A piece of literature designed to ridicule the subject of the work. While satire can be funny, its aim is not to amuse, but to arouse contempt. Ridicule, irony, exaggeration, and several other techniques are almost always present.
A Utopia is a place or society that appears perfect in every way. The government is perfect, working to improve societies standards of living rather then their own, social aspects of the community run perfectly. There is no war or disease, only peace and happiness. Everyone outside this Utopian society looks to this place in wonder and awe, believing it is completely perfect in every such way.
Dystopia came from the term Utopia. It defines a place or society which is in complete chaos. The citizens are all suffering and are miserable. Often times in novels what appears to be a Utopian society it first by the visiting protagonist is actually revealed to be a dystopian society. The citizens are often revealed to live in terror, under complete control by the government, unaware of corrupt world in which they actually live in, or suppressed by the society as a whole.
“Utopias appear to be much easier to realize than one formerly believed. We currently face a question that would otherwise fill us with anguish: How to avoid their becoming definitively real ? The utopias are attainable. Life marches towards the utopias. And it can be that a new century begins, a century where the intellectuals and the educated class will dream means to avoid the utopias and to return a non- utopian society, less ‘perfect’ and ‘free’.” Nicolas Berdiaeff
HISTORICAL TIMELINE o 1879: The first psychological laboratory opens in Germany o 1886: Freud opens his psychology practice in Austria, experimenting with techniques such as hypnosis, free association, and dream analysis. From 1900-1905, he publishes his major works on psychoanalysis, also known as the "talking cure." Freud argued that awareness of the unconscious mind is essential to understanding conscious thought and behavior. The unconscious mind might be defined as that part of the mind which gives rise to a collection of mental phenomena that manifest in a person's mind but which the person is not aware of at the time of their occurrence. These phenomena include unconscious feelings, unconscious or automatic skills, unnoticed perceptions, unconscious thoughts, unconscious habits and automatic reactions, complexes, hidden phobias and concealed desires.unconscious mindcomplexes o 1900: Gregor Mendel’s scientific work on genetic inheritance is rediscovered: The biological techniques used to control the populace in Brave New World do not include genetic engineering; Huxley wrote the book before the structure of DNA was known. However, Gregor Mendel's work with inheritance patterns in peas had been re-discovered in 1900 and the eugenics movement, based on artificial selection, was well established. Huxley's family included a number of prominent biologists including Thomas Huxley, half-brother and Nobel Laureate Andrew Huxley, and brother Julian Huxley who was a biologist and involved in the eugenics movement. Nonetheless, Huxley emphasizes conditioning; as science writer Matt Ridley put it, Brave New World describes an “environmental not a genetic hell.” Human embryos and fetuses are conditioned via a carefully designed regimen of chemical (such as exposure to hormones and toxins), thermal (exposure to intense heat or cold, as one's future career would dictate), and other environmental stimuli…genetic engineeringDNAGregor Mendeleugenicsartificial selectionHuxley's familyThomas HuxleyNobel LaureateAndrew Huxley Julian HuxleyMatt Ridley Historical Context
1900’s-20's: Introduction of chewing gum, radio, movies, and advertising: The Industrial Revolution transformed the world. Mass production made cars, telephones, and radios relatively cheap and widely available throughout the developed world. The political, cultural, economic and sociological upheavals of the then- recent Russian Revolution of 1917 and the First World War (1914–1918) resonated throughout the world as a whole and the individual lives of most people. Accordingly, many of the novel's characters named after widely-recognized influential people of the time, for example, Polly Trotsky, Benito Hoover, Lenina and Fanny Crowne, Mustapha Mond, Helmholtz Watson, and Bernard Marx.Industrial RevolutionMass productionRussian Revolution of 1917the First World WarTrotskyBenitoHooverLeninaFannyCrowneMustaphaMondHelmholtz WatsonBernardMarx 1930's-40's: Rise of Fascism and Communism: the dictatorships of Hitler (German head of state from 1934-1945), Stalin (in power in the Soviet Union from 1924-1953), and Mussolini (Italian head of state from 1943-45). Stalin launched a command economy, replacing the New Economic Policy of the 1920s with Five-Year Plans and launching a period of rapid industrialization and economic collectivization. The upheaval in the agricultural sector disrupted food production, resulting in widespread famine, including the catastrophic Soviet famine of 1932–1933.command economyNew Economic PolicyFive-Year Plansindustrializationeconomic collectivizationwidespread famineSoviet famine of 1932–1933 1931--Brave New World written: Huxley is inspired by travels to America and a visit to the newly opened and technologically advanced Brunner and Mond plant, part of Imperial Chemical Industries, or ICI, Billingham, and gives a fine and detailed account of the processes he saw. 1932--Brave New World published: Brave New World was inspired by the H. G. Wells's utopian novel Men Like Gods. Wells' optimistic vision of the future gave Huxley the idea to begin writing a parody of the novel, which became Brave New World. Contrary to the most popular optimist utopian novels of the time, Huxley sought to provide a frightening vision of the future. Huxley referred to Brave New World as a “negative utopia.”Imperial Chemical IndustriesBillinghamH. G. WellsMen Like Gods
Henry Ford (1863 - 1947) was from Detroit, Michigan, USA and made his first car in his back yard in 1896. After several false starts, the Ford Motor Company was formed in 1903. The first product was the Model A, introduced in the same year. Their most successful product ever, the Model T, came out in September 1908. The Model T was the world's most successful car of the pre- WWII era. Between 1908 and 1927, sales outstripped any other with over 15 million cars and commercial vehicles produced world-wide... approximately 100,000 Model-Ts survive... they were available in a variety of body styles, however the basic mechanical specification was the same in each.
“ Reading Brave New World elicits the same disturbing feelings in the reader which the society it depicts has vanquished. ”
Huxley exploits anxieties about Soviet Communism and American capitalism. The price of universal happiness will be the sacrifice of honored shibboleths of our culture: “ motherhood, ” “ home, ” “ family, ” “ freedom, ” even “ love. ”
Mustapha Mond, Resident Controller of Western Europe, governs a society where all aspects of an individual's life are determined by the state, beginning with conception and conveyor-belt reproduction. A government bureau, the Predestinators, decides all roles in the hierarchy. Children are raised and conditioned by the state bureaucracy, not brought up by natural families. There are only 10,000 surnames. Citizens must not fall in love, marry, or have their own kids.
Brave New World is centered around both control and manipulation He instills the fear that a future world state may rob us of the right to be unhappy.
Setting: 2540 AD; referred to in the novel as 632 years AF ( “ After Ford ” ), meaning 632 years after production of the first Model T car Narration: Third-person omniscient Point-of-View: Narrated in the third person from the point of view of Bernard or John, but also from the point of view of Lenina, Helmholtz Watson, and Mustapha Mond
“After the Age of Utopias came what we may call the American Age, lasting as long as the Boom. Men like Ford or Mond seemed to many to have solved the social riddle and made capitalism the common good...Brave New World is more of a revolt against Utopia than against [traditional values].” -British Press, 1935 "It is not easy to become interested in the scientifically imagined details of life in this mechanical Utopia. Nor is there compensation in the amount of attention that he gives to the abundant sex life of these denatured human beings." - Times Literary Supplement, 1932 "Brave New World is inert as a work of art: nothing can bring it alive." - New Statesman and Nation, 1932 "[He] has money, social position, talent, friends, prestige and he is effectively insulated from the misery of the masses. Of course he wants something to worry about--even if he has to go to a long, long way to find it...Mr. Huxley must have his chance to suffer and be brave." -The New Republic, 1932 Critical Reception: At the time of Publication
Contemporary Critical Reception "Mr. Huxley is eloquent in his declaration of an artist's faith in man, and it is his eloquence, bitter in attack, noble in defense, that, when one has closed the book, one remembers." -Saturday Review of Literature "A fantastic racy narrative, full of much excellent satire and literary horseplay." -Forum "It is as sparkling, as provocative, as brilliant, in the appropriate sense, as impressive as the day it was published. This is in part because its prophetic voice has remained surprisingly contemporary, both in its particular forecasts and in its general tone of semiserious alarm. But it is much more because the book succeeds as a work of art...This is surely Huxley's best book." -Martin Green
Huxley on advertising, the media, and propaganda "This is rather alarming that you're being persuaded below the level of choice and reason... Advertisement plays a necessary role but the danger of it to a democracy is this: a democracy depends on the individual voter making a rational choice for enlightened self-interest. What these people are doing [advertisers] when their purpose is selling goods, what the dictatorial propagandists are doing, is to try to bypass the rational side of humanity and to appeal directly to these unconscious forces below the surface--so that you are in a way making nonsense of the democratic procedure which is based on conscious choice on rational grounds... Today's children walk around singing beer commercials and toothpaste commercials."
This novel is more applicable today than it was in 1932. This is a time of: propaganda, censorship, conformity, genetic engineering, social conditioning, and mindless entertainment. This was what Huxley saw in our future. His book is a warning.
Consider the number of ads for prescription drugs, which are permitted only in the United States and New Zealand Doctors and consumer advocates believe these ads drive up health-care costs and seduce millions into asking their MDs for drugs they don’t need for diseases they had never before heard of, like restless leg syndrome
Is it better to be free than to be happy? Is freedom compatible with happiness? Is the collective more important than the individual? Can children be taught effectively to think in only one certain way? Can young people be taught so well that they never question their teachings later? Is stability more important than freedom? Can alterations made by advanced science to mankind be made permanent at the DNA-level? Can mankind be conditioned by science? Should the individual be limited/controlled for the greater good? If so, how much?
“ Universal happiness keeps the wheels steadily turning; truth and beauty can ’ t. ” - Aldous Huxley