Monday, December 30, 2013

Brave New World

Rating: 9

O brave new world, that has such people in’t! – Miranda, The Tempest by William Shakespeare

Aldous Huxley boldly proclaims his belief of the future in his renowned novel Brave New World, focusing on a society ruled by pleasure and “hypnopedia.” In this startling mirror of today’s world, Huxley introduces a young Caucasian male born on an unconditioned Indian reservation to this “brave new world.” John Savage immediately falls in love with his Juliet, a beautiful but conditioned young woman named Lenina. John, entirely educated by William Shakespeare, becomes infatuated with the world to which he’s been introduced, yet is surprised and terribly disappointed when he realizes that promiscuity and soma are everywhere he looks and that nowhere can he find the spiritual assurance he seeks.

As disgusting as it is, in reading Brave New World you can parallel almost everything awful in that society to something in our world today. The sexual mantra “Everybody belongs to everybody else” is so like present-day, where abstinence is frowned upon and extremely rare. The drug soma, a method of forgetting the world and one’s troubles, is exactly like marijuana, which has already been legalized in my home state. The “feelies” (movies which you can feel as well as see—it’s gross) are just like “virtual reality.” Then there’s the obsession to “kill God” in the minds and hearts of citizens—which is exactly like the world we live in. (Employees can’t even say “Merry Christmas” anymore, for heaven’s sake!) And because of all of this mature content, the book is definitely not one for readers under sixteen—maybe not even those under eighteen. (Parents should use caution. If this were a movie, it would be rated R because, of course, Hollywood would throw in a bunch of unnecessary nastiness; yet even if Hollywood didn’t trash it, it would still be at least PG-13.) John’s method of finding religion is hopelessly flawed (you find out how hopeless when you read it), and teaches us that we can’t be too proud to accept the grace of God. Overall, it’s a sad, icky, but still somehow good book—and one that you should read to gain even better understanding of just how lost our world is becoming and just how much we need grace.


  1. Hello Hannah! I just came across your blog and started following. :) I haven't read this one, and it doesn't sound like it's up my alley, but I enjoyed reading your review. I can see how the plot might parallel society today. Thanks for sharing your opinions!

    1. Oh, hi, Jillian! Thank you for following and commenting :) Brave New World is not for everyone, that's for sure. I never have really enjoyed futuristic/dystopian novels, but this one was . . . okay, anyway :)


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