In Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World, many rhetorical devices are used. These devices include motif, Imagery, and allusion. Authors often use rhetorical devices in their text to exemplify what they are trying to tell the reader. Also they do so in order to intrigue the reader, and to make the text memorable.
Huxley uses motif in this novel by commonly referring to the late inventor Henry Ford, famous for the invention the first automobile. Motif is a recurring theme, subject, Idea, etc. In the novel when the date is written out it is started with the acronym ‘A.F’, standing for ‘After Ford.’ Treating Ford as a deity-like figure, Huxley makes the reader feel as though Henry Ford is the greatest person to ever live. In Huxley’s novel there is much homage to Ford himself, such as “Our Ford…” (Huxley 32). This plural phrase signals that Ford is popularly worshiped by the people of this time period. This is similar to a religious person in our society reciting ‘Our Father’, which is a way of saying ‘Our God’. Therefore in this novel Henry Ford is perceived as a ‘God.’ Also Ford is mentioned for his inventions. “…Our Ford’s first T-model was put on the market.” (Huxley 25). This is meant to be seen as a major event to the readers. It also seems to be the beginning of this technological erba, talked about in this novel. Also after the Director says this passage, Huxley writes “(Here the Director made the sign of the T on his stomach and all the students reverently followed suit.)” (Huxley 25). This is similar to the catholic symbol of creating a cross over the chest with your hand which, once again, shows that Ford is worshiped like a God by the characters in this novel. Henry Ford perfected the mass production assembly line. In the world of Huxley’s novel, humans are mass-produced and grown with the help of an assembly line, therefore giving tribute to Ford. Aldous Huxley uses the rhetorical devices motif in his text to show the reader the importance of this man and also to signify the beginning of the society in which his characters live.
In Brave New World, Huxley uses imagery to intrigue the reader. Imagery is figurative or descriptive language that paints a picture in a readers mind. Throughout the novel animal imagery is used as a comparison to human actions. Huxley uses the animalistic traits to show how the characters act in his story, and also to show just how much of an animal society is. A good example of this is “This hive of industry” (Huxley 146). Describing the industry as a hive, meaning a bee hive, shows how chaotic it really is. When a reader sees this line in the text they picture a bee hive in their mind, all of its working parts, busy workers and the production of honey. This is very similar to a factory with its machinery working to create a product. A bee hive has many worker bees, and only one queen bee, similar with the industrial factory, many working people but only one director. Later on Huxley describes the ‘hive’ to be humming and very busy. Also like a bee hive, where the sound of the wings flapping around as the busy bees worked hard and become enveloped in their busy job, the same as the workers in a factory running about and being progressive throughout the day. Another example from the text is “Straight from the horse’s mouth…” (Huxley 28). This phrase is very common throughout Huxley’s work, meaning that what the character says is taken very literally, and from a direct source. This phrase is often used after the Director tells the students something important, in the beginning of the book. This shows that the Directors words are important to the students and also it tells the reader that he is a respected individual. Another example is “…a cat that could talk, a cat that could say ‘my baby, my baby!’ over and over again.” (Huxley 37). From this passage the reader imagines a mother cat, one that could talk, expressing her love for her kittens. When Mond says this line to the crowd, explaining how a mother would act towards her children we immediately understand what he means. Mother cats are very protective over their newborns, just like a human mother. Huxley uses this imagery in order to connect with the audience because everyone has seen a mother cat with her kittens, the love they feel for each other is undeniable, although to the crowd Mustapha Mond is talking to it is revolting. Another device used in Huxley’s novel is allusion. Allusion is a passing or casual reference to something or someone, either directly or implication. It is very obvious to the reader that Aldous Huxley had a very intense liking for the playwright William Shakespeare. Throughout the novel much of Shakespeare’s greatest works are mentioned, even in the title. “Brave New World” itself comes from Shakespeare’s work, The Tempest. It is quoted in the novel “O brave new world…O brave new world…” (Huxley 210). This affects the reader by showing them the characters reaction to the new place, while also creating homage to the playwright. Quoting Shakespeare multiple times throughout his novel Huxley shows his passion for the famous playwright. Also when the characters are reciting lines from Romeo and Juliet “…oh the white wonder of dear Juliet’s hand, may seize and steal immortal blessing from her lips…” (Huxley 144). These quotes from some of Shakespeare’s greatest plays show just how important they were to Huxley. Yet it is a little ironic that a classical figure is mentioned so prevalently in a futuristic novel. Huxley uses allusion to connect the reader with the past and the future throughout the book by incorporating Shakespeare’s greatest works. As readers can tell throughout the novel Brave New World rhetorical devices are prominent. Huxley does a splendid job of including motif, imagery, and allusion into his work. These devices help the audience connect with the text and also it gives them a better understanding.
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Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006. Print.