Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley
Review by Dominykas G. Jankauskas
Aldous Leonard Huxley (1894-1963) was a famous English poet, novelist, essayist and playwright. He is best known for his dystopian novel Brave New World (1932) in which he writes prophetically about the future of humanity. Many critics and readers consider his novel as a masterpiece of English literature and thinks that most of the predictions have already come true. A.Huxley was a humanist, pacifist and satirist. Latterly he was interested in parapsychology and philosophical mysticism.
His debut novel Crome Yellow, which was first published in 1921, is a satirical country house novel. In terms of plot – nothing exciting happens; the storyline is rather plateau. The characters (like in a typical country house novel) sit around all day in a big mansion in the countryside of England, eat, drink, and discuss about life, love, history, art, literature and philosophy. The protagonist – Denis Stone, a young poet, mostly from whose point of view the story is told, comes to spend his summer holidays at his friend’s countryside’s mansion in England, where other artists and aristocrats have gathered. Though not to make the story boring, A.Huxley skilfully inserts various short stories that makes the story a bit more varied. An example could be the historical tale of a dwarfish aristocrat, who was one of the Crome mansion owners in the 17th century, having to commit suicide as he could not cope with the taunting of his normal height son.
In my opinion, the author’s aim in the novel is to satire the upper-class of English society of the time, it’s old-fashioned morals and thoughts on art, literature, philosophy.
However A.Huxley does not just criticise, he gives predictions on the future of man kind. For example: Mr. Winbush sees the future as machines will do all the work and people will have plenty of time for leisure. Or Mr. Sogan in one of the conversations with Denis predicts...
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