Ismeray Gonzalez Summer Work 2009 AP English Lit. & Comp.

Literary Review Title: Brave New World Author: Aldous Huxley Setting: A detailed description of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, a factory that manufactures test-tube babies in the year 2495 is how Huxley begins Brave New World. It is a technology-based, futuristic dystopia, a world where society has gone mad for pleasure, and conformity. It’s A.F. 632, A.F.-After Ford- this of course being based on the birthday of Henry Ford (1863), the popular car manufacturer and innovator who is venerated like a god in Huxley’s dystopian society. Pretty much everything is figured out, from the birth to death, to sex. The setting shows the difference between the Utopian society and the savage reservation, and the way each control its residents Time Period: Brave New World was written after the First World War and before World War II. The social effects of the Great War were becoming apparent to the socially peaceful British society. Some of Huxley’s writings were about national feelings, questioning traditional social and moral beliefs, and the move toward more equality between the sexes. Concern about the world of the 1920s and 1930s is expressed through the vision of the fastpaced but meaningless routine of Brave New World. Although originally set in the future, Huxley’s Brave New World has certain characteristics of its’ own time. Movement toward socialism in the 1920s, equals Huxley’s totalitarian World State. Questioning religious beliefs and the growth of materialism becomes the religion of consumerism with Henry Ford as its god. Just like Model T’s were mass-made, humans will be mass-produced, too. Huxley’s futuristic, witty, and disturbing vision, imagines the end of a habitual, usual life and the triumph of all that is new and strange in the modern world. Author’s Background: Born in Surrey, England, on July 26, 1894, to an illustrious literary and well-informed family. Huxley received an excellent education. He was an avid student, and a renowned as a generalist. When he was a teen, Huxley got an eye disease that left him nearly blind. Blindness and vision are some of the motifs that appear on some of Huxley’s writing. Much of Huxley’s works deal with the conflict between the individual and society.

Huxley explored this theme most successfully in Brave New World (1932). The novel combines Huxley’s skill for satire with his scientific genius to create a dystopian world in which a totalitarian government controls society with science and technology. Main Characters: Lenina Crowne A vaccination worker at the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. Sometimes Lenina acts in intriguingly unorthodox ways, but ultimately her values are of those conventional World State citizens. The Director The administrator of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. The Director is a threatening figure who has the power to exile people. He is secretly vulnerable because he fathered a child- a scandalous, obscene act in the World State. John (The Savage) The son of the Director and Linda. John is the only major character to have grown up outside the World State. After a life lived on the New Mexico Savage Reservation, he can’t fit in to the World Sate society. Bernard Marx An alpha male and one of the novel’s protagonists. Unlike most Alpha males, Bernard is short. He has unorthodox views and can’t fit into society, which makes him unhappy. Bernard’s surname recalls Karl Marx. When threatened, Bernard can be petty and cruel. Mustapha Mond The Resident World Controller of Western Europe, one of only ten World Controllers. Mond was once an ambitious scientist, but the State gave him the choice of going into exile or becoming a World Controller. He chose to give up science, and now he censors scientific discoveries and exiles people who have unorthodox beliefs. Mond keeps a collection of forbidden literature in his safe, including Shakespeare and religious writings. Helmholtz Watson An Alpha lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering. Helmholtz dislikes his meaningless work. Like Bernard, Helmholtz dislikes the World State, but whereas Bernard’s complaints are petty, Helmholtz’s are philosophical and intellectual. Helmholtz is often bothered by Bernard’s boastfulness and cowardice. Minor Characters: Fanny Crown Lenina Crowne’s friend. Fanny voices the conventional values of her caste and society. Henry Foster One of many of Lenina’s lovers. Foster, a conventional Alpha male, casually discusses Lenina’s body with his coworkers.

Linda John’s mother. After getting pregnant with the Director’s son, Linda, a Beta, could not get an abortion on the Reservation and was too ashamed to return to the World State with a baby. Her promiscuity, normal in the World State, was a scandal on the Reservation. Linda desperately wants to return to the World State and to soma. Popé Linda’s lover on the New Mexico Savage Reservation. Popé gave Linda a copy of The Complete Works of Shakespeare. The Arch-Community-Songster The secular equivalent of an archbishop. The Warden The talkative chief administrator for the New Mexico Savage Reservation. He is an Alpha. Conflict: When John the Savage, the symbolical figure of the old world order and the novel’s protagonist is taken from the Savage Reservation to London, he denies the supposed virtues of the "brave, new world" and instead points out its downfalls. The polar opposite, and therefore, the antagonist, has to be Mustapha Mond and the biggest symbol of the brave new world. One of select few Controllers of the innovative civilization, he stands for the sophisticated, scientific society of the new world order, where security and solidity are more valued than feelings and personal liberties. He successfully responds to John's attack on his beloved utopian society, obligating the Savage to acknowledge that the old and new world orders can not once live together at peace. There are obviously numerous points of crisis throughout the story, but the climax happens during the elongated debate between the Savage and Mustapha Mond. The debate focuses on the core of the novel, humankind’s debate between the old and the new, between science and feelings, between individual freedom and social stability, and between materialism and spiritualism/religion. The debate never comes to a solution for the problem, meaning that the two opposing forces will never be able to compromise and co-exist in peace. Themes: How Technology Dominates Society In Brave New World, Huxley warns that it is dangerous to give the state control over new and powerful technologies. In the novel’s dystopia, the State uses technology to force people to become consumers. It also uses technology to control reproduction, sterilizing two-thirds of the female population, forcing the rest to use contraceptives, and surgically removing ovaries when it needs to produce new humans. The State uses technology to produce soma, an addictive drug useful for pacifying the masses. The State censors and limits science because the fundamental project of science is

the search for truth, which threatens the State’s control. The State uses science solely in the service of technology. The State turns technology into a religion. Instead of referring to “Lord,” as in the Christian God, people refer to “Ford,” as in Henry Ford, the early twentieth-century industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company. They talk about “the year of our Ford” and exclaim “my Ford.” The Conflict of Happiness and Truth Many characters in Brave New World, actively avoid reality. Almost everyone uses soma, a drug that replaces reality with happy hallucinations. But even Shakespeare can be used to avoid facing the truth, as John demonstrates by his insistence on viewing Lenina through the lens of Shakespeare’s world, first as Juliet and later as an “impudent strumpet.” According to Mustapha Mond, the World State believes that happiness is much more important than truth. When Mond speaks of happiness, he means food, sex, drugs, nice clothes, and other consumer items. When he speaks of truth, he means scientific or empirical truth. He also means emotional truth such as love, friendship, and personal affection, all of which the government attempts to destroy. The search for truth, both scientific and emotional, involves a great deal of individual effort, of striving and fighting against odds. The Dangers of an All-Powerful State Brave New World depicts a dystopia in which an all-powerful state controls the people in order to preserve its own power. In Brave New World, the State maintains control by actually changing what people want, rooting out their desires before they are even born. Thus, the people of Brave New World are so happy and superficially fulfilled that no longer care about their personal freedom. They have lost their dignity, morals, values, and emotions- in short, their humanity. Symbolism: Soma The potent drug soma stands for the instant gratification the State uses to control the people. It also symbolizes the powerful influence that both science and technology have on society. Soma replaces religion in the World State as a type of rite. Ford Technically, the dystopian soiety doesn’t have a religion, but it does posess an adored father figure: Henry T. Ford. The perfect “god” Henry Ford is to the World State society he practically created mass production through his assembly line assigning specific jobs to all his workers. The World State borrows Ford’s ideas and uses them to benefit their themselves by creating these “assembly line” people, with a designated social class and job.

Shakespeare In Brave New World, Shakespeare stands in mainly for two purposes. All the rejected and valuable art (including his plays,) destroyed by the World State in order for them to maintain control and stability. And also the strong emotions (love, passion, etc.) that are seen throughout his works, represent the kind side of society that has been slaughtered by the State to control their citizens. Imagery: Zippers Everyone’s garments in the State has zippers on it. There’s the constant repetitive, rhythmic sound of the "zip," "zip," "zip," often followed by "zip," and even occasionally, "ZIP!" It’s actually quite simple: zippers equal easy access. In this fastpaced dystopia, a few precious lost seconds of the people’s lives caused by buttons would cause them to loose instant pleasure. Now, can you imagine that? Weather The World State pretty much owns and controls everything about everyone, but, alas, something they’ve not yet somehow figured out how to control is the unpredictable and wild weather. The weather clearly presents a challenge to them. The World Controllers haven't discovered how to dominate the environment, thus instead they try to control the environment through the controlling drug soma. For example, the calming, controlling song that appears to be perpetually playing : "Skies are blue inside of you, The weather's always fine." Quotations: 1. “Kiss the girls and make them One. Boys at one with girls at peace; Orgy-porgy gives release.” Government uses sex as a unifying force. Modern married couples use sex to unite them in marriage much in the same way the World Government uses orgies to unite multiple individuals in Brave New World. 2. “Every one works for every one else. We can't do without any one. Even Epsilons are useful. We couldn't do without Epsilons. Every one works for every one else...” This scene near the beginning of the novel portrays the social conditioning that helps maintain social and economic stability. The conditioning that everyone belongs to everyone else prevents the desire for individualism later in life. 3. “And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there's always soma to give you a holiday from the facts.” Drugs are used as an escape from reality, comparable to illegal drug use today, and an even largery correlatory relationship with the legal disbursement of drugs by psychologists and doctors.

Think about soma the next time you see a pharmaceutical commercial. 4. “Nodding, "He patted me on the behind this afternoon," said Lenina. "There, you see!" Fanny was triumphant. "That shows what he stands for. The strictest conventionality.” This is irony. The reader is shocked that patting girls on the behind in the workplace is the morally correct thing to do. This is one of many examples that hint at the subjectivity of morality and the effects of social conditioning. 5. “The lift was crowded with men from the Alpha changing rooms, and Lenina's entry was greeted by many friendly nods and smiles. She was a popular girl and, at one time or another, had spent a night with almost all of them.” Lenina's popularity is a result of her physical appearance, not a far-fetched concept for today's readers. The fact that she is commended for her behavior and is considered proper because of it differs largely from how society views female promiscuity today. It is clear that Lenina's identity is interwined with her sexual appeal, a stumbling block as she attempts to win John the Savage. 6. “The Savage stood looking on. "O brave new world, O brave new world…" In his mind the singing words seemed to change their tone. They had mocked him through his misery and remorse, mocked him with how hideous a note of cynical derision!” John the Savage quotes from The Tempest. Initially, O brave new world is uttered in anticipation of seeing civilization. Once he sees how mindless civilization is, he uses the phrase mockingly. 7. “He was a philosopher, if you know what that was." "A man who dreams of fewer things than there are in heaven and earth," said the Savage promptly.” John's overreliance on Shakespeare becomes comical at times. It's apparent that John does not understand what a philosopher is and probably understands little of what he quotes. 8. “It was John, then, they were all after. And as it was only through Bernard, his accredited guardian, that John could be seen, Bernard now found himself, for the first time in his life, treated not merely normally, but as a person of outstanding importance.” Bernard shows his true colors. His disenchantment with society has little to do with philosophical thought and more to do with his

desire to fit in. Now that he has achieved status--through the exploitation of John--he is content to remain in society. Style: The style of Brave New World is complex, highly crafted, but still readable. Huxley punctuates the novel with sophisticated dialogue, irony and witty humor. Ingenuity adds sparkle to the novel that is already saturated with satire. Scientific exactitude is everything: eighty-eight cubic meters of index cards, 267 days for the bottles to travel along the conveyor belt at 33 centimeters per hour, etc. The language has as much control over displays of emotion, thoughts, and opinions as the World Controllers have over centimeters, days, and grams. Huxley's ideas and attitudes emerge throughout the novel, in both the characters of the Savage and the Controller. He clearly sees good and bad in both of them. He is most troubled, however, that the two of them can find no common meeting ground or acceptance of the other's ideas. As a result, Huxley sees no light at the end of the tunnel for the old order; thus, John commits suicide and the final picture seems to be a choice between the devil and the deep, dark sea. Websites: http://www.huxley.net/ A deep and explanatory analysis of the book and a breakdown of its social themes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brave_New_World Thorough background information on the author, a three-part synopsis, character explanations, current references, and a helpful list of bibliography and external links. http://www.onlineliterature.com/aldous_huxley/brave_new_world/ Huxley’s background information, plus an in-depth chapter-by chapter analysis. http://somaweb.org/ Comprehensive information on Aldous Huxley and Brave New World. Including: biography, quotes, bibliography, discussion forum, and a helpful page-long of external links. http://www.gradesaver.com/brave-new-world/ Brave New World study guide contains a biography of Aldous Huxley, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary of the novel.

http://www.bookrags.com/notes/bnw/ The most thorough study aid website featuring author’s information, plot summary, major characters, “topic tracking,” and an analysis of every chapter.