Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Book Recommendation: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Yesterday we had our first book presentation, which was "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley. If you want to give this book a chance, here's the plot:

Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress...

These are some quotes from the novel:

“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly -- they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”

"But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”

 “Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations 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.”

 “I want to know what passion is. I want to feel something strongly.”

“All right then," said the savage defiantly, I'm claiming the right to be unhappy."
 "Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat, the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen tomorrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind."
There was a long silence. "I claim them all," said the Savage at last.”



 There is a book that deals with a similar topic. 1984 by George Orwell plays with the same idea as Brave New World. This is the plot:

Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big Brother stares out from every poster, the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that life does not have to be dull and deadening, and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party; they are drawn towards conspiracy. Yet Big Brother will not tolerate dissent - even in the mind. For those with original thoughts they invented Room 101. . . 

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