Opening Sentence:A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories.
Synopsis:Into the neatly programmed ‘Brave New World’ of test-tube babies and drug-controlled happiness, misfit Bernard Marx brings the innocent Savage…
Comments:Aldous Huxley first published his novel Brave New World in the 1930’s but the major themes of giving up freedoms through fear, the ethics of test-tube babies and other scientific advances, government control, and thought programming are just as relevant today.
At first glance Huxley’s London seems a Utopia. A world without war. A world without violence. No rape, no jealousy, no street crime, murder, domestic violence, abuse. No conflict. The virtual elimination of disease. No unemployment or poverty. No aging. Universal happiness, peace, contentment. Is this not what we all strive for?
Yet the introduction of our ‘noble savage’ to civilised London shows us just how high a price is paid for this ‘perfect’ society. For, while all the negative aspects of modern society are absent, so, too, are the positives. There is no love – neither the passion between lovers, nor the intense bond between a parent and child, nor the quiet contentment of the aging couple. There is none of that intense satisfaction of obstacles overcome, and no sense of achievement at having striven towards a goal. There is no true fellowship amongst men. The beauty of art and literature are lost. Even the beauty offered by nature can no longer be appreciated. And one wonders just how content the lower classes really are if the loss of a single days soma ration can cause a riot.
This is a question each of us must answer for ourselves – just how much are we willing to give up in exchange for peace and stability?