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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