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Brave New World

1932

Book: Brave New World

Author: Aldous Huxley

Recollections...

Social Engineeringarrow icon

I read it in 2006, at university.
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Soma, Alphas, sadnessarrow icon

When I was about 15, I read it as part of my GCSE extended essay for English
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1892 - I was 14 and at school.
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More recollections...

In Depth

Brave New World

Prescient 1930s description of a consumer society where recreational drug use and no-strings-attached sex are the norm.

Brave New World was written at a time when many were looking to science - specifically the field of eugenics - as a way to create a future utopia. Socialists such as author H G Wells and geneticist J B S Haldane had popularised the concept that manipulation of the human stock could bring about a better society, but for Aldous Huxley, the idea was objectionable. Brave New World was his vision of how scientific interference in human society would only lead to a new form of misery. The book describes a future London where biological engineering and mandatory drug use has created a universally 'happy' society. Procreation is managed in laboratories, family is a forgotten concept, and sex has been reduced to a leisure pursuit.

The tone of Huxley's most famous novel is deeply ironic, and its vision of a hideous, technologically advanced, materialist utopia seems to grow more apposite year on year.

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