BNW intro lecture
Brave New World Aldous Huxley
The title is an allusion to Shakespeare’s
- How many goodly creatures are there here!
- How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
- That has such people in't!
Genre: Science fiction, dystopia
- The opposite of DYSTOPIA is UTOPIA, a perfect society.
- Eden, Shangri-La, Eldorado are
A dystopia is a society that seeks perfection through control and conditioning.
- Nazi Germany and the USSR =
Satire and social commentary
A critique of the modern
- Science fiction is set in the future, but it satirizes conditions in the present.
- Are people just a conglameration of chemical reactions and responses to stimuli?
What a piece of work is a man!
- Are we more than the sum of our parts?
Totalitarianism and communism
BNW as political literature
- BNW is a prophetic warning against the dangers of societies that have a “one size fits all” solution for human beings.
Buy, Buy, Buy!
- BNW questions the wisdom of consumerism and the illusion of instant gratification.
- Modern thinkers have questioned the idea that the human race is progressing toward a better future.
Better living through chemicals!
- Can science and technology save the human race?
- The World State has no art because it is unnecessary.
What is the function of art?
- Is art necessary? Do people NEED art?