Brave New World

Brave New World

by Aldous Huxley

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Overview

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley's tour de force Brave New World is a darkly satiric vision of a 'utopian' future - where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthesized to passively serve a ruling order. A powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations, it remains remarkably relevant to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying entertainment.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781508976097
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 03/21/2015
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 360
Sales rank: 777,775
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Aldous Huxley (1894–1963) is the author of the classic novels Brave New World, Island, Eyeless in Gaza, and The Genius and the Goddess, as well as such critically acclaimed nonfiction works as The Perennial Philosophy and The Doors of Perception. Born in Surrey, England, and educated at Oxford, he died in Los Angeles, California.

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Excerpted from "Brave New World"
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Copyright © 2013 Aldous Huxley.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
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Table of Contents

Forewordvii
Brave New World3
Foreword by Author5
Brave New World Revisited233
Foreword by Author235
IOver-Population237
IIQuantity, Quality, Morality248
IIIOver-Organization251
IVPropaganda in a Democratic Society262
VPropaganda Under a Dictatorship269
VIThe Arts of Selling277
VIIBrainwashing287
VIIIChemical Persuasion296
IXSubconscious Persuasion304
XHypnopaedia311
XIEducation for Freedom321
XIIWhat Can Be Done?332

What People are Saying About This

Martin Green

"As sparkling, as provocative, as brilliant...as the day it was published."

Reading Group Guide

Plot Summary

In Brave New World Aldous Huxley conjures up a horrifying, but often comic, vision of a future Utopia in which humans are processed, conditioned, regimented, and drugged into total social conformity. The story, set in a futuristic London, focuses on the misadventures of Bernard Marx. Disaffected with the regimentation of society, Bernard and his girlfriend, Lenina, visit the American Southwest where Native Americans are permitted to live in an "uncivilized" state. There they come upon a fair-skinned young man named John, who turns out to be the son of a Londoner, and Bernard brings John back to "civilized" London.

For a while, the "Savage" creates a sensation. Eventually the Savage becomes increasingly horrified by the "brave new world" and retreats into reading Shakespeare's plays. The Savage has fallen passionately in love with Lenina, but has convinced himself that any sexual contact between them would be a grievous sin--a stance that completely baffles Lenina who has been conditioned to enjoy promiscuous sex without any emotional commitment. In despair, the Savage precipitates a riot. Bernard is exiled for his participation and the Savage holes up in an abandoned lighthouse, where he grows food and mortifies his flesh as penance for his lust for Lenina. In the end, reporters discover the Savage and photograph his bizarre rituals of self-flagellation. A nightly carnival ensues as swarms of London curiosity seekers come to witness the antics of this strange creature. Finally the Savage, in shame and desperation, hangs himself.

Discussion Topics

1. Few ofHuxley's predictions have proven to be perfectly accurate, yet many aspects of the Utopia of Brave New World feel uncomfortably like our world. Talk about the book as a prophetic vision of the future. Which aspects of the book did you find most disturbing? Which hit closest to home? Which seem the most far-fetched?

2. When Brave New World was first published in 1932, the world was plunged in depression, fascism was on the rise in Western Europe, and Marxism appealed to increasing numbers of intellectuals in Europe and America. Place the book in the context of its historical moment. Which parts transcend its time and place?

3. The two greatest obscenities in the society of Brave New World are birth and mother. Why?

4. Toward the end of the book, the Controller Mustapha Mond sums up the benefits of living in the "brave new world" Utopia: "The world's stable now. People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can't get." It sounds like perfection, and yet the world Mond describes is deeply, intentionally horrifying. Why? What exactly is so bad about this society of the future? Is there anything good about it, anything we could learn from and try to adapt to our own uses?

5. As dehumanizing and oppressive as the brave new world Utopia is, the alternative in the "savage reserve" is in many ways worse - dirty, violent, unhealthy, cruel, uncomfortable. What point is Huxley making about human nature and the nature of human communities? Is his vision totally negative - or does the book hold out some shred of hope, some alternative mode that fosters both freedom and community?

6. One of the most striking - and comic - aspects of Huxley's Utopia is the way our sexual mores and assumptions have been turned on their head: monogamy is bad, passion is deviation, casual, meaningless sex is the socially approved norm. What is Huxley getting at here? Is there any expression of human sexuality that he finds acceptable? Is sex at the heart of the "problem" in his view of human nature?

7. Talk about the morality of the book. Is it a Christian morality? Socialist? Anarchist?

8. In many ways, the main characters of the book are cartoon figures - Helmholtz Watson the alienated superman, Bernard Marx the cowardly, hypocritical intellectual, Mustapha Mond the cynical all-knowing leader, John the doomed idealistic. Discuss the book as an allegory and elaborate on what each character stands for.

9. When John first starts reading Shakespeare, he discovers that the words make his emotions "more real" - they even make other people more real. Talk about the power of language in the book, the power of the word to influence thought and behavior. Why did Huxley choose Shakespeare as the medium of John's intellectual awakening?

10. Huxley wrote many other books, yet this is his most popular and most enduring. What is it about this book that has captured our imaginations for so long? Are there aspects of it that seem dated?

11. If you read the book earlier in life - say in high school or college - compare the experience of reading it again later on. Does it hold up to a second reading?

12. Talk about Huxley's use of narrator. Does the fact that Huxley's vision was impaired for part of his life have any bearing on the way he narrates the story and sets the scenes?

13. Could anything like Brave New World really happen? Has it happened in some form that we don't fully recognize?

About the Author
Poet, playwright, novelist and short story writer, travel writer, essayist, critic, philosopher, mystic, social prophet, Aldous Huxley was one of the most accomplished and influential English literary figures of the mid-20th century. He was born in Surrey in 1894, and his books include Crome Yellow, Antic Hay, Those Barren Leaves, Point Counter Point, Brave New World, and The Doors of Perception. From 1937 on, Huxley made his home in Southern California. He died in 1963. Today he is remembered as one of the great explorers of 20th century literature, a writer who continually reinvented himself as he pushed his way deeper and deeper into the mysteries of human consciousness.

Customer Reviews

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Brave New World 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 735 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A ton of errors in this nook book. I dropped this and picked up a copy from my local library. Would not recommend purchase... ever.
TomTB More than 1 year ago
Bought a copy of this to have on my nook. Started reading it and found a few typographical errors in the book. It only gets worse throughout. It's not unreadable but, it is pretty annoying. I have a paper copy of the book so I didn't really need a nook copy. Save your money for a copy that isn't full of errors.
Thaddaeus More than 1 year ago
Huxley's story is stronger than ever, unfortunately the conversion process left much to be desired. Many run-on words and formatting errors negatively affect the flow of reading this timeless novel. Buyer beware!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You can find reviews of the story itself elsewhere. I want to elaborate on the bad electronic tranfer from print. Examples include no paragraph indents, incorrect spelling, incomprehendible sentences, and other annoyances. 5 stars for the story, but the lack of proper formatting/editing was truly frustrating to me- although I could see some readers not minding at all, the problems occur throughout the entire book. I will be suspicous of Rosettabooks publishing in the future.
The-Wanderer More than 1 year ago
It's a shame how many reviews (mostly from high schoolers, it seems) are bashing Brave New World because it defies social normalcy, morality, etc., for the book is by no means endorsing or preaching any of it. I too was required to read the book as a student a few years back (at a Catholic high school), but never did it seem to me that sex, drugs, and artificial, induced happiness were meant to seem desirable. Rather, this book is a prophetic warning of what the modern world could become; in my opinion, the parallels between aspects of our world and this are not so far apart. I would argue that this book, if anything, promotes humanity-- what it is to really be human, the necessity of emotions (even sadness and pain), the importance of art and literature, the value of religion and the great freedom to philosophize, and so on. These are a few lessons that I took from this Brave New World, and I would say that this book has been more influential to me than any other that I've read. Also, it's too bad that so many of the poor reviews are because of editing on nooks; the paperback edition doesn't have those problem.
George Gibbs More than 1 year ago
I'm sure there are plenty of other reviews about the book itself... this copy is full of ocr issues though from when it was scanned to ebook. Poor proofreading... page 78 has a random "BraveNewWorld78" midsentence. Makes me wonder if people even read the ebook releases before publishing them.
jenmaynard More than 1 year ago
If multinational corporations ruled the world...people would be bred in bottles for certain jobs to make society more efficient. They would be psychologically conditioned to always want to buy new things, to find the idea of close personal ties to be undesirable, and to be happy with their lives no matter what (and take some "soma" whenever they began to feel unhappy). And any social dissenters would be sent to Greenland -- or simply crushed. Huxley saw it coming 80 years ago with his dystopian classic that depicts what happens seven centuries from now when someone whose psychological conditioning didn't work perfectly runs into a "savage" in New Mexico and brings him back to "civilization." The characters aren't very deep, but one would expect that with psychologically conditioned people. Meanwhile, the science behind his "Brave New World" seems inevitable. Whether or not the people let themselves become happy slaves to a corporate military state is yet unknown. Of course, there are lobbyists in place to encourage it with unfettered cash. But don't worry too much -- just enjoy Huxley's short-but-sweet vision of a possible future and realize that, if it ever comes to pass, at least you know that you'll be perpetually happy... :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great read if you love something that makes you think, and makes you reflect on the ideals of society. I feel this book was written ahead of it's time, and a lot of the messages in it are timeless...A great read for the intellectual.
dicken--15--dog More than 1 year ago
Brave New World is frightening because it could very well come to pass. So many of the situations depicted in the book are close at hand. The fact that the inhabitants of this New World can escape through a drug called Soma is true today. This book used to be required reading in schools.
alioth More than 1 year ago
The chapter and title markers are way off. And there are lots of typos and strange word breaks. It's a good book, but all these quirks make it hard to really get into the book. You're better off finding another version of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was simply marvelous. Alous Huxley certainly manages to create a world of his own and embellishes it with deep thought and distopian possibilities of any society. This book is highly recommended in my eyes and is a top-notch read! Wonderful, you will not regret reading this!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am totally surpriced by the Author, eventhough he wrote this book long long time ago , all the things that is in the book is very likely will happen in our life right now! .. look at all the people want to control this world : for example, people try to control the edcation . By doing that, people get less brain excises so that they don't think that much as before. Those who want to control the world can have more chance to accomplish their evel dream. Anyways.. This is a very good book.. you sure you want to read it.... COOL!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A MUST READ! Brave New World is a classic that many people recommended me over the years and about which  I read several positive reviews. When finally I decided to buy it I regretted to have not done it before: I can say it totally lived up my expectations. Written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley, this novel – listed in the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century – is definitely more contemporary than ever. The pioneering side of this book resides in its main themes, which refer to reproductive technology, mass-consuption, psychological manipulation and conditioning.  Set in London in 2540, Brave New World depicts a future global society organised on the basis of strict rules and regulations, which guarantee stability, peaceful and happiness: it's the “World State”, under which the world population is unified and controlled. As a matter of fact, its citizens are divided into five castes, forged through chemical interferences during the fetuses' development (natural reproduction has been replaced by a sort of industrial process, while sex has only a recreational purpose), an accurate government control using slogans and promoting recreative projects, sleep-learning and operant-conditioning methods. The lower castes, which represent the majority of human society, are heavily limited in their cognitive abilities: their anbitions and desires are restricted and thus easier to manipulate. However, everyone in the World State seems to be fully happy: Huxley portrays an utopian community where people are satisfied with their predetermined jobs,  relationships, lives and need nothing else, where the notions of family, religion and love have no reasons to exists. Nonetheless, this happyness is illusory, since it is soon threatened by some characters who see the non-sense of being happy without a real awareness of their life and personal identity. The author himself represents the “new world” with a hint of irony, and so it can be said that the society he depicts is actually a dystopian one.   In a nutshell, this book deals with many of our current concerns about globalisation and technology: the fear to be controlled and the consequent mind-torpor and uniformity of the society, the loss of moral values and the weakening of feelings, the utopia of permanent happiness, based on what we consume insted of what we are. On the other hand, we are a mixture of bad and positive feelings, and can't be simply happy, we have also “the right to be unhappy”. As my favorite quote of all time says: "Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the over-compensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand." (Brave New World – chapter 16) Despite its complex writing style – which sometimes seems to mirror the scientific and technological language – I found Brave New World unpudownable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book itself is great, but this version of it sucks; the end is missing! The story stops abruptly, with no warning, and when I reported it to B&N, they told me it was just my tough luck. NOT cool!!!
JSauer21 More than 1 year ago
This book, although confusing at first, is an interesting read that is vastly different from most books you will read. It takes place around 600 years in the future, “After Ford” era, in London. Humans in the book are made in a lab that produces test tubes that give birth to nearly identical humans. The babies that are made are then put into classes to social condition them. An example of this is that the babies are violently made to think flowers and books are bad. They are than put into a strict caste system. The highest caste being the Alpha-Plus. One of the members is Bernard Marx, a psychologist, who is unlike everyone both physically and mentally. He is short, due to an error in his embryo stage, and acts unorthodox compared to the conformity of the nearly identical humans. Bernard meets a girl named Lenina, whom he has feelings, although she has dated a man named Henry. Later Bernard goes on a trip with Lenina to a place called the “Savage Reservation”, in New Mexico. This is a Native American reservation, where they meet John, also called “The Savage”¸and his mom Linda. They go back to London, to find out that the D.H.C., one of the leaders, wants to banish him to Iceland. Also, while they were there they found out that the D.H.C was named Tomakin, and is John’s father. During this time Linda is taking a lot of a popular drug in this book called soma. She begins to die, and when she does John becomes angry. To make him even madder Lenina tries to seduce him, because in this book the humans are socially conditioned to crave sex a lot. A riot breaks out with the Delta caste, and John ends up whipping her. This arouses the crowd and it turns into a sexual convention. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I will say that it is well written and a little shocking. The major theme is the author’s prediction of the future, but sex and Shakespearean allusions show up constantly. It also conveys that people shouldn’t conform to others, but be themselves no matter the consequences. This is very apparent in the character of Bernard. What I liked about this book is that it is a very creative idea, unlike any other, making it very interesting. It is also very well written, especially for an older book. I also liked how it plenty of action, some twists and turns, and a little romance. What I didn’t like was that at first the concept of creating humans in a lab, and making them think a certain way was very hard for me to wrap my head around. People should read this if they like unique, or science fiction books. You may also like if you like a good action book. I want to read another work similar to this, which is 1984 by George Orwell. Overall it gets a 4.8 out of 5.
MFeda More than 1 year ago
Similar to 1984, yet a bit of an easier read. We read the first two chapters in a class, and I loved it so I bought the book. It truly is a classic.
audrey23 More than 1 year ago
I am glad that I read this book because it makes you think. It is not a page turner though but at the end it will make you think.I am totally surpriced by the Author, even though he wrote this book like a long long time ago this things are probley gonna happen ... look at all the people that want control and they get no education. The novel is set in the A.F. 632, almost seven centuries after the twentieth century. A.F. stands for the year of Ford and World Controllers rule the world and ensure the stability of society through the creation of a five-tiered caste system. Alphas and Betas are at the top of the system and act as the scientists, politicians, and other top minds, while Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons are at the bottom and represent the world's industrial working class. A drug called soma ensures that no one ever feels pain or remains unhappy, and members of every caste receive rations of the drug. Pre- and post-natal conditioning further ensures social stability. its a good book read it !!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this as a 10 th grader. Loved it. Huxley has a very complex way of writing which keeps the story intresting and the whole brave new world concept is pretty cool to. Especailly since we are heafing in that direction of our future as a society. The ending is weird though I'll have to edmit that. But if you're into books that keep you thinking and reflect of life choices you'll definitly enjoy this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this in high school, but decided I should read it again. It is well written and shows what you will lose if community comes before self. There are times I where I was not sure what was going on, but in all I understood a lot more then I did when I first read this book. I liked the ending message, but became frustrated through the initial read in its vocabulary and in the begining switching characters on random without stateing who is speaking.
JakeNJ More than 1 year ago
When reading this book, one tends to have a conflicting feeling, so one has to realize that it is a book, a vision, a theory vs reality and reality, which could be worse than in theory, even though everyone is happy. Bottom line is, that every so often people are not always naive enough to realize that even if you have complete equilibrium, "equality" and completely "civilized" society, the human spirit prevails. If it doesn't, than you have someone controlling the outcome, as they see fit. Someone who "I make the laws, so I can break them" decides for the rest what it is that they need, but the human spirit cannot always be contained. Human emotions, will for individual thinking and power to make own choices, will always strive to excel and grow. Unless brainwashed, zombied via happy meds and conditioned, but even then, some will always want to be individual and stand for their principles, not society's "normal" and that is the only FREEDOM. This book is a perfect example of how in "Utopian" society, while everything seems, easy, pleasant, happy, it is not by the will of those who move through society as society demands of them, but by the societal social conditioning. Social conditioning!! How simple it sounds, "for the better good" and yet how awful the outcome. The decision of who is higher, lower or useless caste. Since in the all perfect society, there is no useless, the useless are the ones who are not "useful idiots". The zombied and completely conditioned public creates a perfect "O brave new world", but if it is a perfection and the people are happy, why does it have to be programmed and isolated from any outside individual thinking? I like this book, which is completely amazing concept that has actually be tried in some way or another. Maybe, not to that extend and maybe not on that level, YET, but to have a vision, in 1932, to foresee some of the technological, social and societal experiments, was a pure genius by Aldous Huxley. Even though, it takes a few pages to get accustomed with the style, characters, jargon and naming conventions of all that is going on, the book reads fast and easy. There are some amazing rationing in the book, but scary at the same time, since it is almost like a road map for some of the items that are being "tried" as I am writing this review. In chapter 3, it got a little bit confusing, due to each paragraph, being a different part of separate event/conversation. Absolutely unexpected at first, a very interesting style of writing and unique approach, almost like a playwright. What's not to like, but takes a few minutes getting used to and catch on that it is 3 different conversations in numerous places that are taking place and completely unrelated events, at that moment. There is a quote from Lenin in this book. Phrased differently of course, but still, never the less, a quote from a "social justice and conditioning" masters of his time. Social stability, is a very interesting way to phrase something that is being repeated about "Brave New World" and social conditioning. Society where the belief is, that conditioning is always the aspect of ones actions and has nothing to do with instinct. Is what the dictators in current White House administration preach these days. Example of society that every communist wants to create and destroy individual thinking? This book, was always and still, should be a warning!! We recently have seen and heard one thing from our "leadership" and yet their actions did not support their language. Just like I mention before, the words of controller Mustapha Mond: "But as I make the laws here, I can also break them." Didn't we see the "law of the land", Obamacare, recently get broken, for pushing employer mandate by a year, by those who made the law? "Do as I say and not as I do"? Are we living in this perfect "Utopian", zombied through social conditioning and "soma" society or are we living in the United States of FREE America? This is one great book. Every time I picked it up, I was through 10 pages within minutes and I am not a fast reader, but this book reads well and fast. It is very interesting and unique. I know it is a college level, required reading material, but I highly recommend that everyone pick up a copy and read it. I highly recommend reading it a few times over the years and especially now. It is a MUST read for everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the most beautiful book I've ever read. The only reason why this book isn't rated 5 stars is because those who are rating it lowly couldn't comprehend the beauty of the social commentary Huxley presented throughout the novel. Those who believe it supports immorality are wrong. It does the opposite. By showcasing the emphasis on sex and drugs, Huxley actually shows how horrible this behavior is and what it could lead to. Definitely a must-read. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, well written, and it makes you think about how much what we enjoy contols us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorites!
aengel More than 1 year ago
I would reccomend this book because in a way it warns us about being brain washed. There are many things that I learned from this book and it has a very interesting story line!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this in 7th grade for the first time amd I loved it. I've read it quite a few times since then and I like it even more each time. If you don't have a pretty high reading level it might be a little difficult to read. This book is one of the first dystopian society books ad it still influences writers in that genre to this very day!