Presentation on theme: "Brave New World By Aldous Huxley A presentation by Lauren Stealey Brave New World By Aldous Huxley A presentation by Lauren Stealey."— Presentation transcript:
Brave New World By Aldous Huxley A presentation by Lauren Stealey Brave New World By Aldous Huxley A presentation by Lauren Stealey
Aldous Huxley July November Born in Surrey, UK Third son of Leonard Huxley, writer/schoolmaster, and Julia Arnold, founder of Prior’s Field School. Grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, “Darwin’s Bulldog”- famous zoologist His brother and half-brother were also well-known biologists Aldous himself very well-educated In 1911, suffered from illness which left him almost blind for several years. Disqualified him from service in WWI After graduating from Oxford, he was financially indebted to father. Taught French at Eton where Eric Blair (George Orwell) was one of his students In 1920s worked at a chemical plant (inspiration for Brave New World)
In 1919, married Maria Nys In 1937, moved to Hollywood, California to work as screenwriter. Not successful. (Walt Disney rejected his synopsis of Alice in Wonderland because “he could only understand every third word.”) After WWI, Huxley applied for US citizenship, but continuously denied because he refused to take up arms to defend US (on philosophical, rather than religious, objections) On December 24, 1955, took first dose of LSD. Became pioneer of psychedelic drugs In 1956, married Laura Archera after 1 st wife died of breast cancer Huxley was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer. Upon his deathbed, requested LSD, wife obliged with 2 separate injections before he died. Died on November 22, 1963, the same day as C.S. Lewis and John F. Kennedy
Brave New World in Context Written in 1931, published in 1932 Huxley wrote Brave New World while living in Italy He was already established as writer and satirist Brave New World was his fifth novel and first dystopian work H.G. Wells had written utopian novel, Men Like Gods, Huxley decided to write parody, “negative utopia” Novel is set in future, but contains issues of 20 th century. Industrial Revolution Mass production Russian Revolution of 1917 WWI ( )
Huxley visited US and was “outraged by the culture of youth, commercial cheeriness, sexual promiscuity, and the inward-looking nature of many Americans.” Also found a book about Henry Ford on boat to America. Wrote Brave New World with America in mind. “feelies” were response to talking movies, and sex-hormone chewing gum was parody of chewing gum, a symbol of US at the time In 1999, Modern Library ranked it as 5 th on list of 100 best English-language novels of the 20 th century It is rated number 52 on The American Library Association’s list of most challenged books, and has been banned in several instances because it “centers around negative activity.”
Title comes from Shakespeare’s The Tempest Used ironically In different languages, title is changed, sometimes to reflect their versions of works: French: The Best of All Worlds German: Beautiful New World Italian: The New World Spanish: A Happy World In Shakespeare’s time, “brave” meant “beautiful” or “good looking” The Title
The Setting Set in the year A.F. 632 (2540 A.D.) Most of the population unified under The World State; population limited to 2 billion people Peaceful, stable global society Goods and resources are plentiful Everyone is happy Community, Identity, Stability
Reproduction Natural reproduction no longer exists Children are created in bottles in Hatcheries and Conditioning Centres where they are decanted Each fetus is treated correspondingly to its predetermined social class (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon) The members of the lowest classes are essentially poisoned to stunt growth and development while in bottles. Members of lower classes are created using Bokanovsky process, producing up to 96 identical children at a time. Podsnap’s Technique is also used for lower classes to mature all of the eggs in an ovary simultaneously Member of upper classes are developed naturally and are unique Sex is purely recreational Ideas of family, motherhood, pregnancy are considered pornographic
Ford The World State’s calendar begins with year 1 A.F. as 1908 A.D. the year Ford’s first Model T was completed on his assembly line Although no true supernatural religion exists, Ford is worshipped called Our Ford. “Oh, Ford!” the sign of the T The World State’s society is built on the principles of Ford’s assembly line: “mass production, homogeneity, predictability, and consumption of disposable consumer goods” Freud is sometimes said instead of Ford. Thought to be same person by World State citizens Incorporate Freud’s idea that sex is essential to happiness and should not be limited to reproduction, even in children.
Soma Hallucinogen Hangover-free Creates “holidays” Used at any sign of stress, discomfort Sprayed at a riot Taken for enjoyment (ice cream soma bar, half-gramme raspberry sundae) Taken during Solidarity Services in the Fordson Community Singery 12 people sit in circle Take soma tablets and pass around strawberry ice-cream soma “Ford, we are twelve; oh, make us one, Like drops within the Social River; Oh, make us now together run As swiftly as thy shinning Flivver.” Proclaim that they hear Ford coming “Orgy-porgy, Ford and fun, Kiss the girls and make them One. Boys at one with girls at peace; Orgy-porgy gives release.”
Hypnopædia Discovered on accident Could not be used to teach, only memorize “Moral education, which ought never, in any circumstances, to be rational.” “A gramme is always better than a damn.” “A gramme in time saves nine.” “One cubic centimetre cures ten gloomy sentiments.” “Everybody’s happy nowadays.” “Everyone works for every one else.” “When the individual feels, the community reels.” “Never put off till to-morrow the fun you can have to- day.” “Ending is better than mending.” “Everyone belongs to everyone else.” (one hundred repetitions three nights a week for four years= 62,400
Death People typically die at age 60, remaining youthful whole life Death isn’t feared: children are conditioned, given treats when visiting hospitals Concept of family doesn’t exist, so no one mourns Bodies are cremated, and 98% of phosphorous is recovered, instead of being wasted “Fine to think we can go on being socially useful even after we’re dead. Making plants grow.”
A Brief Plot Summary Opens in the Central London Hatching and Conditioning Centre Lenina Crowne, an employee, is reprimanded by her friend Fanny Crowne for being in a nearly exclusive relationship. Lenina admits her attraction to the strange Bernard Marx. Lenina accepts Bernard’s invitation to visit a Savage Reservation in New Mexico. There, they meet John and his mother Linda, who is from the World State, and bring them back with them. John is dissatisfied with the World State.