Book 1

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book 1



Author: Aldous Huxley was born in 1894, and died in 1963. He first went to Eton, and then to Oxford. He was a brilliant man, and became a succesful writer of short stories in the twenties and thirties. Besides short stories he also wrote essays and novels, like 'Brave New World'. The first novels he wrote were comments on the young generation, with no goal whatsoever, that lived after WW I. Before he became the writer as we know him, he worked as a journalist and a critic of drama. In his books, especially the later ones, he sometimes presents himself as a teacher or a philosopher, to literate us as readers. Next to novels, essays and short stories he also wrote poems, biographies, plays, political/sci-fi books, travel books and even a record of his experiments with drugs. 'Brave New World' was first published in 1932, and has been reprinted many times after that.

Main Characters:

Bernard Marx
Lenina Crowne
John Savage (Son of Tomakin, Bernard's boss)
Helmholtz Watson

Huxley tries to make a statement with this book, he tries to make something clear to the reader. To do this he uses characters, but they're insignificant to what his real intentions are, he merely uses them to express his ideas, therefor their characteristics and ideas are not important in the whole picture. There is hardly any charaterisation in the book to illustrate the individuals.

Theme:
In the foreword Huxley states: "The theme of 'Brave New World' is not the advancement of science as such; it is the advancement of science as it affects human individuals."
The picture of the world given in the book describes the condition of the human individual in a western civilization in a 'near' future. The society has turned into a well oiled machine, in which everything is controlled, even the future profession of the individual is determined before birth. It's a society in which the human being only serves a sociological and scientifical purpose, the individual thought is overruled by one big totalitarian state, likewise emotion and initiative are ruled out. Giving birth is forbidden, sex is the most normal thing on earth, and even drugs is taken with the routine and amount of normal meals. Only a small group of the real man exists, be it's far outside the 'civilized' world. John Savage is one of them, representitive of individual freedom and thought, torn between two societies.
Huxley warns for material and technical dependence, that will eventually bring destruction upon mankind.

Characteristics: The story is set in our world, in the future (some 600 years from now). It is in the year 632 after Ford. Society has turned into a controlled state, individual thought is bannished, and the human being is only on this earth to serve a sociological and scientifical purpose. There's no space for free speech, emotion or even literature that reminds of the free spirit. The narrator is omniscient, as said before, Huxley expresses his political and scientifical ideas through the characters, therefor he sometimes 'steps' in to their heads, but mostly tells the story as he was telling their history. There is symbolism in the book, once again Huxley warns us as readers not to grow to dependent of material wealth and science, there's a moral to the stroy, "watch out or you'll end up like this...". The genre of the book is that of alternative realism, but as it spreads certain ideas, it's also called a 'novel of ideas'. The title is quite easy to explain: it comes from a work by Shakespreare, 'The Tempest'. John once quotes it when he still thinks that this new world is only wonder and beauty... The book is written in an easy readable way, no real difficult words, and not much hard philosofical, mind twisting passages to overcome. The climax of the story is when Bernard has picked up John and his mother, and suddenly has a certain grip on his boss, who was about to fire him (John is the unlawful son of his boss). After that he also gets the idea that his earlier urge to something individual has it's roots in true freedom, and thus he wants to be free. But instead he uses John to get attention and 'respect' from his fellow Alphas.

Summary:
In the year 632 after Ford, the new Director of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre explains the functionality of his plant to a group of students. He tells them with pride that what they're watching is the process of becoming a human being, he shows them the different stages of growth: First the eggs are taken from the female body and fertilized in bottles (In Vitro Fertilization). The bottles contain a special blood surrogate with nutritive solutions for each of the (later) social classes, from Alpha-plus to Epsilon-minus. Here the future men and women's social status is determined. Thanks to Bokanovsky each egg could produce as many as 96 exactly identical human beings, therefor suited for standard tasks in society. Mass production is the key word that ensures everyb

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