Friday, April 30, 2010

Book # 14 - Brave New World

'Brave New World' by Aldous Huxley had some similarities with George Orwell's, '1984'. Both books talk about what life in the future would become owing to great advances in science and technology. Huxley and Orwell wrote their books in 1931 and 1949 respectively. Their books were preceded by the two most devastating wars the world has seen (WWI and WWII). Huxley talks about a future London (AD 2540) where society has developed a reproductive technology which rejects natural reproduction and produces human beings en masse.

Bernard, Lenina and Helmholtz are the main characters whose activities help us to understand this new world. It is the introduction of the Savage, a human being, which adds an element of emotion in the story. The Savage is discovered by Lenina and Bernard when they go on a holiday to New Mexico to visit the Savage Reservation (a secluded area where life as we know it now, exists). They bring him back to civilization as the World Controller of Eastern Europe feels that he would be interesting to study.

It is a disturbing book because the way events are shaping in our world, totalitarianism is not unlikely to happen in the future. The world, as described by Huxley, knew nothing of art and culture. In fact, they had no idea who Shakespeare was! And a world without Shakespeare would definitely not be worth living in.