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Brave New World


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  • 1. Brave New World
    By Aldous Huxley
    A presentation by Lauren Stealey
  • 2. Aldous Huxley
    • July 26 1884- November 22 1963
    • 3. Born in Surrey, UK
    • 4. Third son of Leonard Huxley, writer/schoolmaster, and Julia Arnold, founder of Prior’s Field School.
    • 5. Grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, “Darwin’s Bulldog”- famous zoologist
    • 6. His brother and half-brother were also well-known biologists
    • 7. Aldous himself very well-educated
    • 8. In 1911, suffered from illness which left him almost blind for several years. Disqualified him from service in WWI
    • 9. After graduating from Oxford, he was financially indebted to father. Taught French at Eton where Eric Blair (George Orwell) was one of his students
    • 10. In 1920s worked at a chemical plant (inspiration for Brave New World)
    • In 1919, married Maria Nys
    • 11. In 1937, moved to Hollywood, California to work as screenwriter. Not successful. (Walt Disney rejected his synopsis of Alice in Wonderland because “he could only understand every third word.”)
    • 12. After WWI, Huxley applied for US citizenship, but continuously denied because he refused to take up arms to defend US (on philosophical, rather than religious, objections)
    • 13. On December 24, 1955, took first dose of LSD. Became pioneer of psychedelic drugs
    • 14. In 1956, married Laura Archera after 1st wife died of breast cancer
    • 15. Huxley was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer.
    • 16. Upon his deathbed, requested LSD, wife obliged with 2 separate injections before he died.
    • 17. Died on November 22, 1963, the same day as C.S. Lewis and John F. Kennedy
  • Brave New World in Context
    • Written in 1931, published in 1932
    • 18. Huxley wrote Brave New World while living in Italy
    • 19. He was already established as writer and satirist
    • 20. Brave New World was his fifth novel and first dystopian work
    • 21. H.G. Wells had written utopian novel, Men Like Gods, Huxley decided to write parody, “negative utopia”
    • 22. Novel is set in future, but contains issues of 20th century.
    • 23. Industrial Revolution
    • 24. Mass production
    • 25. Russian Revolution of 1917
    • 26. WWI (1914-1918)
    • Huxley visited US and was “outraged by the culture of youth, commercial cheeriness, sexual promiscuity, and the inward-looking nature of many Americans.” Also found a book about Henry Ford on boat to America. Wrote Brave New World with America in mind.
    • 27. “feelies” were response to talking movies, and sex-hormone chewing gum was parody of chewing gum, a symbol of US at the time
    • 28. In 1999, Modern Library ranked it as 5th on list of 100 best English-language novels of the 20thcentury
    • 29. It is rated number 52 on The American Library Association’s list of most challenged books, and has been banned in several instances because it “centers around negative activity.”
  • The Title
    • Title comes from Shakespeare’s The Tempest
    • 30. Used ironically
    • 31. In different languages, title is changed, sometimes to reflect their versions of works:
    • 32. French: The Best of All Worlds
    • 33. German: Beautiful New World
    • 34. Italian: The New World
    • 35. Spanish: A Happy World
    • 36. In Shakespeare’s time, “brave” meant “beautiful” or “good looking”
  • The Setting
    • Set in the year A.F. 632 (2540 A.D.)
    • 37. Most of the population unified under The World State; population limited to 2 billion people
    • 38. Peaceful, stable global society
    • 39. Goods and resources are plentiful
    • 40. Everyone is happy
    Community, Identity, Stability
  • 41. Reproduction
    • Natural reproduction no longer exists
    • 42. Children are created in bottles in Hatcheries and Conditioning Centres where they are decanted
    • 43. Each fetus is treated correspondingly to its predetermined social class (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon)
    • 44. The members of the lowest classes are essentially poisoned to stunt growth and development while in bottles.
    • 45. Members of lower classes are created using Bokanovsky process, producing up to 96 identical children at a time.
    • 46. Podsnap’s Technique is also used for lower classes to mature all of the eggs in an ovary simultaneously
    • 47. Member of upper classes are developed naturally and are unique
    • 48. Sex is purely recreational
    • 49. Ideas of family, motherhood, pregnancy are considered pornographic
  • Ford
    • The World State’s calendar begins with year 1 A.F. as 1908 A.D. the year Ford’s first Model T was completed on his assembly line
    • 50. Although no true supernatural religion exists, Ford is worshipped
    • 51. called Our Ford.
    • 52. “Oh, Ford!”
    • 53. the sign of the T
    • 54. The World State’s society is built on the principles of Ford’s assembly line: “mass production, homogeneity, predictability, and consumption of disposable consumer goods”
    • 55. Freud is sometimes said instead of Ford.
    • 56. Thought to be same person by World State citizens
    • 57. Incorporate Freud’s idea that sex is essential to happiness and should not be limited to reproduction, even in children.
  • Soma
    • Hallucinogen
    • 58. Hangover-free
    • 59. Creates “holidays”
    • 60. Used at any sign of stress, discomfort
    • 61. Sprayed at a riot
    • 62. Taken for enjoyment (ice cream soma bar, half-gramme raspberry sundae)
    • 63. Taken during Solidarity Services in the Fordson Community Singery
    • 64. 12 people sit in circle
    • 65. Take soma tablets and pass around strawberry ice-cream soma
    • 66. “Ford, we are twelve; oh, make us one,
    Like drops within the Social River;
    Oh, make us now together run
    As swiftly as thy shinning Flivver.”
    • Proclaim that they hear Ford coming
    • 67. “Orgy-porgy, Ford and fun,
    Kiss the girls and make them One.
    Boys at one with girls at peace;
    Orgy-porgy gives release.”
  • 68. Hypnopædia
    • Discovered on accident
    • 69. Could not be used to teach, only memorize
    • 70. “Moral education, which ought never, in any circumstances, to be rational.”
    • 71. “A gramme is always better than a damn.”
    • 72. “A gramme in time saves nine.”
    • 73. “One cubic centimetre cures ten gloomy sentiments.”
    • 74. “Everybody’s happy nowadays.”
    • 75. “Everyone works for every one else.”
    • 76. “When the individual feels, the community reels.”
    • 77. “Never put off till to-morrow the fun you can have to-day.”
    • 78. “Ending is better than mending.”
    • 79. “Everyone belongs to everyone else.” (one hundred repetitions three nights a week for four years= 62,400
  • Death
    • People typically die at age 60, remaining youthful whole life
    • 80. Death isn’t feared: children are conditioned, given treats when visiting hospitals
    • 81. Concept of family doesn’t exist, so no one mourns
    • 82. Bodies are cremated, and 98% of phosphorous is recovered, instead of being wasted
    • 83. “Fine to think we can go on being socially useful even after we’re dead. Making plants grow.”
  • A Brief Plot Summary
    • Opens in the Central London Hatching and Conditioning Centre
    • 84. LeninaCrowne, an employee, is reprimanded by her friend Fanny Crowne for being in a nearly exclusive relationship.
    • 85. Lenina admits her attraction to the strange Bernard Marx.
    • 86. Lenina accepts Bernard’s invitation to visit a Savage Reservation in New Mexico.
    • 87. There, they meet John and his mother Linda, who is from the World State, and bring them back with them.
    • 88. John is dissatisfied with the World State.