter of perspective.

Effing frightening stuff if ever I heard it. I loved this book more after I finished than when I was reading, because the challenge wasn’t in accepting the world the characters inhabited, as it was really easy to digest because of its intentional tone (extraordinarily light, as if you’re on a drug inducing you to be that way the entire time, hint hint), but accepting the world around me as being frighteningly familiar to it in some unsettling ways. It doesn’t wholly reflect the world right now, but when it does it is in big ways. Though short it feeds enough into the psyche about our society as a whole, how we need suffering for heroism, mutual passion for love, pain and rejection for inspiration, and loss to understand the value of life – without these things creativity and progression are impossible. In Brave New World they are unwanted. Even sitting here now I’m remembering things that have so much more meaning after digesting than they did at the time. I suppose that’s a good sign, being able to think…

Having been released in the 40s (and so forgiveness must be given for some more outdated things in it), I’m sure it was a frightening vision of the future like its fellow 1984. Nowadays, maybe it doesn’t always get the same reception because we’re slipping into a distracted world and are conditioned to not see it coming…even like it… There are so any things I could write now the layers are springing up, but I would probably write an essay. Or a book. It’d probably be something very much like this one.

As an added bonus, there was was also that moment I realized the film Demolition Man was clearly inspired by this book. That was a revelation.

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