Brave New World Thematic Essay Journals
April 3rd 2012
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (pages 1-46)
The first 46 pages of the critically acclaimed Third Person Narrative Brave New World by Aldous Huxley have intrigued my curiosity and enveloped me into the plot very effectively. One of the many possible themes I am considering this novel to take on is that of the human condition, more specifically, our tendency to try to “better” every aspect of nature and society via technology and science. An example of this is the laboratory produced hallucinogenic/depressant drug they invented, named Soma, an overhead of a factory illustrates the affect of soma; he says “Take a holiday from reality whenever you like, and come back without so much as a headache or mythology”. (46). The book involves a dystopian world in which people are “manufactured” in test tubes and predisposed to their predetermined jobs/condition based on their genetic potential. The capability a person has in every aspect of life from sexual performance to intelligence is rated and they are grouped (in descending order) as Alpha,Beta, Gamma,Delta and Epsilon. They take part in recreational sex and “erotic play” (27) at a young age coupled with the aforementioned genetic breeding, and seem to be trying to create a utopian society without pain or struggle.
Huxley utilizes various literary devices like repetition, and allusion. An example of the alluding Huxley employs: “ Our Ford – or Our Freud, as, for some inscrutable reason, he chose to call himself whenever he spoke of psychological matters….” (33). The following is clearly an allusion to the famous Austrian Neurologist Sigmund Freud who was known for treating personality as a simple reaction to biochemistry. The main character's name is Bernard Marx which is an allusion to Germany socialist Karl Marx. Huxley uses the repetition literary device as well; “Oh no, I don’t want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse.” repeated twice (22-23). These literary devices help me as the reader get a better feel for what type of themes the author is trying to get at. The author uses a very scientific(specifically biological) and well developed diction throughout the first 46 pages. In the beginning when a tour is being given of a breeding facility The Conductor uses a plethora of biological terms which really make me feel as though the scene is real. The Conductor explains a process; he says , “But a bokanovskified egg will bud, will proliferate, will divide. From eight to ninety-six buds...”(3)
I feel that this novel will have an abundance of themes as it deals with political, social, and ethical topics. One of the other themes I am watching develop is sexual relations for purely physical and biological pleasure. I have mentioned above that the society in the novel encourage sexual play amongst children, but even as they mature into adults; sex is looked at as something of a plaything to be had with everyone of equal genetic potential. To illustrate, a secondary character, Henry Foster speaks to a fellow male about the girl he is currently seeings (Lenina) sexuality. Henry says “ Oh she's a splendid girl. Wonderfully pneumatic. I'm surprised you haven't had her.”(37). The only character who does not seem to agree with the society's view on sexual promiscuity is Bernard who has feelings to our society on the importance, and implications of sex;he complains “And what makes it worse, she thinks of herself as meat.” (45).
Bernard seems very different from the other characters and is alienated due to his lack of physical qualities for an Alpha plus. An example of this is when a secondary female character speaks of Bernard. She describes, “They say somebody made a mistake when he was still in the bottle- thought he was a Gamma and put alcohol into his blood surrogate. That's why he's so stunted” (39). He seems very opposed to the society he...