The Book: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
A delve into a dystopian future harbouring key scientific ideas coming to light in the early 21st century. It sits in the pinnacle of politics and the discontent of capitalism and communism and captures the authors discontent and fears of sociological progression.
Huxley portrays a race of cloned addicts, with a birth right of hierarchy and an exploration into the definitions of intelligence and free will. He pushes the boundaries of autonomy and by creating an entirely fictional world seeks to break down the very basics of humanity and question some key concepts held dear to the human soul and heart.
Huxley was born in Surrey in 1894, his career began as short stories and poetry, that spanned to essays, journalism and novels. In his later career he did also stem to work as a screenwriter in Hollywood.
Much of his works are centred around the discontent and dissolution of society. His writings explore scientific ideas, pre and post war eras, philosophy and mysticism.
Later in his life Huxley became an exploration of enlightenment and spiritualism. These concepts dominate much of his later work as he spent time delving into a journey of inner life and insight, exploring concepts he believed much forgotten in humanity, and that increasingly at the time became a popular trend.
What first must be reported is Huxley’s beautiful and horrific description in this story. His tale is eclectic, provocative and for its time dangerous and bold. He captures a tale of distress, discontent and imbalance; though this world is created to perfect and flawless.
Sexual liberation haunts this race, its ideas so far ahead of its time appear also to be primitive and without the insight of human emotions.
He captures so finely the balance of fact and fiction to create a fascinating portrayal that rips at the foundations of society and the centrifugal forces at war within it. His race is a pitiful representation of addicts born without thought or real intelligence. And for those that possess the capability to question, it is a deeply dissatisfying existence.
Huxley’s insight is gripping for on so many levels; both as a satirical cynical lyricist and also as a literary wonder. It is essentially a beautiful story of suicide and decay and humanity at its greatest height, and yet so close to the brink and to not really living at all.
Contradiction haunts this tale and any reader that engages with it, so far so it is hard to really class this novel as fantasy because it seems such a harsh reality. This story offers audience no comfort, no expense is spared to terrify. But its cold distance is written so beautifully it is very hard not to fall in love and be gripped to despise this world and the majority of its characters.
In itself it captures magnificently the best and the worst of humanity and how really that idea is all one and the same. It is the pillar stone and yang of Orwell’s 1984 and the two combined have become concrete foundations of 21st century fantasy and a wealth of knowledge for many linguists, post-modernist studies and creative personnel.