11. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

31MskyGDftL._SL160_Dystopic fiction is not my favourite genre but I read this classic novel so that I could discuss it with my son who was reading it for grade 11 English.  It was a challenge to finish and I can only imagine how difficult it would be for a class of students to listen to the story as it was read aloud, chapter by chapter.

Huxley first published the novel in 1956.  It tells the tale of a society trying to remain “happy” and stable by “conditioning” their members.  It begins with the fertilization of eggs with sperm in a laboratory setting where clone-like babies were “decanted” from jars (those of you who know me know that I cringe when that word is used in relation to people.  It is frequently used when describing discharging and group of residents from long-term care homes yet decanting is a word that should be reserved for wine or inanimate objects).  As the children grew they were “programmed” with repetitive thoughts instilled in their consciousness while they slept.  The children were encouraged to participate in erotic play and society was kept even by open sexuality with no monogamous attachments.   Individuals were encouraged to partake in the use of soma, a drug that kept people calm and happy.

I cannot say that I enjoyed this book but it does make one consider what could happen after a prolonged war (the novel described a 9 year war) with controllers dictating happiness.  Considering all the great classic novels, Brave New World is not one that I would choose to engage students in great literature.  I am glad that I read it but have to admit, I am also very glad that it is finished.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Classic, Post-Apocolypse and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 11. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

  1. Pingback: 16. When Breath Becomes Air (Paul Kalinithi) | A Year of Books

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s