The author of the novel Brave New World, Aldous Huxley was born in 1894, England. He came from a family with great talent, people such as Thomas Henry Huxley, his grandfather, and his father, Leonard Huxley, the editor of the Cornhill Magazine. He was educated at the prestigious private school, Eton and Balliol, and before he became totally devoted to his writing, he worked as a journalist and a dramatic critic.
Besides from Brave New World, Huxley has written other novels like Limbo (1920), Crome Yellow (1921), Grey Eminence and The Devils of Loudun. Some of which has been used as studies in Universities in both Britain and America.
The novel opens with the Director of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre taking a group of students on a tour. This Centre is a hatchery where humans have control over reproduction, genetic engineering and conditioning. The Scientists/Controllers have produced different grades of human beings, ranging from the Super humans called the Alpha Pluses and down to the less-intelligent beings called semi – moron Epsilons. By doing this the Controllers have created a new society where people are programmed to spend their lives in constant pleasure. Which basically involving free sex, consuming, participating in sports etc. but where true love, marriage and parenthood are viewed as obscure.
The story in short concerns Bernard, an Alpha Supreme, who is secluded from his own society because he is different. He is discontented and feels great passion for being alone, thinking or looking up at the stars. We also meet Lenina, a typical civilized girl who is considering dating Bernard. At one point he takes her on a vacation to the savage reservations in New Mexico. There he stumbles across John the Savage, son of Linda who apparently had visited the reservation years ago but was by accident left behind. When she discovered that she was with child, (the ultimate humiliation) she decides to stay behind. Both Linda and John had difficult adapting to this savage society and especially for John since he had been born outside the control of the scientists. John tells Bernard about his experiences around living in the reservations. After this conversation Bernard asks if Linda and John would like to come back to London with him and Lenina. Warm feelings arises between Lenina and John, but having been secluded from the civilised society, his morals were much different from what Lenina’s were. Therefore when he asked her for her hand in marriage, she reacts much different that expected, since being programmed into not approving of marriage. John realises more and more each day that he can not adapt into to this alien society and decides to take his own life.
I think that this novel represents the beginning of the era which we now find ourselves. Huxley wrote this book in the early 1930’s and the setting around it is probably dated around the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st .
I think that Aldous Huxley feelings around this topic is that we are building higher than we can climb, and the power that lies between our hands are indeed out of control. Our actions already carried out and might be carried out in the near future could just as well end up with the same result as what Aldous Huxley has described or maybe predicted in his novel. Which however do agree with.
Although my English teacher picked out the book for me and the early scepticism towards it, I must say I was very impressed with the authors point of view on this current topic. The reading was hard because of all the different words the author has used to get the full effect of the novel. However reading some parts several times, I managed to understand the concept of the book. I strongly recommend this book for others to read.