English II Honors
21 December 2012
Figure 1 Young Aldous Huxley. (“Aldous Huxley”).
Widely known author Aldous Huxley was born on July 26, 1894 in Goldalming in the Surrey County in South England. Huxley’s family members were somewhat famous as well. Brothers Julian and Andrew Huxley became biologists following the footsteps of the family’s previous generation. Huxley’s grandfather, Thomas Henry Huxley, was a famous biologist that was nicknamed “Darwin’s Bulldog” (“Aldous Huxley – Biography”). Huxley’s grandfather was famous for helping in the development of theory of evolution. Huxley also had an interest in becoming a biologist himself; however, his life as a youth took a serious turn. His mother, novelist, died of cancer when Huxley was merely 14, followed by one of his brother’s suicide in 1914 (“Aldous Huxley – Biography – The Author and his Times”). Despite this, Huxley also suffered a staphylococci infection leaving him completely blind for over a year. During this time, Huxley taught himself how to read Braille and how to play piano. Although Huxley regained a quarter of his normal eyesight, his future in biology was discontinued. Huxley did, however, receive a scholarship to Balliol College for English language and literature. After Balliol, Huxley then attended Oxford, where he would meet John Middleton Murry that would then introduce him to writers. Near Oxford, Huxley grew close to Philip and Ottoline Morrell. In the Morrell home, the development of the Bloomsbury group, a group of intellectuals including Huxley, sparked. It was during Huxley’s college life where he would first be introduced to actual writers and inspiration to record his already active intellectual thoughts (“Aldous Huxley”). In his early twenties, Huxley had many writing jobs, excluding being a novelist because he would begin to write novels later in his life. Some jobs Huxley had obtained as a young twenty year old included a journalist, essay writer, and also art and poet critic (“Aldous Huxley – Biography”). Huxley’s first novel was Crome Yellow, published in 1921. The story line came from the real experiences Huxley had, including all his friends (“Aldous Huxley”); the main character Denis reflected Huxley himself, and love interest Anne and other characters closely resembled friends of Huxley. The fictional novel also provided clear insight on Huxley’s value of human behavior being that Denis shares thoughts and ideas throughout the novel (“Crome Yellow”). Most likely due to the success of his first novel, Huxley began to write novels continuously after. Aldous Huxley first married Maria Nys, a Belgian woman, in 1919; their only child Matthew Huxley was born 1920. During this time, Huxley and his family spent much of their time traveling to places including Europe, London, and for a majority of the 1920’s, Italy. When they were not in these areas, they spent much time traveling around the world like in 1925 and 1926 when they visited India and America for their first time (“Aldous Huxley – Biography – The Author and his Times”). Huxley’s visit to America inspired him to eventually move to Los Angeles in 1938 and try to pursue a career as a screenplay writer (“Aldous Huxley”). Maria Nys died in 1955 but Huxley remarried in 1956 to Laura Archera (“Aldous Huxley – Biography – The Author and his Times”). When World War I had begun, Huxley was not drafted due to his poor eyesight. This time was very influential to Huxley, however, because he had seen many of his friends serve. Italy in the 1920’s was fascist and because Huxley resided in Italy the same time, it influenced his moral views and outlook in society (“Aldous Huxley – Biography – The Author and his Times”). Huxley believed in an anti-birth control society for future conflict in America. This type of distortion and fitting of a successful society versus an unsuccessful one may have probably influenced Huxley’s dystopian style for novels...
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