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"Joy will take place of suffering as the principal theme of

art; in the process, it may be art will cease to exist".

Aldous Huxley, Those Barren Leaves.


Aldous Huxley was born in 1894, and up to the end of

his life in 1963 he continued to dominate the world of

British literature with his critical insight, philosophical

attitude and obvious contempt for the so-called

technological progress. After witnessing the aftermath

during the two World Wars he began to advocate pacifism more

staunchly than before.

Aldous Huxley inherited two great cultures - of Prof.

T.H. Huxley, a renowned biologist, and of Matthew Arnold,

one of the chief voices of Victorian Poetry. In the domain

of literature, Huxley championed the same empirical idealism

that his grandfather. Thomas Huxley, claimed for biological

studies. He believed that a writer should take all the

forms of life under observation. He was of the opinion that


literature must above all contribute to a better

understanding of the bewildering -spectacle of life. Hence

Huxley believed that the function of literature is to give a

picture of life in its totality. As far as literary

influence on Huxley is concerned the writers like Lucretius,

Dante, Donne, Goethe and D.H. Lawrence had a profound impact

on Huxley as he felt they brought within the range of their

lives. 1
. .
writings their minds and their As a writer Huxley

derived a great deal from his aunt, Humphrey Ward. Gide, as

a master of conversation, too, influenced him. The impact

of Thomas Peacock is quite visible on the works of Huxley.

Huxley admits that he tries to write in the Peacockian

tradition using a country-house as a focal point of the

story where characters of divergent views and contrasting

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temperaments gather and discuss.

Huxley was a strong advocate of pacifism. He was

greatly influenced in this respect by Mahatma Gandhi and his

method of passive resistance. It lead him to detest war

and determine to prevent further wars. Being a pacifist he

believed that violence under any circumstances was morally

unjust. Witnessing the loss of an entire young generation

of England in the First World War, Aldous Huxley experienced

a mood of intense bitterness. He came to the conclusion


that neither politics nor Science can achieve social

salvation. He disagreed with Wells that science will be a

saviour of mankind in future. There was a growing distrust

in him of science and machines.

Huxley rejected the Western myth of automatic progress

through science and technology towards a man - made Utopia.

War and distrust of science lead him to begin his search for

'Truth'. Oriental concepts made a deep impression on

Huxley's mind. Geraldine Coster's book, Yoga and Western

Psychology (1934), had a profound impression on Huxley.4

The book is an excellent summary and analysis of Patanjali's

teachings. Coster compares Patanjali's sutras to the recent

developments of psycho-analysis. As far as philosophical

influence is concerned Huxley was greatly influenced by

Hindu Philosophy, Buddhism and Chinese mysticism. Most of

Huxley's doctrines belong to Indian philosophy, drawn from

Upanishads, Bhagvad-Gita and Shankara's Philosophy.

Mahayana-Buddhism's Scripture, The Tibetan Book of The Dead

(1942) translated by Evans Wentz also influenced Huxley to a

great extent.® The scripture is an exposition of the

cardinal doctrines of Mahayana Buddhism revealing the

science of death and rebirth. Huxley felt that Hindu

Philosophy and Buddhism lead to a path of personal harmony


and peace which one may fail to find within traditional


Huxley, in the first phase of his career, was a cynic.

He realized bitterly the 'pointlessness' that characterized

the aftermath of the great disaster of the World Wars. The

cynicism of his works during the first World War was largely

a reflection of the dominant mood of the younger

intellectuals of the time. It was a period of brutalization

and loss of significant values. His earlier works presented

men caught, without hope, on the wheel of suffering and


But in the later novels Huxley offers an escape through

self-transcendence. There is a gradual realization of the

inadequacy of intellectual beliefs. He also realizes that

science, too, can't solve the problems of life and there is

a growing distrust of science and technology in him. He

writes Brave New World as a parody of Wells's Men Like Gods.

It debunks the illusions of scientific Utopians. He doesn't

share Wells's beliefs and ideas about science as a saviour.

The search for truth prompts him to drift gradually towards

mysticism. As a mystic he has a strong faith in divinity.

Thus Huxley, a modern intellectual, turns into a mystic.


Aldous Huxley has produced a brilliant, varied and

impressive body of fiction. He, as a novelist, is

interested in people and in their variety. Alexander

Henderson says:

As a natural historian of humanity Huxley

has been fascinated by the peculiarities
of certain types, and he studies them
again and again, in each of his novels
casting a light on a different aspect of
the specimens he has chosen.

Huxleyan novels can be regarded as 'Novels of Ideas' in

the Peacockian fashion.' One of the chief objectives of the

novelist of ideas is to include men of varying temperaments

and attitudes within the scope of one narrative and thus to

dramatize the clash of these attitudes in his novel. Each

character thus gives him a point of view drawn from the

prevailing intellectual interests of his creator. Thus,

implicit in this type of novels, is the drama of ideas, or,

rather, the drama of individualized ideas. Huxley tries to

represent these ideas through the representation of

appropriate characters. Huxley holds a mirror to the

ideological conflicts of his days. His novels present a

brilliant portrait of his age of intellectual confusion, of

interests and habits. Jog calls him "the most outstanding

and the most representative interpreter of our age".

Huxley belongs to that age in which sensibilities and values


are suspect. Such moral climate, eventually, is ideally

appropriate for satire. Satire is a continuous and

fundamental element in his works. Huxley is an experimentor

as far as novel-writing is concerned. In Point Counter

Point he makes use of a contrapuntal device. His fantasy,

Ape and Essence, is written in a scenario fashion. Huxley

crowds incidents in a non-chronological way in Eyeless in


Huxley's novels are a queer combination of satire,

fantasy, and actuality. David Cecil says:

We live today in a divided, disturbed,

confused world. Our culture is
fragmented, torn between old and new, and
all the time confronted with a changing
situation. Aldous Huxley surveyed it on
the one hand with the cool objectivity of
a scientist, and on the other with the
imaginative sympathy of an artist.

Though Huxley's novels can be, broadly, divided as

'House Party Novels' and 'Futuristic' or 'Fantasy Novels',

all his novels are essentially 'Novels of Ideas'. His last

work, Island (1962), a utopia, gives the final expression to

the ideas and ideals he cherished throughout his life. One

of the major features of Huxleyan novels is fantasy. Though

Brave New World (1932),. Ape and Essence (1949), and Island

(1962) are regarded as remarkable fantasies of Huxley,


fantasy has been a persistent element in his works right

from the beginning.

Huxley's novels like Crome Yellow (1920), Antic Hay

(1923), and Those Barren Leaves (1925) too, contain an

element of fantasy. These novels form a triology

representing post-war disillusionment, cynicism and

hedonism. Though Crome Yellow is an amusing satire on the

ill-fated love-affair of Denis Stone and his failure to

deliver the message of love, the novel is known more for the

fantastic ideas given by Huxley through Mr. Scogan. While

speaking about the future of mankind, Mr. Scogan describes a

'Rational State'. Before establishing the 'Rational State',

he says:

An impersonal generation will take place

of Nature's hideous system. In vast
state incubators rows upon rows of gravid
bottles will supply the World with the
population it requires. The family
system will disappear; society, sapped at
its very base^ will have to find new
foundation ...

These are the fantastic ideas which Huxley later elaborates

in his dystopian work, Brave New World. Through Mr. Scogan,

Huxley conceives of a hideous society controlled completely

by science:

Systematically from earliest infancy, its

members will be assured that there is no
happiness to be found except in work and
in obedience; they will be made to
believe that they are happy, that they
are tremendously important human beings,
and everything they do is noble and
significant ... 0

How sarcastically Huxley satirizes here the loss of

individuality in the world to come!

Antic Hav presents Gumbril as a man of extravagant

imagination. Most of his plans are more imaginative than

realistic. His ideas like artificial beard and pneumatic

trousers are fantastic. He plans to introduce pneumatic

trousers which will prevent contact with hard surfaces and

thus ensure a comfortable seat; "Scientifically, then",

said Gumbril Junior, "my Patent Small-Clothes may be

described as trousers with a pneumatic seat, inflatable by

means of a tube fitted with valve; the whole constructed of

stout seamless red rubber, enclosed between two layers of


Those Barren Leaves (1925) contains a number of ideas

developed further by Huxley in the novels like Point Counter

Point and Brave New World. Huxley's concern for the future

is revealed through Irene's ideas:


At some distant future date, when society

is organized in a rational manner, so
that every individual occupies the
position and does the work for which his
capacities really fit him . . . when . . .
diseases have been suppressed, all our
literature of conflict and unhappiness
will seem strongly in comprehensible ...
Joy will take the place of suffering as
the principal theme of art; in the
process, it may be art will cease to
exist ... when there is no misery, he
will have nothing to write about.
Perhaps it will be all for the best.12

After Many & Summer (1939) is a fantastic parable.

Generally people seek to prolong life by every possible

means. But Huxley regards the short term of temporal life

as a blessing in disguise. This 'comedy of longevity'1^

shows Dr. Obispo, working on longevity for some years

according to the instructions of Mr. Stoyte, a

multimillionaire. Dr. Opispo wonders how some animals live

longer than human beings and yet show few signs of old age.

The papers of Hauberks reveal that a similar successful

investigation was carried out by the Fifth Earl of

Gonnister. It is discovered finally that the Earl and his

housekeeper were turned into gibberish 'monkeys and that they

have been living in that condition for the last two hundred


Huxley's novels also deal with issues like war and

disillusionment, the modern pursuit of material pleasures,


sex and marriage, pacifism and metaphysical truth. These

themes Huxley elaborates later in his fantasy novels. Crome

Yellow, besides the prophetic ideas, also deals with

futility and cynicism of the age and shows how the war­

weariness results into a meaningless pursuit of ephemeral

pleasures. Antic Hav. too, describes the gloom of London

immediately following the war. It also shows how the war

has made human deficiencies more evident. Those Barren

Leaves records the monotonous routine in the industrial

civilization, and points out, also, the meaninglessness of

the modern pursuit of material pleasures.

Point Counter Point (1928) is a novel within a novel.

Within the framework of the outer novel, Huxley places a

novelist, Philip Quarles, who observes the activities of his

own world of fictional characters, and then plots a novel

constructed exactly as Huxley does. The novel depicts

variations on a single theme of the struggle of natural

sexual desire and escapism against the bond of marriage.

According to Quarles's concept of 'Musicalization of

Fiction', each character of the novel, like each instrument

of the orchestra, has a different mode and produces a

different variation. The theme of sex and marriage is also

discussed in Huxley's another novel, The Genius and The


Goddess (1955). Rivers, the scientific genius, alienates

himself from his widowed mother, and starts living with his

devoted wife who^is like a goddess. Huxley, here, intends

to expose the popular belief that a genius is pure at heart.

Huxley's two- novels, Eyeless in Gaza (1936) and Time

Must Have A Stop 11,945) deal with metaphysical questions and

pacifism. Evelass in Gaza is a novel devoted to the

spiritual quest a unifying principle which will resolve

the miseries and^conflicts of human life. Anthony Beavis,

the protagonist, has a belief that the metaphysical approach

is the only satisfactory approach towards the problems of

life. Time Must Have A Stop is intended as a sequel to

Eyeless in Gaza. The novel, Time Must Have A Stop, depicts

the conflict between the claims of the senses and of the


spirit. The novel also advocates the belief that the only

way to achieve social salvation is a return to God.

Thus, the issues Huxley raises in these 'Novels of

Ideas' are elaborately dealt with in his fantasy-novels.

Satire, the chief means of criticism in these Huxleyan

novels, continues to function more effectively in his

fantasy novels.a


Though Mr. Scogan, in Crome Yellow, occasionally

prophesies, regarding the science of eugenics in future,

that in the future world children will be produced in huge

incubators in factories, it is mainly in the following three

novels of Huxley that his fantasy gets full vision: Brave

New World (1932), Ape and Essence (1949) and Island (1962) .

i) Brave New World (1932) is a futuristic novel. It is a

satirical fiction, a daring and penetrating attempt at

examining the ills of modern society. Brave New World is,

in the words of George Woodcock, "a fantasy of the future

and a satire on the present".1^. Huxley attacks the present

Western civilization by describing in Brave New World the

condition in which it might find itself some six hundred

years from now. John Wain's observation in respect of

utopian novels is of relevance here: "It is a well-

understood convention that the utopian kind of pseudo-novel

though set in a remote position as to period or place, is

always a criticism of the author's own society".1^

Many of Huxley's novels contain predictions of the

future. Brave New World is also apparently a forecast of

the days to come. Fantasy in Brave New World is an


'extension of reality'. Huxley himself admits this fact in

the Foreword written to 1946 edition of Brave New World:

"Brave New World is a book about the future, and ... a book

about the future can interest us only if its prophecies look

as though they might conceivably come true".1^ The novel is

a rich, rational fantasy based on logical thinking. What

Huxley does in building his dystopia is to take some of the

prominent evil forces in the present day civilization and

try to imagine their state if they are allowed their

ultimate scope in development. The novel presents many such

forces which can be imagined progressing in the direction

set out today. While foreseeing the ultimate possibilities

of these forces or tendencies, Huxley performs a small

fantasy - jump and concretizes and absurd idea; and once

that is concretized he takes all the trouble to give it

plausibility. Almost all the elements that go with the

structure of the dystopian world undergo this slight fantasy

treatment to begin with and then are subjected to a

realistic concretization process.

Brave New World projects the optimum development of

sciences like biology, physiology and psychology-the

progressing sciences of today. Huxley foresees these

sciences reaching such a stage of progress when they may


pose a threat to the laws of nature. The thirty-four

storeyed building of Central London Hatchery and

Conditioning Centre is the centre for all such scientific

experiments in Brave New World. The Centre provides a base

for the stability in the Brave New World by carrying out all

sorts of important biological, physiological, psychological

experiments. Huxley gives a bit of fantasy - jump to these

scientific experiments and there come into existence 'The

Modern Fertilizing Process', 'Bokanovskification' 'the

Conditioning', 'Hypnopaedia' and "The Social Predestination

Process". While describing the Modern Fertilizing Process,

the D.H.C. - The Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning -

shows the numbered test - tubes containing Ova kept in the


'The Week's supply as Ova, Kept', he

explained, 'at blood heat; whereas the
male gametes', and here he opened another
door, 'they have to be kept at thirty-
five instead of thirty-seven. Full blood
sterilizes. Rams Wrapped in thermogene
beget no lambs.17

Bokanovsky Process is a principle of mass-production

applied to biology. It is a new of science of growth:

One egg, one embryo, one adult-normality.

But a bokanovskified egg will bud, will
proliferate, will divide. From eight to
ninety-six buds, and every bud will grow
into a perfectly formed embryo, and every
embryo into a full-sized adult. Making
ninety-six human beings grow where only
one grew before. Progress, (p. 17)

What we should notice here is that to begin with Huxley

starts with reality. It is quite natural to find one egg,

one embryo, and one adult. This is the perspective of our

narrative world. Huxley extends this very perspective of

our narrative world, and creates fantasy. Ninety-six adults

growing out of one embryo is the 'logical extension of

reality'. After introducing this element of fantasy, Huxley

continues to concretize the fantasy world and make it

'believable'. After introducing 'Bokanovsky Process', he

goes on to describe the process giving minute details:

Eight minutes of hard X-rays being about

as much as an egg can stand. A few died;
of the rest, the least suspectible
divided into two; most put out four buds;
some eight; all were returned to the
incubators, where the buds began to
develop; then, after two days, were
suddenly chilled, chilled and checked.
Two, four, eight, the buds in their turn
budded; and having budded were dosed
almost to death with alchohol;
consequently burgeoned again and having
budded-bud out of bud out of bud-were
thereafter-further arrest being generally
fatal-left to develop in peace. By which
time the original egg was in a fair way
to becoming anything from eight to
ninety-six embryos - a prodigious
improvement, you will agree, on nature.
Identical twins - but not in piddling
twos and threes as in the old viviparous
days. when an egg would sometimes
accidentally divide, actually by dozens,
by scores at a time. (pp. 17-18).

Huxley describes this process so minutely with pseudo-

realistic details that the fantasy at once becomes plausible


and credible. The World Controllers look at Bokanovsky

Process as "one of the major instruments of social

stability". (p. 18) Hence Alphas and Betas need not

undergo this process, but the process is meant mainly for

Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons where their embryos will be

multiplied into maximum ninety-six twins. The D.H.C.

proudly states that "the whole of a small factory staffed

with the products of a single Bokanovskified egg", (p. 18).

The Social Predestination Process decides the fates of

the budding twins. It also includes the bottling process in

which the embryos kept in the harmonious bottles have to

pass, according to their predestined castes, through various

stages like blood-surrogate, oxygen supply, heat


Mr. Forster told them of the growing

embryo on its bed of peritoneum. Made
them taste the rich blood-surrogate on
which it fed. Explained why it had to be
stimulated with placentin and thyroxin.
Told them of the Corpus luteum extract.
Showed them the jets through which at
every twelfth metre from zero to 2040 it
was automatically injected. Spoke of
these gradually increasing doses of
pituitary administered during the final
ninety-six metres on their course.
Described the artificial maternal
circulation installed on every bottle at
Metre 112, showed them the reservoir of
blood-surrogate, the centrifugal pump
that kept the liquid moving over the
placenta and drove it through the
synthetic lung and waste-product filter.

Referred to the embryo's troublesome

tendency to anaemia, to the massive doses
of hog's stomach extract and foetal
foal's liver with which, in consequence,
it had to be supplied, (pp.21-22)

During this stage, the embryos developing into tropical

workers will be inoculated against the tropical diseases

like typhoid and sleeping sickness. The future generation

of chemical workers will be immunised to lead, caustic soda,

tar, chlorine etc., and:

The first of a batch of two hundred and

fifty embryonic rocket-plane engineers
was just passing the eleventh hundred
metre mark on Rack 3. A special
mechanism kept their containers in
constant rotation. 'To improve their
sense of balance', Mr. Forster explained.
'Doing repairs on the outside of a rocket
in mid air a ticklish job. We slacken
off the circulation when they' re right
way up, so that they're half starved, and
double the flow of surrogate when they're
upside down. They learn to associate
topsy-turvydom with well-being; infact,
they're only truly happy when they're
standing on their heads', (p.25)

The D.H.C. proudly states:

We also predestine and condition. We

decant our babies as socialized human
beings, as Alphas or Epsilons, as future
sewage workers or future ... (p.22)

The scientists in the Brave New World are also engaged in

discovering a technique for shortening the period of

maturation for human beings.


Huxley gives details of every scientific process - the

details which are unverifiable but seemingly plausible; and

unverifiability is the major feature of fantasy. These

realistic details concretize the fantastic ideas already

presented. This concretization gives a local habitation to

the fantasy world.

Huxley conceives of the idea of psychological

conditioning on the basis of Pavlov's theories. In 'Infant

Nurseries' or 'Neo-Pavlovian . Conditioning Rooms'

psychological experiments are conducted for creating in

children 'instinctive' hatred for books and flowers. The

main purpose of such conditioning is to establish

'happiness' and 'virtues' in the Brave New World.

'Set out the Books', he said curtly. In

silence the nurses obeyed his command.
Between the rose bowls the books were
duly set out - a row of nursery quartos
opened invitingly each at some gaily
coloured image of beast or fish or bird.

'Now bring in the children;

They hurried out of the room and returned

in a minute or two, each pushing a kind
of tall dumb-waiter laden, on all its
four wire-netted shelves, with eight-
month-old babies, all exactly alike (a
Bokanovsky Group, it was evident) and all
(since their caste was Delta) dressed in
Khaki. 'Put them down on the floor' .
The infants were unloaded. 'Now turn
them so that they can see the flowers and
Turned, the babies at once fell silent,
then began to crawl towards those
clusters of sleek colours, those shapes
so gay and brilliant on the white pages.
From the ranks of the crawling babies
came light squeals of excitement, gurgles
and twitterings of pleasure ...

The swiftest crawlers were already at

their goal. Small hands reached out
certainly, touched, grasped, unpetalling
the transfigured roses, crumpling the
illuminated pages of the books. The
Director waited until all were happily
busy. Then, 'Watch carefully', he said.
And. lifting his hand, he gave the

The Head Nurse, who was standing

by a switchboard at the other end of the
room, pressed down a little lever.

There was a violent explosion.

Shriller and even shriller, a siren
shrieked. Alarm bells maddeningly

The children started, screamed;

their faces were distorted with terror.

'And now', the Director shouted

(for the noise was deafening), 'now we
proceed to rub in the lesson with a mild
electric shock'.

Their little bodies twitched and

stiffened; their limbs moved jerkily as
if the tug of unseen wires.

'Observe', said the Director

triumphantly, 'observe'.
Books and loud noises, flowers and
electric shocks - already in the infant
mind these couples were comprimisingly
linked; and after two. hundred repetitions
of the same or a similar lesson would be
wedded indissolubly. What man has
joined, nature is powerless to put

'They'll grow up with what the

psychologists used to call an
'instinctive' hatred of books and
flowers. Reflexes unalterably
conditioned. They'll be safe from books
and botany all their lives. {pp. 27-28-

Hypnopaedia or sleep-teaching technique is another

fantastic idea introduced by Huxley in Brave New World.

Microspeakers are hidden under the pillows of the children

and certain lessons are repeated. Psychology says that

repetition of an idea confirms it. The children are given

lessons in sleep about moral education# elementary sex or


There was a pause; then the voice began

again: 'Alpha children wear grey. They
work much harder than we do# because
they're so fright-fully clever. I'm
really awfully glad I'm a Beta, because I
don't work so hard. And then we are much
better than the Gammas and Deltas.
Gammas are stupid. They all wear green,
and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I
don't want to play with Delta children.
And Epsilons are still worse. They're
too stupid to be able ... (p. 33).

During the conditioning process the children are repeatedly

taught in their unconsciousness, many catch-phrases as the

rules of the Brave New World. They are, for example,

.'ending is better than mending', 'everybody is happy now-a-

days', 'when the individual feels the community reels, 'a

gramme is better than damn', 'civilization is sterilization'


Brave New World presents a future world with a high

degree of plausibility. It is a world with feelies, free

sex, soma-holidays, bottle-songs, synthetic music, air-taxi

or taxicopter and satellite suburbs. Feelies in Brave New

World, for example, is a logical extension of the movies of

today. Movies of today satisfy our audio-visual senses.

Huxley takes a fantasy-jump and conceives of 'feelies' which

satisfy not only the eye and the ear but also the senses of

touch and smell-so that what one sees on the screen, one may

literally feel it and experience it. All such ideas of

Brave New World do not appear 'improbable' at all. Huxley

himself says:

Technologically and ideologically, we are

still a long way from bottle babies and
Bokanovsky groups of Semi-morons. But by
A.F. 600, who knows what may not be
happening? Meanwhile the other
characteristic features of that happier
and more stable world - the equivalents
of soma and hypnopaedia and the
scientific caste system - are probably no
more than three or four generations
away. 8

In this highly 'developed' society everyone is

'conditioned' to be free from emotions, pains, solitude and

old age. Death, too, in this world, becomes a 'matter of

course'. Here, death is taken as a normal activity without

terror. Death conditioning begins at quite an early stage.

Dr. Gaffney says:


Death conditioning begins at eighteen

months. Every tot spends two mornings a
week in a Hospital for the Dying. All
the best toys are kept there, and they
get chocolate cream on death days. They
learn to take dying as a 'matter of
course'. (p.131)

Once we accept the technocratic world of A.F.632 as a

logical extension of reality, naturally it follows that in

this world of 'Conditioning', the concepts like ' mother',

'father', 'home', and 'family', have no place-they don't

exist. As, children are produced in bottles, and shaped in

the conditioning rooms, there is no place for 'mother',

'father' or for 'family' . Here the word 'mother' is

considered obscene. Such things belong to the past or

history; and according to Mustapha Mond, the World

Controller 'History is bunk', (p.38) and 'most historical

facts are un-pleasant'. (p.30) Brave New World is a 'Bottle

World'.^ Everyone in this world is predestined in his/her


Hence, there is no need of parents or of home,

'Just try to realize it', he said ...

'Try to realize what it was like to have
a viviparous mother'.
That smuty word again. But none of them
dreamed, this time, of smiling.

'Try to imagine what "living with one's

family" meant'. They tried; but

obviously without the smallest success.

'And do you know what a home was?' They
shook their heads. (p. 39).

The World - controller describes 'Home'

with obvious dislike:

Home/ home-a few small rooms, stifflingly

over-inhabited by a man, by a
periodically teeming woman, by a rabble
of boys and girls of all ages. No air,
no space; an understerilized prison;
darkness, disease, and smells, (p. 40).

This is the idea of 'home' presented before the

inhabitants of the Brave New World who have no use of

institutions like home and family. Mond Says:

Our Freud has been the first to reveal

the appalling dangers of family life. The
world was full of fathers - was therefore
full of misery; full of mothers -
therefore of every kind of perversion
from sadism to chastity, full of
brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts - full
of madness and suicide. (p. 41) .

Brave New World presents a world of polygamy.

Everyone is brainwashed to believe that 'Everyone belongs to

everyone else'. Here the children also are made aware of

all sex-intricacies. The children, in this world, become

sexually mature at the age of four, and fully grown at six.

In this world of 'unresticted copulation' love is 'taboo'.

The world is full with concepts like 'pregnancy substitute',

'V.P.S. (Violent Passion Surrogate) Treatment'. 'Malthusian

Drill' to keep off pregnancy and 'sex-hormone chewing-gum'.



Looking at the present world, the sexual promiscuity of

Brave New World doesn't seem far distant.

Brave New World is a 'Masterpiece of Satire'. Huxley

uses satire as a chief device to mock at the so-called

advancement of the new world. In the Brave New World. God,

religion, Home, parenthood-all disappear. God has been

replaced by Ford. One of the most famous slogans in the

Brave New World is: "Ford helps those who help themselves",

(p. 168). The world-controllers have chosen science instead

of God. Mustapha Mond says:

God isn't compatible with machinery and

scientific medicine and universal
happiness. You must make your choice.
Our civilization has chosen machinery and
medicine and happiness. That's why I
have to keep these books locked up in the
safe. They're smut. (p. 183)

The Brave New World provides a wonderful substitute for

religion and god. A perfect drug 'Soma' has been invented

to replace god and religion. Wish-fulfillment is one of the

sources of human fantasy. Huxley's conception of 'Soma' is

based on the desire of man to invent a narcotic without bad

and harmful effects. Mustapha Mond says that in the past

people, along with god and heaven, used to consume alcohol,

morphia and cocaine (p. 52) . Now 'Soma' - the euphoric,

narcotic, pleasantly hallucinant drug contains all the

advantages of religion and alcohol, but contains none of

their defects. 'Soma' removes incidental unpleasantness or

disappointment. It "ensures perfect freedom from anxiety

and boredom". 'Soma' is an alternative to liberty too.

Mond, while praising 'Soma' says:

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. And
there's always soma to calm your anger,
to reconcile you to your enemies, to make
you patient and long-suffering
Anybody can be virtuous now. You can
carry at least half your morality about
in a bottle. Christianity without
tears - that's what Soma is (p. 185).

'Soma-holiday' is an eighteen-hour sleep after consuming six

half-gram tablets of 'Soma'. Dr. Shaw regards 'Soma-

holiday' as "a bit of what our ancestors used to call

eternity", (p. 125).

What is remarkable in Brave New World is that Huxley,

throughout the novel, questions the very idea of 'Reality'

and 'Fantasy'; and establishes that both are relative. For

Lenina, the Savage Reservation which is akin to reality,

appears fantastic; whereas for the Savage, the world of

A.F. 632 which is an extension of reality, appears a

fantasy. As the perspectives offered by his narrative world

are totally contradicted in the Brave New World, the new


world appears fantastic for him. The same is true of Lenina

and the other inhabitants of the Brave New World. When

John, the Savage, comes to London, John and his civilization

appear fantastic for the citizens of London. Though John's

mother, Linda, belongs to the civilized World State, by

accident she has to stay with the savages. But her

'conditioning' done in the World State doesn't disappear.

She, as per her conditioning, accepts many men from the

savages for which she is abused and is beaten too. Monogamy

of the savage world is a fantasy for her; whereas the

concept of Polygamy, the principle of the World State, is

unintelligible to the Savages. To John, the concept of

Polygamy is fantastic. Therefore, though he has a sort of

infatuation for Lenina, he beats her as 'impudent strumpet'

(p. 155). On the contrary, Lenina can't understand the

concept of 'marriage' when John expresses a desire to marry

her. To live with one person throughout life seems awful

for Lenina.

In Brave New World fantasy always co-exists with irony.

The title of the novel, Brave New World, is itself ironical.

As is well-known it is taken from Shakespeare's The Tempest.

Miranda looking at Ferdinand and others utters:

0, Wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!

How beautuous mankind is! 0 brave new

world . . 9y
That has such people in it!

Ironically these are the people like Antonio who plot

against Miranda's father, Prospero. Huxley attacks

indirectly all those who consider scientific advancement as

an unsullied good. D.V. Jog says in this context:

Shakespeare knew that the world Miranda

was admiring has its Calibans as well as
Prosperos, its drunkards as well as its
handsome lovers. Here Huxley tells us
that the scientific utopia for which we
are heading, though it may constitute the
material millennium, will certainly not
be what scientists and industrialists
imagine. Intellectually, spiritually and
morally it will be far worse than the
present age and yet we are unmistakably
going forward to such a utopia. 3

John, like Miranda, is wrong in his assumption about

the Brave New World. During his visit to the factory of the

Electrical Equipment Corporation, he finds that each process

is carried out by a single Bokanovsky Group. The Group

consists of Deltas, Gammas, Gamma-Pluses, Delta-minuses and

Epsilons. Looking at these wearied workers in their typical

uniforms, John ironically exclaims:

"0 brave new world ...

that has such people in it". (p. 129)

John's dream of the Brave New World gets shattered and turns

into a "Waste Land".


Brave New World is a bitter criticism on existing

social, ethical and materialistic codes. Huxley's avowed

objective in the novel is to warn his readers about certain

evil tendencies in modern technological society - those of

over-mechanization and mass-production, and of over­

organization and power-centralization. He, therefore, makes

these tendencies the principles of organization while

constructing his dystopia. In the totalitarian technocracy

that he conceives of, he puts in new values which are

completely anti-human. 'Community, Identity, Stability' are

the new watch-words. God, Nature, Poetry, Heroism are just

dropped from the list of new values. Love, too, is gone.

Free sex exists. Mother and father are obscene words.

Huxley, thus, uses the logical fantasy and creates a topsy­

turvy world where to be human is a deviation and to be non­

human is the norm. The 'New' society is divided into four

classes: Alphas, Betas, Gammas and Deltas, Epsilons.

Alphas are the leaders. Betas possess high intelligence.

Gammas and Deltas have less intelligence, and Epsilons are

ordinary workers with no intelligence. In the Brave New

World all are alike: each caste has its own distinct

function and its own dress of a particular colour. Here,

individuality is a sin. Children are produced and

conditioned in such a way that 'loss of individuality'

becomes the chief feature of this society.


The novel presents a contrast between the values and

ideology of the Savage and those of the World Controller.

Mustapha Mond, one of the World Controllers, explains quite

logically why he rejects new inventions in science, history,

past, emotions and literature. Using arguments, similar to

plato's in The Republic he bans literature because he

doesn't want his people to get distracted. He tries every

possible means to maintain stability in the World State. He

prefers universal happiness to Truth, Beauty and Arts. He


... The World's stable now. People are

happy, they get what they want, and they
never want what they can't get. They're
well off; they're safe; they're never
ill; they're not afraid of death; they're
blissfully ignorant of passion and old
age; they are plagued with no mothers and
fathers; they've got no wives, or
children, or loves to feel strongly
about; they're so conditioned that they
practically can't help behaving as they
ought to behave. And if anything should
go wrong, there's soma. Which you go and
chuck out of the window in the name of
liberty, Mr. Savage. Liberty! (p. 173).

Mustapha Mond's arguments are logical, and the ultimate goal

of his efforts is 'stability' for his World State. Huxley

says in the 'Foreword' to Brave New World (1946):

The people who govern the Brave New World

may not be sane; but they are not mad men
and their aim is not anarchy but social
stability. It is in order to achieve
stability that they carry out, by

scientific means, the ultimate, personal,

really revolutionary revolution. 4

In contrast with Mond's justification of his 'own'

world, the Savage has his 'own' outlook. He finds Mond's

'rational' justification quite 'irrational'. He can't

believe a world without mother, father, home, family,

emotions and literature. Mond's rejection of literature and

god is beyond his understanding. He also doesn't understand

Mond's logic in preparing the 'lower castes' of Gammas,

Deltas and Epsilons.

"'I was wondering', said the Savage, 'why you had them

at all-seeing that you can get whatever you want out of

those bottles. Why don't you make everybody an Alpha-

Double-Plus while you are about it?" (p. 174).

The Savage always sympathises with the Gammas, Deltas,

and Epsilons. He doesn't agree with Mond who tries to get

rid of everything unpleasant instead of learning to put up

with it. Finally, the Savage decides to accept the present

world as it is with discomfort, pains, diseases, old age,

emotions, god and poetry. He argues passionately:

But I don't want comfort. I want God, I

want Poetry, I want real danger, I want
freedom, I want goodness, I want sin.
'Infact', said Mustapha Mond, 'You're

claiming the right to be unhappy'. 'All

right, then', said the Savage defiantly,
'I'm claiming the right to be unhappy'.
Not to mention the right to grow old and
ugly and impotent; the right to have
syphilis and cancer; the right to have
too little to eat; the right to be lousy;
the right to live in constant
apprehension of what may happen tomorrow;
the right to catch typhoid; the right to
be tortured by unspeakable pains of every
There was a long silence. 'I claim them
all', said the Savage at last. (p. 187).

John, the Savage, is the normative character of Brave

New World as he presents Huxley's own ideas and points of


Brave New World is a major fantasy which, besides

offering a severe critique of the existing world, also

explores the nature of 'Fantasy', and shows that both

'Fantasy' and 'Reality' are purely relative. The novel is

recognized as "one of the two most widely discussed English

fantasies of this century!" Though the novel is a product

of imagination, it is not extravagant or unrestricted

imagination that operates in it but the most controlled kind

of imagination. Huxley's fantasy has been controlled here

by logic. If we look at the descriptions of Modern

Fertilizing Process, Bokanovsky Process, conditioning,

Hypnopaedia, it becomes clear to us that a wealth of

imagined social, political and technological details has


gone with them. Keith May says: "Bokanovsky Process ... is

described with such pseudo-scientific elaboration that this

process alone is sufficient testimony to the author's

ingenuity". The novel is a sort of warning against the

optimism of the thirties when people believed that all would

be for the best in the best of all possible worlds. "Brave

New World is not just a scientific romance or a fanciful

vision of the world to come. Beneath its many scientific

and technical details lies a penetrating analysis of our

. . . . . . . ?i
machine-ridden and efficiency-obsessed civilization".

Hence, as Paul Gonnon says, the novel is a "clever

juxtaposition of fact (Scientific details) and fiction

(future life on earth)".28

There is a great deal of intelligence, scientific

erudition, profound wisdom, subtle comic sense, and clarity

of vision that are blended admirably in this novel.

Huxley's fantasy, therefore, presents a harsh indictment on

all human fantasies of progress and happiness through the

advancement of science and technology.


Brave New World Revisited (1958) is a series of essays

examining various dangerous techniques developing in the

world around 1950. Huxley is surprised to see his

prophecies made in Brave New World (1932) coming true and

becoming facts so soon. The book is Huxley's own 'second

opinion' on the issues raised earlier in Brave New World.

Huxley expects his reader to read his book against

background of Hungarian uprising and its repression, of the

H-bombs, and of "those endless columns of uniformed boys,

white, black, brown, yellow, marching obediently towards the

common grave".29

Huxley, in this book, discusses those issues which he

thinks are enemies to freedom. He is not going to consider

the military and the weapons and armaments for the sake of

convenience. On the other hand, he takes up the problems of

over-population, over-organization, brainwashing,

Hypnopaedia and freedom. Over-population, according to

Huxley, is a direct threat to personal freedom. He observes

a rise of population by geometric progression. The growth

of population creates a permanent biological crisis as the

biological quality of the great number of people is

increasingly poor. Huxley fears that over-population will

turn the underdeveloped countries into totalitarian states.


The Centralization of political and economic powers deprives

an individual of many important things like inner security,

happiness, reason and the capacity for love. The over­

organization will turn an individual into an automaton. It

will suffocate the creative spirit and will abolish the

possibility of freedom. Huxley worries about the systematic

mind-manipulation through propaganda.

Huxley finally suggests that we should resist these

menacing forces to freedom. He fears that as a result of

all these pressures a possibility may rise up of a

totalitarion world in twenty years' time. Huxley's book is

an urgent warning against the forces menacing freedom.

ii) Aoe and Essence (1949) is a brief futuristic novel

describing a breakdown of human civilization after the use

of nuclear and bacteriological weapons in the Third World

War. Newzealand is the only country to be saved from atomic

annihilation. The novel presents the picture of human life

resulting from the pursuit of the present political and

scientific ideals. This anti-utopian novella may be

interpreted as "a satiric criticism of tendencies in

existing society and a sardonic warning of future


possibilities". u The novel presents a story of 'biological

retrogression' and 'physical degradation' as a result of

human vanity of knowledge and of human craving for power.

The novel is written in the form of a scenario, a

motion-picture script within a narrative frame. It is a

scenario introduced and punctuated by the remarks of the

narrator. The narrator sees human beings as baboons and

apes, and regards their life of comfort and their

civilization as the "fantastic tricks played by angry

O 1 ,
apes”. Huxley's clever use of cinematic technique,

keeping a narrator unseen in the background to serve as an

interpreter as well as a commentator on the main theme, is

both novel and functional. The scenario describes the

camera-movements as:

Close-up of Faraday's face, as it

registers astonishment, disgust,
indignation and, finally, such shame and
anguish that tears begin to flow down the
furrowed cheeks. Montage shots of the
Folks in Radio Land listening-in.
A stout baboon housewife frying sausages,
while the loud-speaker brings her the
imaginary fulfilment and real
exacerbation of her most unavowable
wishes ... close-up mouths and paws. Cut
back to Faraday's tears. (pp. 26-27).

Ape and Essence is partially a logical extension of

'reality', and partially a reversal of 'facts'. Let us


first analyse fantasy in this novel as a logical 'extension

of reality' on scientific, political and ethical basis. The

future world that Huxley depicts in this novel is the world

of 2108, after the Therma-Nuclear War. While the rest of

the world is devastated by atomic radiation, Newzealand is

the only country to escape atomic mutation only because of

its specific geographical location. The atomic radiation

causes a lot of physical deformities among the children.

The children affected by nuclear radiation are born with

extra pairs of nipples, a number of toes and additional

fingers. Sometimes children are born without thumbs or

fingers. The atomic annihilation and the physical

deformities caused by it have now become matters of

'reality'. As the Second World War has become a matter of

the 'past' now, the Third World War doesn't seem improbable

at all. Hence, fantasy in Aoe and Essence seems a logical

extension of 'reality'. The nuclear radiation has affected

nature, too, in the world of 2108. Dr. Poole and Miss Hook,

both botanists in the 'Rediscovey Team' from Newzealand,

observe the changes among flowers made by gamma-rays:

'There are still some flowers on the

Artemisia', says Dr. Poole. 'Do you
notice anything unusual about them?'
Miss Hook examines them, and shakes her
'They're a great deal bigger than what's
described in the old text-books', he says
in a tone of studiedly repressed

'A great deal bigger?' She repeats.

Her face lights up.
'Alfred, you don't think ...?'
Dr. Poole nods.
'I'm ready to bet on it', he says.
'Tetraploidy. Induced by irradiation with
'Oh, Alfred!' she cries ecstatically,
(p. 41) .

Ace and Essence projects Los Angeles, once a prime city

in California, reduced, after the Third World War, into a

'ghost-town' . It is now a ruined city where people dig

graves for clothes, jewellery and watches.

Suddenly a spade strikes something hard.

There is a cry of delight, a flurry of
concerted activity. A moment later a
handsome mahogany coffin is hoisted to
the surface of the ground.
'Break it open'.
'O.K. Chief'.
We hear the creaking and cracking of rent
'Man or Woman?'
'Fine! Spill him out'.
with a yo-heave-ho they tilt the coffin,
and the corpse rolls out on to the sand.
The eldest of the bearded grave-diggers
kneels down beside it and starts
methodically to relieve the thing of its
watch and jewellery", (p. 47).

The World of 2108, after the atomic devastation, cannot

maintain soil-fertility. Hence the whole of California


turns into a big desert. There is no possibility of growing

anything there. Hence, the digging of corpses for clothes

seems quite logical. In the same world, Woman is treated as

a 'unholy vessel'. The chief repeats:


"'What is the nature of Woman?

Answer: Woman is the vessel of the
unholy spirit, the source of all
deformity, the enemy of the race,
(p. 54).

In this world of future, woman is beaten, abused, exploited,

and is always looked down upon as a source of all sins.

Does this treatment of woman seem improbable in future? In

fact, it has been a part of the 'existing' world too.

Fantasy, in Ape and Essence, is a partial reversal of

'facts' at various levels. First, it is a reversal of

'biological facts'. After the Third World War, instead of

'Progression', there may be 'Biological Retrogression'.

Huxley visualises the 'Future' world with a Baboon-Society

dominated by bestial and materialistic desires. The baboon-

society consists of a baboon baby, a baboon housewife, a

baboon financier, baboon soldiers, baboon technicians, and a

baboon bishop also. Infact, the baboons are human beings in

disguise. The baboons speak, read, behave like human beings

which is a reversal of the rules of our 'existing' world.

Ape is a traditional literary image as a caricature of human

irresponsibility and malignity. Huxley describes a baboon

female singer in a night-club:

The light grows a little less dim and

suddenly we become aware that the
audience is composed entirely of well-

dressed baboons of both sexes and of all

ages from first to second childhood .. .
we see a bosomy young female baboon, in a
shell-pink evening gown, her mouth
painted purple, her muzzle powdered
mauve, her fiery red eyes ringed with
mascara. Swaying as voluptuously as the
shortness of her hind legs will permit
her to do, she walks on to the brightly
illuminated stage of a night club and, to
the clapping of two or three hundred
pairs of hairy hands, approaches to the
Louis XV microphone. (p. 25).

This fantasy is another kind of inversion of

'biological facts'. Biologically sex is a matter of day-to-

day life for human beings in this world of 'reality'.

Huxley reverses these biological principles, and foresees

that in future sex-impulse in human beings becomes

'seasonal' as in animals. The Semi-Savage Society living in

the ruins of California allows unrestrained sexual

indulgence only for two weeks after Belial Day. The narrator


But now the gamma-rays have changed all

that. The hereditary pattern of man's
physical and mental behaviour has been
given another form. Thanks to the
Supreme Triumph of Modern Science, sex
has become seasonal, romance has been
swallowed up by the oestrus, and the
female's chemical compulsion to mate has
abolished courtship, chivalry,
tenderness, love itself, (p. Ill) .

The Arch-Vicar informs Dr. Poole about the seasonal sex when

Dr. Poole asks:


'Was this something that happened after

... after the Thing? 'Dr. Poole

'In two generations' .

'Two generations!' Dr. Poole Whistles.
'Nothing recessive about that mutation.
And don't they ... well, I mean, don't
they feel like doing this sort of thing
at any other season?'
'Just for five weeks, that's all.
And we only permit two weeks of actual
The Arch-Vicar makes the sign of horns.
'On general principles. They have to be
punished for having been punished. It's
the Law of Belial. And, I may say, we
really let them have it if they break the
'Quite, quite; says Dr. Poole,
remembering with discomfort the episode
with Loola among the dunes.
'It's pretty hard for the ones who throw
back to the old-style mating pattern'.
'Are there many of those?'
'Between five and ten percent of the
population. We call them "Hots"'.
'And you don't permit ...?'
'We beat the hell out of them when we
catch them'.
'But that's monstrous!' (p. 102-103).

The fantasy also projects an inversion of the 'existing'

moral code. After Belial Day, for two weeks, the society

experiences unrestricted sexual orgies. Then "everyone

belongs to everyone else".

The purification ceremony in this Semi-Savage Society

is a reversal of 'Facts' on ethical and religious levels.

On this Purification Ceremony, deformed babies are


sacrificed to Belial. Their mothers' heads are shaven.

They are abused and beaten. Physical deformities caused by

atomic radiation have already been regarded as a logical

extension of reality. But sacrificing such deformed babies

to Belial in the name of 'purification of The Race' appears

an inversion of ethical values in the existing world. Loola

says -

'...and now you walk straight into

purification ceremonies . . . 'Purification
Ceremonies?' 'No, no; she says
impatiently, 'I mean the purification of
the Race'.
'Of the Race?'
'Hell, your priests don't let the
deformed babies go on living, do they?'
There is a silence; then Dr. Poole
counters with a question of his own.
'Are there many deformed babies born
here?' She nods affirmatively.
'Ever since the Thing - ever since He's
been in charge' . She makes the sign of
the horns. 'They say that before that
there weren't any'. (pp. 58-59)

The baboon society enslaves scientists like Michael

Faraday, Albert Einstein, Louie Pasteur. They are always

kept in chains. They are often abused and beaten. They

have been often asked, by the rulers, to invent more

destructive weapons. If the scientists resist they are

tortured. The Semi-Savage community in California maintains

a practise of burning books as fuel.

A few yards away stand the communal

ovens. The Chief orders a halt, and

graciously accepts a piece of the newly

baked bread. While he is eating, ten or
twelve small boys enter the shot,
staggering under inordinate loads of fuel
from the nearby public Library. They
tumble their burdens on to the ground
and, stimulated by the blows and curses
of their elders, hurry back for more.
One of the bakers opens a furnace door
and starts to shovel the books into the

All the scholar in Dr. Poole, all the

bibliophile, is outraged by the
spectacle. 'But this is frightful' he
protests. The Chief only laughs. 'In
goes The Phenomenology of Spirit, out
comes the corn bread. And damned good
bread it is'. (pp. 66-67)

The butts of ridicule in Aoe and Essence are dictators,

technocrats and mercenaries. Their 'fantasy' is to create a

world in which everything is regulated; and Huxley warns

that such a 'fantasy' might actually turn out to be a

mightmare. Huxley, in this novel depicts the baboon society

which captivates scientists and forces them to invent

destructive devices, including the self-destructive ones.

While commenting on the 'misuse' of science he quotes the

examples of 'Glanders' — a disease of horses, not common

among humans. He says:

But, never fear, science can easily make

it universal ... To see that all shall
die has been the task of some of those
brilliant young D.SC's now in the employ
of your government. And not your
government only: of all the other elected
or self-appointed organizers of the
world's collective schizophrenia,
(p. 231)

Quoting another example of 'misapplication of science of

psychology' and using it as a weapon of mass destruction.

Huxley shows Dr. Schneeglock, the psychologist, saying:

'But why even bother about aqueducts?' he

asks, 'All you need do is just to
threaten your neighbour with any of the
weapons of mass destruction. Their own
panic will do the rest. Remember what
the psychological treatment did to New
York, For example. The short-wave
broadcasts from overseas, the headlines
in the evening papers. And immediately
there were eight milllions of people
trampling one another to death on the
bridges and in the tunnels. And the
survivors scattered through the
countryside, like locusts, like a horde
of plague-infected rats. Fouling the
water supply. Spreading typhoid and
diphtheria and venereal disease. Biting,
clawing, looting, murdering, raping.
Feeding on dead dogs and the corpses of
children. Shot at sight by the farmers,
bludgeoned by the Police, machine-gunned
by the state Guard, strung up by the
Vigilantes. And the same thing was
happening in Chicago, Detroit,
Philadelphia, Washington; in London, in
Paris, in Bombay and Shanghai and Tokyo;
in Moscow, in Kiev, in Stalingrad; in
every capital, every manufacturing
centre, every port, every railway
junction, all over the world. Not a shot
had been fired, and civilization was
already in ruins. Why the soldiers ever
found it necessary to use their bombs, I
really can't imagine, (p. 36)

In the Semi-Savage community of California, the effects

of 'misapplication of nuclear science' are visible; but

these consequences have become 'superstitions' in their

society, and are supposed to be the 'Curse' of Belial.


During the 'Purification Ceremony of The Race' hundreds of

deformed babies which are the consequence of nuclear

radiation during the Third World War are sacrified to

Belial. The Semi-Savage inhabitants have related all their

activities to 'Belial'. The Satanic Science Practitioner

teaches the students of this community to repeat:

'Question: What is the chief end of Man?

Answer: The chief end of Man is to
propitiate Belial, deprecate His enmity
and avoid destruction for as long as
possible. '... Question: To what fate is
Man predestined? Answer: Belial has, out
of His mere good pleasure, from all
eternity elected all now living to
everlasting perdition: ... 'And now tell
me why you deserve everlasting
perdition'.. . 'Belial has perverted and
corrupted us in all the parts of our
being. Therefore, we are, merely on
account of that corruption, deservedly
condemned by Belial' (pp. 68-69)

The more important conflict of ideologies we find

during the discussion between the Arch-Vicar, and Dr. Poole.

Dr. Poole represents a civilized and technically advanced

world, whereas the Arch-Vicar represents a 'primitive'

society wholly wrapt in superstitions and primitive

brutishness. The Arch-Vicar refers to the Third World War

as the 'Thing'. He feels that human beings themselves are

responsible for the awful destruction in the Third World


'From the very beginning of the

industrial revolution He foresaw that men
would be made so overwhelmingly bumptious
by the miracles of their own technology
that they would soon lose all sense of
reality. And that's precisely what
happened. These wretched slaves of
wheels and ledgers began to congratulate
themselves on being the Conquerors of
Nature. Conquerors of Nature, indeed! In
actual fact, of course, they had merely
upset the equilibrium of Nature and were
about to suffer the consequences. Just
consider what they were up to during the
century and a half before the Thing.
Fouling the rivers, Killing off the wild
animals, destroying the forests, washing
the topsoil into the sea, buring up an
ocean of petroleum, squandering the
minerals it had taken the whole of
geological time to deposit. An orgy of
criminal imbecility. And they
called it Progress. Progress', (p. 93)

The Arch-Vicar now begins to relate man's existence

also to Belial's wishes. He argues:

'You'd hardly think. He could have

produced us without a miracle ... But He
did, He did. By purely natural means,
using human beings and their science as
his instruments, He created an entirely
new race of men, with deformity in their
blood, with squalor all around them and
ahead, in the future, no prospects but of
more squalor, worse deformity and ,
finally, complete extinction. Yes, it's
a terrible thing to fall into the hands
of the Living Evil'. 'Then Why', asks
Dr. Poole, 'do you go o'n worshipping Him?

'Why do you throw food to a growling

tiger? To buy yourself a breathing space.
To put off the horror of the inevitable,
if only for a few minutes. In earth as
it is in Hell - but at least one's still
on earth'. (p. 99)

This is a society where marriage doesn't exist, human

love doesn't have any place, and sex is a taboo except in

the two weeks following Belial Day. Dr. Poole and Loola

reject such society of slavery, human sacrifice,

unrestrained bestiality, superstition, widespread deformity,

and set out in search of new and better life on San Gabriel


In this novel, Huxley uses the technique to --

'distancing' himself from the narrator. The whole novel is

written in the form of a movie-script. William Tallis is

the script-writer who is dead now. So, the story is

narrated by the third narrator in the script. Hence Huxley

uses a double-distancing-device. Huxley shows William

Tallis despising the human race. Tallis doesn't seem to be

'reliable' because of his selfish and mercenary attitude.

Huxley makes use of the double-distancing-strategy because

the world of the future depicted in the fantasy is not of

his own approval. He is not in favour of the gloomy

predictions of the future he makes like the physical

degradation in form of baboons, the social and moral

regression in form of the semi-barbarian society, the

massacre of children, deformity, bestiality, seasonal sex

and superstitions.

Huxley, projecting the sick baboon-society and the

Semi-Savage Community of California, wishes to warn the

readers of the catastrophe if the powers of science are

continued to be misused in future. This fantasy of the

future gives "a warning of what will happen if we persist in

present follies".^ Huxley argues, here, that the results

of political and scientific utopias would be the ultimate

extinction of man. The novel records a vehement protest of

a sensitive individual against the way to perdition mankind

has chosen. George Woodcock calls this novel "one of

Huxley's darkest books". J It xs a record of Huxley's

conscious fears of the misuse of science and exploitation of

the female.

iii) Island: (1962)

In the foreword to the second edition of Brave New

World Huxley says:-

"If I were now to rewrite the book I would offer the

Savage a third alternative. Between the Utopian and the

primitive horns of his dilemma would lie the possibility of

sanity".^ In Brave New World Huxley leaves human beings

with the unpleasant choice between the insanity of extreme


rationalism and the lunacy of superstitious primitivism. A

decade later Huxley blames himself for having failed to

suggest a third possibility that of the decentralized free

society in which industry is minimised and man is liberated

to pursue the life of peace. Peter Bowering says, "In

Island Huxley offers real alternative, another utopia, in

which science and technology would be used not enslave man ,

but to further his salvation". ^ Huxley m Island attempts

to offer a kind of fusion of the mystical contribution of

the East with the technological progress of the West.

Island is Huxley's utopia in which he attempts to make the

best of both the worlds. If Brave New World is a

technological hell, Island is,' as Dr. Sisirkumar Chattarjee

says, "a step forward in his excursion into the future to

find peace, happiness and a complete philosophy of life".

Huxley imagines man at his sanest and most admirable in


Island is a utopia, a futuristic fantasy, depicting

man's achievement of perfection in almost all fields of

life. This remarkable fantasy being a utopia is organized

on the principle of inversion of 'reality' on various levels

like sociological, psychological, educational,

philosophical, and political. For example, the family



system in the island of Pala is conceived as being free from

the tyrannies of family life. It is a system where 'mother'

is identified with a set of functions. When the functions

are properly carried out the title vanishes. Then onwards

the 'ex-child' and the woman who used to be called 'mother'

establish a new kind of relationship. If they get on Well#

they stay together. Otherwise, they are not expected to

cling to each other. Then the child can enter a new

system. Huxley, here, reverses the perspectives of our

world of 'reality'. He is of the opinion that family system

has it justifications only in its role in the nourishment

and development of children. The system must be flexible —

the children should be free to seek homes for themselves

according to their likes and needs. So Huxley conceives of

MAC - Mutual Adoption Club:

'Whenever the parental Home Sweet Home

becomes too unbearable, the child is
allowed, is actively encouraged - and the
whole weight of public opinion is behind
the encouragement to migrate to one of
its other homes'.
'How many homes does a Palanese child
'About twenty on the average'.
'Twenty? My God!'
'We all belong', Susila explained, 'to an
MAC - a Mutual Adoption Club. Every MAC
consists of anything from fifteen to
twentyfive assorted couples. New elected
brides and bride-grooms, old-timers with
growing children, grand parents and
great-grand parents - everybody in the
club adopts everyone else. Besides our
own blood relations, we all have our

quota of deputy mothers, deputy fathers,

deputy aunts and uncles, deputy brothers
and sisters, deputy babies and toddlers
and teenagers'.

If a child is not happy in his first home, he moves in other

fifteen to twenty second homes. Meanwhile the father and

mother get a tactful therapy from the members of a MAC. In

a few weeks they are fit to be with their children, and

children also are fit to go back to their parents. A MAC

doesn't separate a child from its parents, but it gives a

child additional parents, and gives the parents additional

children. The Mutual Adoption Club guarantees children

against injustice and parental indifference. But it also

increases their responsibilities'. A MAC can adopt old

people also, and they are provided with proper love and care

there. A MAC is not run by the government but by its own

members. In short, a MAC stands for freedom which is the

marvellous achievement of Pala.

Sex in Pala is rational, and it is recognized as a

major force in human life. Sex is not a perverse instinct

in Pala, but it is properly channelized. The young are

properly instructed in sex-education. The young boys and

girls sleeping together is a matter taken for granted in

Pala. Sex, here, is idealized, glorified and thought as a

'maithuna', as a way to enlightenment. "Basically,


maithuna, is the same as what the Oneida people called Male

Continence. And that was the same what Roman Catholics mean

by Coitus reservatus'. (p. 79) The Palanese call,

'maithuna' yoga of love. It is a kind of awareness which

turns love into yoga:

'. . . Remember the point that Freud was

always harping on'.
'Which point? There were so many'.
'The point about the sexuality of
children. What we're born with, what we
experience all through infancy and
childhood, is a sexuality that isn't
concentrated on the genitals; it's a
sexuality diffused throughout the whole
organism. That's the paradise we
inherit. But the paradise gets lost as
the child grows up. Maithuna is the
organized attempt to regain that
paradise'. (pp. 79-80)

Maithuna is also called 'dhyana' - contemplation. Thus sex

is fused with philosophy. Maithuna becomes a recognized

part of school - syllabus in Pala. The Palanese, after

their marriage, go on practising 'maithuna' except when they

need a baby.

Huxley, in Island, introduces the concept of the

'Moksha Medicine' in the field of philosophy and mysticism.

The 'Moksha Medicine', in fact, is the truth-and-beauty

pill. It is a reality revealer. It is a source of

liberating soul. By using it, even quite ordinary people


can have visionary or even fully liberating experience. The

'Moksha Medicine' offers a mystical experience which also

can be achieved through meditation,prayer or fasting. In

Pala, the 'reality - revealer' is advised for everybody.

Even the young students, to experience reality, are asked to

take the 'Moksha Medicine' . One can study this state of

mind while passing from a pre-mystical to the genuinely

mystical phase.

Coming to the place of Press in Pala, the Palanese get

only one newspaper published by a panel of editors

representing different parties and interests. Each of them

has been allotted some space in the newspaper for comment

and criticism. Thus, the multiplicity of newspapers and the

intense rivalry among them, often leading to sensationalism

and distortion of truth, is avoided in the ideal world.

Death is taken as a matter of course in Pala. It is

supposed to be a natural event. It is not associated with

any kind of confusion or sorrow. Dying is an art in Pala.

The dying people are helped to go on practising the art of

living while they're dying and are made aware of death, of

what they are, and also of the universe.


Peter Bowering comments that Island is "the final and

the most important chapter of the Huxleyan synthesis".

Huxley presents utopian ideals in every aspect of life in

this fantasy. He has already witnessed the various evils of

modern life like over-population, coercive politics,

militarism, over-mechanization, destruction of environment

and the slavish worship of science. Hence, in his fantasy,

Island, all such evils have been discarded. Anthony Burgess

says that Island is "profoundly didactic - crammed with

ideas, uncompromisingly intellectual".^

Pala, the island, is situated somewhere between Ceylon

a.nd Sumatra. The Palanese have cultivated their own

'native' culture which consists of painting, sculpture,

splendid architecture, wonderful dancing and expressive

music. The Palanese have neither national literature nor

national poets or dramatists. But they have a very close

access to English Literature. English Language has a

significant place in the Palanese School-curriculum. In

fact, the Palanese are bi-lingual. They use their native

language for domestic purpose. Otherwise, for business, for

science or philosophy, they make use of English - a

'stepmother tongue'. The Palanese education system is the

most ideal one. The Basic education deals with individuals


in all their differences of shape, size, gifts, weaknesses,

temperament. But as soon as the children grow into

adolescents, they begin to learn about the 'differences' in

their psychology and physiology classes that "everybody is

different from everybody else". (p. 210)

'We begin', said Mr. Menon, 'by assessing

the differences. Precisely who, or what,
anatomically, biochemically and
psychologically, is this child? In the
organic hierarchy, which takes precedence
- his gut, his muscles, or his nervous
system? How near does he stand to the
three polar extremes? How harmonious or
disharmonious is the mixture of his
component elements, physical and mental?
How great is his inborn wish to dominate,
or to be sociable, or to retreat into his
inner world? And how does he do his
thinking and perceiving and remembering?
. . . Does this child absorb all the
vitamins in his food, or is he subject to
some chronic deficiency that, if it is
not recognized and treated, will lower
his vitality, darken his mood, make him
see ugliness, feel boredom and think
foolishness or malice? And what about his
breathing? ...' (p. 210)

Children, at school, are taught logic and structure in

the form of games and puzzles; and then they move to

practical application. The result of such process shows

that most children can learn at least three times as much as

they learn in today's schools in half the time. Children

are also trained in playing a complicated game called

'Psychological Bridge', which demands skill and co-operation

from the other partner. The Palanese children are made


aware of ecology also through Aesop's fables in ecological

form with built - in cosmic morals. Higher education begins

at sixteen and continues upto twenty-four. The students, at

this stage, are involved in half-time study and half-time

work. Climbing is an integral part of the school-syllabus.

It is the first stage of their initiation out of childhood

into adolescence. While climbing mountains and ridges, they

experience life, death, fear, and ecstasy simultaneously.

Climbing is an exercise to channelize their energy to do

something useful. After this exercise the youth experience

the 'Moksha Medicine' . Thus climbing and the 'Moksha

Medicine' make the adolescents aware of different forms of

reality. The young boys and girls in Pala are trained to

sublimate their passions such as anger, frustration, and

fear through running, deep breathing and dancing. They are ,

also taught to love and preserve nature. Also the youth are

given their responsibilities to make them realize that their

Pala will continue to be a paradise if everybody works and

behaves nicely. The Palanese know very well that the aim of

education is to teach the youth 'to live as fully human

beings in harmony with the rest of life on this island at

this latidue on this planet'. (p. 218) To impart all these

ideals to the Palanese children, the teachers are trained


'We began teaching teachers a hundred and

seven years ago', said Mrs. Narayan.
'Classes of young men and women who had
been educated in the traditional Palanese
way. You know good manners/ good
agriculture, good arts and crafts,
tempered by folk medicine, old wives'
physics and biology and a belief in the
power of magic and the truth of fairy
tales. No science, no history, no
knowledge of anything going on in the
outside world. But these future teachers
were pious Buddhists; most of them
practised meditation and all of them had
read or listened to quite a lot of
Mahayana philosophy. They meant that in
the fields of applied metaphysics and
psychology, they'd been educated far more
thoroughly and far more realistically
than any group of future teachers in your
part of the world. ‘ Dr. Andrew was a
scientifically trained, anti-dogmatic
humanist, who had discovered the value to
pure and applied Mahayana. His friend,
the Raja, was a Tantrik Buddhist who had
discovered the value of pure and applied
science. Both, consequently, saw very
clearly that, to be capable of teaching
children to become fully human in a
society fit for fully human beings to
live in, a teacher would first have to be
taught how to make the best of both
worlds'. (pp. 228-229).

As far as religion is concerned, the Palanese are

Mahayanist, Buddhist or Shivaites. The religion in Pala is

a mixture of Shiva-worship and Tantric Buddhism. The

society in Pala is based on the principles of Mahayanist

Buddhism in which all men have a chance to live in such a

way that the physical and intellectual, moral and spiritual

facets of their nature are developed in a total balance.

The Palanese religion stresses immediate experience and


deplores belief in unverifiable dogmas and the emotions

which that belief inspires. Old Raja, that's why, comments

satirically in his 'Notes', "In religion all words are dirty

words. Anybody who gets eloquent with Buddha, or God, or

Christ, ought to have his mouth washed out with carbolic

soap".(p. 38}.

The Palanese religion offers a list of operations called

yoga, dhyana or zen to test validity of their religious

statements. Surprisingly, there is no established church in

Pala, and missionaries are not allowed to enter Pala. The

Palanese have developed a typical philosophy which keeps

them perfectly happy. Being Buddhists, they, know that

misery is associated with mind. All the Palanese believe in

what Buddha had said; "I show you sorrow and I show you the

ending of sorrow", (p. 134). The Palanese never experience

despair because they are taught to know that things don't

necessarily have to be as bad as in fact they look.

Pala is not over-populated. For a century, the

Palanese population has been stable. Most of the Palanese

produce only two children, and nobody has more than three.

The Palanese Government distributes contraceptives free.

Additionally, 'maithuna' also helps to check population


growth. Hence there is no fear of over-consumption in Pala.

The Palanese economics is based solidly on the footing of

co-operative system. In Pala, borrowing and lending system

is modelled upon the Credit Unions that Wilhelm Raiffeisen

set up a century ago in Germany, (p. 150) Therefore Pala

doesn't have commercial banks in Western style. There is a

co-operative banking system in Pala. It is a gold-producing

country. Hence the Palanese currency is strongly supported

by the Palanese gold. Gold supports also the Palanese

exports. It is, thus, a self-supporting economic system

without the so-called pillars of Western prosperity like

armaments, universal debt and planned obsolence.

As far as medical treatment in Pala is concerned,

Huxley again brings together science, mysticism and »

psychology. In Pala, full utilization of psychology has

been made in medical treatment. Such a system can be used

for the patient to have sleep, or even to make him forget

pains the medical treatment includes herbal mc-dicgnes also.

The medical system consists of restrictions on diet, auto­

suggestions and meditation. Pala has a considerable low

rate of neurosis and cardiovascular trouble. Therefore a

group of American doctors visits the island to find out the

causes for such a low rate of disease. Pala accepts the


modern agricultural techniques. It knows better ways of

cultivation. At the Experimental Station, new varieties of

rice and maize, millets and breadfruit are produced. Also

better breeds of cattle and chicken are raised here. The

Palanese have Communal Freezer where the produce is

protected from bacteria. At the High Attitude Station, set

up seven thousand feet high, consisting of five thousand

acres of flat-land, all the varieties that are grown in

Southern Europe are produced. It grows wheat, barley, Green

peas, lettuce, gooseberries, strawberries, walnuts and

apricots. Also the Station can cultivate all the valuable

plants native to high mountains at this latitude.

Pala has a constitutional monarchy and it is governed

by the Cabinet, The House of Representatives, and the Privy

Council representing the Raja. Pala is a State with no army

as the Palanese are pacifists. They don't allow

missionaries, planters, traders and foreign administrators .

on the island. Pala doesn't have the police and judges.

Due to preventive education crimes are not committed. If

any criminal is singled out he is handed over to the

Criminal's MAC. He undergoes a group therapy, medical

treatment, and a course of 'moksha medicine'. The aim of

the Palanese is to make everybody perfectly free and happy


to choose to behave in a sensible and realistic way. Pala's

motto is 'Decency, Reason, and Liberty'.

The novel, Island, ends on a pessimistic note. Why

should such a utopia fall? In fact, Pala is envied by all.

It has a rich oil produce. But the Palanese do not

entertain either the Capitalists or the Communists. The

Western Capitalists want Pala to be completely

industrialized. As cheap labour is easily available, they

feel that the profits would be tremendous. The Communists

hope that industrialization will create a proletariat class

and hence there will ample scope for communistic agitation.

Thus Pala is a friend to nobody, but enemy of everyone.

Huxley himself answers the question why such an ideal state

should collapse: 'I'm afraid it must end with Paradise lost-

if one is to be realistic.4® Jocelyn Brooke remarks:

"Huxley has come to realize that such earthly paradise must

prove finally helpless against the assault of industrialism

and modern scientific techniques".4^ K.B. Rammurthy

explains the probable reason behind the fall of Pala in

these words:

Why does Huxley show the fall of his

utopia in the end? The answer to this,
perhaps, lies in the philosophy of
eternal recurrence propounded by the
Seventeenth century Italian scholar,
Vico. Nietzche and Spengler advocated

similar theories which fascinated writers

like Yeats, Joyce and Huxley. Vico
believed that when a human society
reached a certain stage in a
civilization, it would fall off into
primitiveness, and then a new
civilization would begin to develop. 2

In Island Huxley builds his world of fantasy very

carefully by selecting ideas from different areas of life.

Combining the positive aspects of the East and the West,

Huxley presents an ideal society on the way to perfection.

Times Literary Supplement calls it "a positive and benign

version of Brave New World". J The Palanese have correctly

solved the problems Mustapha Mond, the World Controller,

mismanages in the Brave New World. Jerome Meckier rightly

remarks: "Island is Huxley's corrective for BraVe New


Island. Huxley's last novel, gives an impression of

culmination because every important problem that occupied

Huxley's mind has been resolved within the limits of present

knowledge. It appears that Huxley took extraordinary pains

over Island. Ronald Clark remarks:

All his years of distress, all his

experiences, and all his learnings, now
seemed to contribute to this story of a
society in which a serious effort is made
to help its member^ to realize their
desirable potential. 5

George Woodcock states that Huxley# in Island, gives "the

sketch of the kind of the world we might have if we were not

involved in seeking power and making wars.^ Island is an

affirmative utopia. Wayne Booth says that it is "not a

projection into the future of how bad things are now, but a
discovery in the present of how good they might be".47 In

the final years Huxley believed that he had discovered the

way, through mystical discipline, and the intelligent use of

drugs, to give every man an equal chance of an enlightened

experience, and so a utopia based on a balance of the <

physical and spiritual, the temporal and the eternal seemed

possible for him; such was the vision to which he gave a

concrete form in Island. Richard Kennedy rightly says, "As

a humanistic document Island provides a worthy and fitting

close to the career of a great intellectual of our time".

Island is, from the point of view of fantasy, a

beautiful product of creative fantasy working within the

framework of profound humanism. It is an example of fantasy

working in the service of man with the faith of a genuine

social reformer, of an unacknowledged legislator of the


However, when we view this fantasy from a different

perspective, we get totally different answers. Is the

fantasy convincing as a work of fiction? Does it appear

plausible and authentic?

The answers to most such questions are bound to be

negative for many reasons. One of the reasons for the

failure of Island as a work of fiction is that it lacks

individualized characters. Every character here, - may be

Ranga, or Susila, Dr. MacPhail,or Murugan, too, - appears to

be embodying an abstract concept. As Huxley tries to convey

his life-long meditation on Socio-politico-religious issues,

each character delivers Huxleyan views on these issues and

hence, appears to be Huxley's mouthpiece. The characters do

not have their independent existence.

Secondly, Island lacks movement and action too. Only

in the concluding part of the novel, Huxley has shown the

army of Colonel Dipa entering Pala. Otherwise, the

remaining part of the novel is only a discussion of certain

important social, philosophical and academic issues,

participated by a number of characters conveying the

writer's opinions and ideology.


More importantly, Island doesn't hold different

perspectives which can authenticate the novel's experience.

As it has only a single perspective, that of the writer's

own utopian vision, and as it lacks an ironic perspective,

the utopian vision doesn't seem plausible. It appears only

to be a theoretical discussion of utopian concepts. When we

compare Huxley's Island with Sir Thomas More's Utopia and

Swift's Gulliver's Travels. we notice that More and Swift

make use of different narrative techniques to bring in an

ironic perspective in contrast with the main vision. More

and Swift both introduce 'unreliable' narrators in the form

of Raphael Hythloday and Gulliver respectively to distance

themselves from the main narrative, and thus to introduce

another perspective to authenticate their experiences.

Huxley's Island lacks such distancing strategies, and hence

the utopia doesn't seem viable. Like many other works of

Huxley, this novel, too, seems a 'Novel of Ideas', a

fictionalised discussion of philosophical and socio­

political issues. We miss in Island the cutting irony of

Brave New World; and when we look for characters, we find

only abstractions and intellectual debates.



Now, on the basis of the analysis carried out so far,

let us attempt a few generalisations on the fantasies of

Huxley. Among the fantasies, the dystopian novel Brave New

World (1932) is more successful as a work of art than his

carefully conceived utopia, Island (1962). In fact, Brave

New World describes the existing ominous tendencies like

over-mechanization, over-organization, and over­

specialization. Island presents a utopian world in which

all these ill tendencies are diluted and channelized

properly for constructive purpose. The fact that, Brave New

World is a much better novel than his utopia, Island, shows

that Huxley is a greater analyst than a visionary.

Secondly, Huxley's Island presents ideas and ideals too

ambitious and too global to be convincing.

As far as the nature of Huxley's fantasy is concerned,

all the three fantasies of Huxley have a reference point in

'this' world. His dystopian fantasy Brave New World

projects a future world in which some evil tendencies of

'this' world are shown reaching the climactic point of

advancement in future. Brave New World has already been

examined as an 'Extension of Reality'. The ill tendencies

of 'this' world are extended to the world of future. Some


ills of 'this' rapidly advancing world like over­

mechanization, mass production, power-centralization, brain­

washing are transferred to the Brave New World. Huxley

imagines what would be the consequences in future if these

tendencies of 'this' world continue to develop. Brave New

World is not only a forecast of the days to come, but also a

bitter criticism of 'this' world. As George Woodcook says,

it is "a fantasy of the future, a satire on present".4^

Huxley's second fantasy Ape and Essence (1949), too,

refers to 'this' world. It criticizes the prevailing ideas

of misapplication of science for destructive purposes. The

world projected in Ape and Essence is a world surviving

after the Third World War. The atomic weapons used in the

war have swept away every human civilization except a baboon

society and a Semi-Savage community living in the ruins of

Los Angeles. Huxley extends the existing ill tendencies to

the world of baboons. The Semi-Savage tribe indicates a

regression of humanity into primitivism. It's a criticism

of man's avarice for holding power, inhuman massacre in the ,,

name of religion and god, and the disappearance of the

emotional aspects of human life.


The last of Huxley's fantasy, Island, is a utopia. The

island of Pala has achieved perfection in every field of

life except in 'self-protection'. It can't resist the

intruding forces of Colonel Dipa and other Capitalists from

the world. But it has succeeded in solving almost all

problems hitherto proved disturbing for humanity. Hence,

Island too has 'this' world as its reference point. Huxley

contrasts the utopian world with 'this world full of

problems and suffering. Pala has succeeded in achieving a

model pattern in education, agriculture, family and economic

matters. It has channelized youth energy properly. Even

the most significant factor of human life, sex, is properly

moulded in the form of 'maithuna' . Pala has solved all

problems about children, language, literature, religion,

god, an death even. Though Pala is a utopia, the world

around Pala is full of dystopian tendencies, a replica of

'this' world.

Huxley's fantasies present certain ideals and values he

stands for. In particular, we can discuss his views on a)

Science and Technology, b) Political Structures, c) Economic

and Education systems, d) Religion and e) Family and Sex.


a) Science and Technology:

Unlike Wells Huxley has intense dislike for science and

machines. He feels that scientific progress is not 'real'

progress. He believes that machines make men inhuman. The

dislike for science and technology is expressed satirically

in Brave New World, Ape and Essence, and directly in Island.

Brave New World, though an advanced world of future,

presents science and technology used by the world-

controllers for their selfish motives of holding on to

power. The scientific and mechanical processes of the world

of A.F. 632 have a close connection with social institutions

and ethics. With children being born in vast incubators,

the Brave New World puts an end to the concept of

'Parenthood'. The Social Predestination Process, another

scientific achievement of the Brave New World, decides the

social fate of a child. The Social Predestination Process

and Hypnopaedia as a sleep-teaching technique replace

'parents' and 'teachers'. The baboon rulers in Ape and

Essence, too, use scientific inventions for acquisition of

power. They capture scientists and torture them, so that

they invent more and more destructive weapons which help the

rulers acquire more power. In Ape and Essence Huxley warns

that the science of psychology also can be used in future as

a more dangerous weapon than atomic bombs for mass-


destruction. Huxley dislikes science so much that Island,

his utopia, is a world without any technology. The world

around Pala is technically far advanced. Relatively, Pala

is a bit backward, following traditional ideals. Huxley

here discards the so-called technological progress, and

combines the traditional ideals with the creative aspect of

the modern world. Pala has a rich oil source. Many oil-

companies around the world try to seize this oil source.

But Pala does not allow any of them to extract oil from its

land as it knows that these foreign oil companies will bring

with them the ills of modern, technically 'advanced' world.

b) Political Structures:

One common concern, running through all the fantasies

of Wells, Huxley and Orwell, is the potential of our

political system leading to totalitarianism. In Brave New

World and Ape and Essence. Huxley shows the political

pattern changing to a dictatorial one. The world of A.F.

632 is ruled by ten world-controllers in a totalitarian way.

In Ape and Essence the baboon society is also ruled by

dictators. These totalitarian rulers make use of scientific

powers to make themselves more and more powerful. Mustapha

Mond, too, uses the sciences like biology, physiology,

chemistry, eugenics, and psychology to maintain his hold on


the Brave New World. But in Island Huxley shows a

constitutional monarchy replacing a Central government.

Pala is governed by the Cabinet, the House of

Representatives, and a Privy council representing the Raja.

That is, interestingly, Huxley considers the British model

as ideal. In fact, very subtly, Island ridicules the

Socialist Structure based on the belief that 'all are

equal'. In the utopian society of Island, people are taught

to be 'different', from one another.

c) Economic and Education Systems:

Though Huxley doesn't refer to economic issues in the

future world of A.F., 632 or in the baboon society or Semi-

Savage community, he does depict an ideal economic system in

Island. Pala has adopted a cooperative economic system. It

doesn't have commercial banks in the western style. It has

a cooperative banking pattern based on the German model of

Raiffeisen. As Pala is a gold-producing country it supports

its currency with gold. Pala never faces the problem of

over-consumption as it has controlled its population. Pala

is never involved in universal debt or import. The Palanese

produce everything they need.


Education in Brave New World and Ape and Essence is

manipulated with political and religious motives. In the

Brave New World children are moulded and destined to their

peculiar castes through Hypnopaedia. The World-Controllers

use psychology to decide the fate of their citizens. The

sleep-teaching technique also teaches these children certain

ideals of the Brave New World. 'Every one belongs to every

one else', 'Everybody is happy now-a-days', 'a gramme is

better than damn' - Such catch-phrases are imprinted on

everybody's mind through conditioning. In Ape and Essence

education is related mainly to superstitious beliefs. In

the school of the Semi-Savage Society in Los Angeles,

students are made to cram certain superstitions which

indicate the social, religious and moral values of the

society. The Satanic Science Practitioner teaches the

students here how Belial, the inhuman God, is responsible

for the destruction of the World, how suffering is man's

inevitable lot and how woman is obscene and an incarnation

of evil and devil. In Island Huxley adopts a seemingly

model pattern of education based entirely on logic and

psychology. The aim of this ideal education system is to

teach students to live together in harmony. The students

are made aware of nature, ecology, rock-climbing, religion,

and literature. While learning they are assigned some


responsibilities too. Physical labour is compulsory for

them. This ideal academic pattern tries to channelize

youth-energy systematically into other responsible and

useful activities.

d) Religion:

Huxley has an extremely ambivalent attitude to God and

Religion. While, on the one hand, he ridicules God and

organised religion in Ape and Essence. he accepts, a

particular kind of God and religion in Island. As far as

religion is concerned the Brave New World has no place for

God and religion. Mustapha Mond replaces them by Ford,

Science and Soma. Soma, the pleasantly hallucinant drug, is

said to bring experiences of eternity on a smaller level.

Mond discards religion and God as they belong to the past

and are associated with weak emotions. The Semi-barbarian

society in Ape and Essence supertitiously worships Belial.

In fact, the devastation and the deformities in their world

are the direct consequences of the Third World War. But the

inhabitants of this society ascribe all such things to the

wrath of Belial, their chief deity. Excessive superstitious

nature makes them celebrate the Purification Ceremony and

sacrifice a number of deformed babies to Belial. But in

Island the Palanese have a mixture of Shiva-Worship and


Tantric Buddism. The Palanese are Shivaites. Their

religion is based on the principles of Mahayanist Buddhism

in which all men can lead a balanced life. There is no

church and missionaries are not permitted in Pala.

e) Sex and Family:

Regarding even sex, Huxley entertains certain

contradictions. Whereas he rejects the rigid view of

monogamy and the resultant frustrations, he also cannot

accept 'free sex'. Huxley shows that polygamy is the sex-

pattern in the Brave New World. 'Everyone belongs to

everyone else7 is the chief slogan of this future world of

A.F. 632. As the citizens of this world are conditioned in

such a way that polygamy doesn't appear unnatural for them.

The Savage, being a member of the world of monogamy, cannot

stand the concept of 'free sex' in the advanced world. The

Semi-Savage Society of Ape an Essence experiences seasonal

sex. Huxley shows that in future sex instincts may result

into seasonal ones as in animals. Every year two weeks

after the purification ceremony are devoted for complete

sexual orgies. In Island. Huxley shows sex, not as a

perverse instinct, but a properly and rationally channelized

activity. The young are given sex-education here. Sex in

Pala is idealized as 'Maithuna', yoga of love.


Scientific advancements replace social institutions

like family, home, parenthood in the Brave New World.

'Mother' is supposed to be an obscene word here. As each

citizen of this world is a product of 'bottle', he can't

realize the concept of 'parenthood'. As this concept of

'parenthood' disappears, consequently the other related

social institutions like 'family' and 'home' too disappear.

But the Palanese are shown as adopting an ideal family

system in Island. Mother is identified here with a set of

functions. The Palanese conceive of MAC - Mutual Adoption

Club. Huxley feels that a family system should be flexible.

Hence the MAC is a way of freeing a child from the tyrannies

of the rigid family structure. As a member of the MAC a

child can move from one home to another, and stay where he

likes. The MAC, thus, exposes various disciplines of the

society to the child.

Huxley shows that personal freedom is totally denied in

the dystopian Brave New World. The Citizens are conditioned

so that they never realize the loss of individuality. As

they are machine-products, they are void of emotions.

Consequently, they never feel the loss of freedom. In Ape

and Essence, though the chief calls its political structure

'Democracy', he doesn't allow anybody any kind of freedom.


Loola, the working-woman, expresses her desire to work with

Dr. Poole, but she is not permitted to do so in the name of

'Democracy' . In Island all the citizens enjoy freedom.

Through education everybody is made aware of the value of

freedom; and therefore everybody is free here.

In short, Huxley's fantasies register his deep fears of

the misuse of science by power mongers, of class conflict

and exploitation, and of organized violence. The advance

society of the Brave New World is divided into certain

classes like Alphas, Betas, Gammas and Deltas, and Epsilons.

Epsilons form the working class. They represent the working

class of today. The only difference that separates Epsilons

from the existing working class is that Epsilons are

predestined to be workers. They are conditioned in such a

way that they feel happy with their work. Ape and Essence

also depicts a society divided between the 'leisured' class

and the 'working' class. As usual the leisured class goes

on exploiting the working class perpetually. In Island

Huxley expresses the fear of invasion. Pala, the utopian

Island, is envied by all around the world. Pala has no

friends as it doesn't allow both the Capitalists and the

Communists to enter. But such a utopian state has to face

constant threat to its security and survival. Pacifism has

a heavy price to pay.



^Donald Watt, ed. Aldous Huxlev: The Critical Heritage

(London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985), pp. 188-89
S.K. Vohra, Negative Utopian Fiction Aldous Huxlev
and George Orwell : Commitment and Fabulation. (Meerut :
Shalabh, 1987), p. 72.
^Watt, p. 374.

4B.L. Chakoo, Aldous Huxlev and Eastern Wisdom (Delhi :

Atma Ram, 1981), p. 7.
^Chakoo, p. 8.
Alexander Henderson, Aldous Huxlev (New York : Russell
& Russell, 1964), p. 139.
7D.V. Jog, Aldous Huxlev : The Novelist (Bombay, The
Book Centre, 1966), p. 147.
°David Cecil, Aldous Huxlev : 1894-1963: A memorial
volume ed. Julian Huxley (London : Chatto & Windus, 1966),
p. 13.
^Aldous Huxley, Crome Yellow (Harmondsworth : Penguin,
1921), p. 42.
10Crome Yellow, pp. 193-94
1 1
xxAldous Huxley, Antic Hav (London : EverGreen, 1940),
pp. 28-29.
xtAldous Huxley, Those Barren Leaves (Harmondsworth :
Penguin, 1925), p. 15.

XJJocelyn Brooke, Aldous Huxley (London : Longmans

Green, 1963), p. 26.
■^George Woodcock, Dawn and The Darkest Hour : A study
of Aldous Huxlev (London : Faber & Faber, 1972). p. 177.
1 C
A3John Wain, "Tracts against Materialism : After Many A
Summer and Brave New World", Aldous Huxlev : A Collection of
Critical Essays, ed. Robert Kuehn (New Jersey : Prentice
Hall, 1974), p. 28.

^Aldous Huxley, Foreword to 1946 edition of Brave New

World, rpt. in Brave New World (Harmondsworth : Penguin,
1963), p. 9.
A Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (Harmondsworth :
Penguin, 1963), p. 16.

All further references are to this edition, and are

incorporated in the body of the text itself.
1®Huxley, Foreword, p. 13.
1 Q
A^"Bottle World", Unsigned Review, Times Literary
Supplement 4 Feb. 1932, 73.
^Sisirkumar Chattarjee, Aldous Huxlev : A Study
(Calcutta K.L. Mukhopadhay, 1966), p.42.
K.M. Singh, Aldous Huxley as & Novelist (Lucknow,
Lucknow Publishing House, 1942) p. 19.
^William Shakespeare, The Tempest (London : New
English Library, 1964), Lines No. 182-185.
23Jog, p. 67

2^Huxley, Foreword, p. 10.

23Rudolph B. Schmrel, "The Two Future Worlds of Aldous

Huxley", PMLA (June 1962), 328.
Keith May, Aldous Huxley : Novelists and Their World
(London : Paul Elek, 1972), p. 100.
2^May, p. 98.
9 ft
4,°Paul W. Gonnon, Huxley/ s Brave New World : A Critical
Commentary (New York : Barrister, 1966), p. 6.
^Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited (London :
Triad/Panther, 1983), p.8.
3®Woodcock, p. 253.
J Aldous Huxley, Ape and Essence (London : Chatto &
Windus, 1949), p. 25

All further references are to this edition, and are

incorporated in the body of the text itself.
32Chattarjee, p. 106.

33Woodcock, p. 258.

34Huxley, Foreword. Brave New World, p.8.

35Peter Bowering, AldPU? Huxley : & Study qJL His. Maifir,

Novels (London : Athlone, 1968), p. 106.
3^Chattarjee, p. 122.

J Aldous Huxley, Island (Harmondsworth : Penguin,

1973), p. 93 All further references are to this edition, and
are incorporated in the body of the text itself.
3®Bowering, p. 181.

■^Anthony Burgess, The Novel Now (London : Faber &

Faber, 1971), p. 14.
4^George Wicks and Ray Frazer, "Aldous Huxley: Writers
At Work", The Paris Review Interviews (New York : Viking,
1963), p. 199.
4*Brooke, p. 27.

4^K.B. Rammurthy, Aldous Huxley: A Study of His

Novels (Bombay Asia, 1974), pp. 112-13.,
43"What All The Fuss Is About?", Times Literary
Supplement 30
ar. 1962, 213.
44Jerome Meckier, Aldous Huxley : Satire and Structure
(London : Chatto & Windus, 1969), p. 179.
43Ronald Clark, The Huxleys (New York : McGraw-Hill,
1968), p. 354.
4^Woodcock, p. 284.

4^Wayne C. Booth, "Yes, But Are They Really Novels?"

Yale Review (June 1962), p. 630.
Richard Kennedy, "Aldous Huxley : The Final Wisdom",
South West Review. Winter (1965), 37.
4®Woodcock, p. 177.

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