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Aldous Huxley.  Aldous Huxley was born in Surry, England in 1894  His father was a magazine editor, and his mother was the niece of Matthew Arnold,

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Presentation on theme: "Aldous Huxley.  Aldous Huxley was born in Surry, England in 1894  His father was a magazine editor, and his mother was the niece of Matthew Arnold,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Aldous Huxley

2  Aldous Huxley was born in Surry, England in 1894  His father was a magazine editor, and his mother was the niece of Matthew Arnold, a famous English poet and essayist.  Huxley’s paternal grandfather was a well-known scientist.  Thus, from birth, Huxley belonged to England’s intellectual aristocracy.

3  Huxley was sickly as a child; his head was so disproportionately large that he was unable to walk until he was two.  His childhood nickname was “Ogie” which was short for ogre.  Huxley was a very thoughtful and creative child who enjoyed drawing and “contemplating the strangeness of things,” according to his brother Julian.

4  At age sixteen, Huxley contracted a disease that left him blind for two years and seriously impaired his vision for the remainder of his life.  Huxley said that losing his sight was an “event which prevented [him] from becoming a complete public school English gentleman.”  His loss of sight also kept him from pursuing his dream of becoming a doctor; however, science would play a significant role in his writing.

5  Huxley attended Balliol College in Oxford in  After graduating, he worked briefly as a teacher at Eton.  He began writing professionally in 1920 as a drama critic and staff writer for newspapers and magazines.  In his spare time, he wrote numerous poetry, essays, and other fiction.

6  Huxley published several novels, including Brave New World in  Huxley was known for his dangerous wit and his pessimistic view of human nature.  A common thread in his work is the attempt to explain the meaning and possibilities of human life and perception.  He is considered one of the most accomplished and influential English literary figures of the mid-twentieth century.  Huxley died on November 22, 1963.

7  Brave New World was published in  The novel details the life of a supposed “utopian” society, which is actually a scientific dictatorship, set 600 years in the future.  Initially, BNW received less than stellar reviews; critics referred to the book as weak, shallow, mechanical, and even unoriginal.  With the rise of Fascism in western Europe and the Great Depression taking place, the book simply may have been too close to reality for many readers at the time.

8  Other complaints about the book were that it was too scientific and preoccupied with sex.  Despite these negative critical reactions, BNW has been respected and interpreted by general audiences for decades.

9  After WWII, Huxley added a forward to the novel in which he assessed the radical changes in the world since BNW’s first publication.  He speculated that the world he envisioned was becoming a reality sooner than he expected.  Huxley wrote, “Today it seems quite possible that the horror may be upon us within a single century.”

10  In 1958, Huxley published Brave New World Revisited, in which he compares the modern world to the prophetic fantasy in his original novel.  He scrutinizes threats to humanity, such as overpopulation, propaganda, and chemical persuasion.

11  Brave New World Revisited is considered Huxley’s final plea that mankind should educate itself for freedom before it’s too late.  The New York Times Book Review stated, “It is a frightening experience... to discover how much of his satirical prediction of a distant future became reality in so short a time.”

12  Brave New World addresses the following issues:  The power of technology in modern society  The consequences of a consumer society  The incompatibility of happiness and truth  The dangers of an all-powerful government  Alienation  The impossibility of a utopian society

13  Like 1984 and Lord of the Flies, Brave New World actually depicts a dystopia—the opposite of a utopian society.


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