Presentation on theme: "Beyond Brave New World: Aldous Huxley in Context English Language Arts 3-4H."— Presentation transcript:
Beyond Brave New World: Aldous Huxley in Context English Language Arts 3-4H
Huxley biography English; lived 1894-1963 Emigrated to U.S. Vedantist (mystical Hinduism), vegetarian, and proponent of hallucinogens Human Potential Movement (1960’s) Themes: dehumanization as a result of science & pacifism Concerned with the gap between “The Two Cultures”—science & the humanities
Huxley on the future: “There will be, in the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it....” (1961)
Influences Etymology of “utopia” –Gk. “no” (ou) –Gk. “land/place” (topos) –Gk. “good place” (eutopia) –Simultaneously suggests no place and good place Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) –Vision/extension of Plato’s Republic –Communism –Possibly influenced by monasticism
Influences cont. Advanced science/technology will eradicate suffering & death Normal functions—sleep, reproduction— affected by technological advances Changes in the scope of what it means to be “human” Caste system: limited mobility social hierarchy (Indian caste system)
Ford, Freud & the WWI Context Henry Ford: created the first inexpensive, mass-produced automobile & refined assembly line manufacturing Sigmund Freud: psychoanalysis & human conditioning; also, sex as a part of human happiness Industrial Revolution: mass production, totalitarian gvts. on the world stage (Russian Revolution & WWI), widespread social effects
Allusions to Know H.G. Wells Ivan Petrovich Pavlov William Shakespeare Thomas Malthus Be watching also for name allusions: Lenina, Benito Hoover, Bernard Marx, Darwin Bonaparte, etc.
Final Thoughts "And that," put in the Director sententiously, "that is the secret of happiness and virtue-liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny." "There's always soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. In the past you could only accomplish these things by making a great effort.... Now, you swallow two or three half- gramme tablets... and [you] can carry at least half your morality about in a bottle. Christianity without tears-that's what soma is."