“Brave New World” Reading Response – Part 1

“Aldous Huxley’s tour de force, Brave New World is a darkly satiric vision of a “utopian” future – where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively serve a ruling order. A powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations, it remains remarkably relevant to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying entertainment.”

-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

 

I am currently continuing on with my English 4 assignment: the April Reading Challenge. I have completed my first book Burned by Ellen Hopkins (which you can read my reading response here) and have began reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

Even though I am only a few chapters in, the vast amount of information and details that I, as a reader, am receiving is leading me to multiple predictions of what is to following within this piece of literature.

My first observation, derived from the beginning of this book, is that the author is hinting this dystopian society is actually an unsettling, emotionless, and almost ominous place. The authoritative figures within the plot are making it seem as though the society that they are creating is best for everyone and will benefit all for the long run, yet as a reader, I’m receiving this vibe that not everything is what it seems. Also coming from the current society that I’m living in, what the government is doing simply isn’t normal or maybe even ethical/moral.

Next is the the World State motto that the society lives by: “Community, Identity, Stability” (3). Already, readers are able to see how this motto is playing to society and the processes and norms that individuals are living by. Reading through the processes and creations of how the government is making the society, I can already see how people’s personal identities are being lost or, in this case, duplicated. For this society, by mechanically creating, categorizing, and labeling individuals, it is creating stability for the community (for now?).

The biggest aspect of this book so far is the concept of “ideal” society. This is the number one priority of the society. This dystopian world is controlled by chemically driven happiness. By creating mass amounts of clones through the “Bokanovsky” (6) process – mass duplication or division of one fertilized egg to create “eight to ninety-six” (6) individual embryos or, in rare cases, sixteen thousand embryos (8) – and incorporating this sort of psychological conditioning (or, in other words, hypnotic persuasion), they are concocting a society and culture where every single person has a place and possesses knowledge of their position.

Like previously stated, I’m not very far into the story, yet I’m starting to gain bits and pieces from what is to come in this “ideal society.” I’ve also been thinking while I read of how thankful I am for uniqueness and difference in society and in this world. I think that if everyone thought the same or performed the same thing as everyone else, a lot of amazing and impactful products would have never been created, thought of, or discovered. Even though difference in our society is often seen as bad, I think that difference and being unique is what makes history, is what pushes our society and our world foward.

So far, I am enjoying this book and I am excited to keep digging deeper into this story.

 

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