Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

Published in the year 1932, “Brave New World” is a futuristic novel written by famous English author, Aldous Huxley. The plot of the book is based in the year AD 2540 and anticipates possible developments in the fields of sleep-learning and reproductive-technology. It discusses about how those developments revolutionize the society by combining together. Aldous Huxley reassessed this novel in his other novel, “Island” and his essay “Brave New World Revisited”. In the year 1991, the Modern Library rated this novel as one of the 100 best novels written in the English language in the 20th century.

Based in the year AD 2540, the novel informs us that most of the people on earth are unified under one single government, The World State. The population of the world is limited to 2 billion and all the people seem to be contented. Natural means of reproduction have been discarded and children are produced, destroyed and raised in numerous “conditioning centers”. Everyone is divided into 5 different castes; ‘Alpha’, ‘Beta’, ‘Gamma’, ‘Delta’ and ‘Epsilon’, with ‘Alpha’ being the caste of the highest cadre. The Alphas are the only people who are allowed to undergo a natural development, with their maturing terms spent in decanting bottles. The others are chemically meddled with and therefore undergo an arrested physical and mental development. Majority of the population is made up of the Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons. All the castes were further divided into plus or minus members, with the exception being the Epsilons, who are divided as regular or semi-moron.
In order to keep the economy up and running, The World State commanded all its citizens to buy new things instead of fixing old ones by enticing the principle of “ending is better than mending”. Numerous seemingly obscene ideas are commonplace such as the widespread consumption of a dream enticing drug called “Soma” and the concept of “recreational sex”.

Immediately after it was released, “Brave New World” was banned in Ireland because of the language it contained. According to the American Library Association, this novel is the 52nd most challenged one in history. In the year1993, there was unsuccessful attempt at removing this novel from the list of ‘must read’ books in a Californian school because it apparently portrayed negative activity. Polish author, Antoni Smuszkiewicz, accused the novel of plagiarism. Surely, this is one of the most controversial books of all time.

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