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Beyond Brave New World: Aldous Huxley in Context English Language Arts 3-4H.

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Presentation on theme: "Beyond Brave New World: Aldous Huxley in Context English Language Arts 3-4H."— Presentation transcript:

1 Beyond Brave New World: Aldous Huxley in Context English Language Arts 3-4H

2 Huxley biography  English; lived  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

3 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)

4 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

5 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)

6 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

7 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.

8 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."


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