Brave New World: A Reader's Guide to the Aldous Huxley Novel by Robert Crayola - Read Online
Brave New World
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Few science fiction novels have been so accurate in their predictions as Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. With this new guide, you will have an even greater understanding of the book. Included in this guide: a biography of author Aldous Huxley, a look at the book's context, its literary elements, detailed chapter summaries, a glossary, character analysis, and much more. This is the definitive guide to Brave New World, concise, easy to understand, and guaranteed to add to your enjoyment of this classic story.

Published: Robert Crayola on
ISBN: 9781311201461
List price: $2.99
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Brave New World - Robert Crayola

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Welcome to Brave New World: A Reader's Guide to the Aldous Huxley Novel. This guide will give you a thorough understanding of Brave New World, the book's author Aldous Huxley, and many related topics that will deepen your understanding of the book. You can use this guide before or after reading the book. I will reveal major plot details however, so if you don't want spoilers, read the book first.

AUTHOR: Let's begin our study with a look at the author of Brave New World, Aldous Huxley. He was born on July 26, 1894, in a town to the southwest of London, and he came from a family of intellectuals. His grandfather was T.H. Huxley, an early advocate of Darwin's theory of evolution, his mother was the niece of poet Matthew Arnold, and Huxley's brothers became fairly renowned biologists. Huxley himself was a bright youth, educated largely by his mother until she became ill and died when he was only 14. Also in his teens, his eyes were affected when he had keratitis punctata, a condition that inflames the cornea of the eye. This kept him from pursuing his first career choice, medicine, and he turned to literature instead. He would have issues with his eyes for the rest of his life.

Huxley graduated from Balliol College with a B.A. in English Literature and strove to be a successful writer and poet, but taught for a time, as well as working for the Air Ministry and at a chemical plant. From 1919 to 1921 he edited the journal Athenaeum, a well-known literary publication, and he began to turn his attention more and more to his own writing and poetry. He married Maria Nys in 1919, and they had one son together. Huxley published his first novel, Crome Yellow, in 1921, and many of his early works were social satires. He was often associated with the Bloomsbury group of writers and artists in London that included Virginia Woolf, Lytton Strachey, E.M. Forster, John Maynard Keynes, Bertrand Russell, and Clive Bell. He was also friends with the author D.H. Lawrence and visited him in Italy.

Huxley was a prolific author, producing novels, plays, screenplays, poetry, essays, short stories, travel books, and children's books. He moved to California in 1937 and lived there for most of the rest of his life. He took an interest in Vedanta, taking a more spiritual view of life, and published at this time his anthology The Perennial Philosophy, that examines unifying themes in world mystical traditions. While living in Hollywood he also became a screenwriter, and wrote or co-wrote screenplays for Pride and Prejudice, Madame Curie, Jane Eyre, and others, including a rejected Alice and Wonderland screenplay that Walt Disney didn't like.

Coupled with Huxley's interest in spirituality, he experimented with various psychedelics (primarily peyote and LSD), chronicling his experiences in books like The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell. He was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in 1960 and his health deteriorated a few years more before his death on November 22, 1963. Coincidentally, he died on the same day John F Kennedy was assassinated, and so his obituary was largely overshadowed by the dead president. C.S. Lewis, author of the Narnia stories and a Christian apologist, also died on the same day. There is a well-known story that Huxley, on his death bed, asked to be administered LSD, and that his wife obliged him.

CONTEXT: Huxley wrote Brave New World in 1931, and it was published in 1932, and we can see in the book many of Huxley's own interests: individuals struggling against the collective, his own detestation of popular culture, his psychological interests (especially conditioning), the growing industrialization that Huxley witnessed in his own lifetime, and the effects of a world war on culture. Huxley had mainly written social satires till that point in his career, but the futuristic setting of Brave New World allowed Huxley to make his satire more extreme, and give the reader food for thought: What if things kept going in the direction that he saw them going? That's what Brave New World is going to ask. Can humanity go on consuming mindlessly, living squalid lives of conformity,