Written by Aldous Huxley
Book #3 of 2012
Publisher: Chatto and Windus
First Edition: 1932
My Edition: 1998
Original Language: English
Wow! What an enthralling read. I couldn’t put this baby down! I love futuristic novels, and this one was Grade-A. It kept my brain going the entire time I was reading and it made me WANT to keep picking it up (which is pretty rare with everything but fantasy-fiction). In other words, it was very “engaging.”
I found a bazillion quotes, and I was able to relate to a lot of the main topics in the book. Here ya go…
“What man has joined, nature is powerless to put asunder.” (Page 22)
“A chronic fear of being slighted made him avoid his equals, made him stand, where his inferiors were concerned, self-conciously on his dignity.” (Page 65)
‘Speaking very slowly, “Did you ever feel,” he asked, “as though you had something inside you that was only waiting for you to give it a chance to come out? Some sort of extra power that you aren’t using – you know, like all the water that goes down the falls instead of through the turbines?”‘ (Page 69)
“He squeezed her limp hand almost with violence, as though he would force her to come back from this dream of ignoble pleasures, from these base and hateful memories – back into the present, back into reality; the appalling present, the awful reality – but sublime, but significant, but desperately important precisely because of the imminence of that which made them so fearful.” (Page 204)
‘After a little silence, “Sometimes,” he added, “I rather regret the science. Happiness is a hard master – particularly other people’s happiness. A much harder master, if one isn’t conditioned to accept it unquestioningly, than truth.”‘ (Page 227)
‘”But I was forgetting, you know all about God I suppose.”
“Well…” The Savage hesitated. He would like to say something about solitude, about night, about the mesa lying pale under the moon, about the precipice, the plunge into shadowy darkness, about death. He would have liked to speak; but there were no words. Not even in Shakespeare.’ (Page 230)
‘”But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”‘ (Page 240)
I must make note of a couple of things here:
- **SPOILER ALERT** (You’re welcome.) Firstly, I believe the Savage killed himself because he had this ideology which was the exact opposite of the “civilized people.” There was no middle ground. He could not accept the fact that he was human, and being so, will have impure thoughts, and will make mistakes, and will sin on a daily basis. He found it maddening that he could not purge impurities from his human body. Ideally, humans would live in a society somewhere between the Savage’s perfect sinless expectations that led to his demise, and the “civilized people’s” perfect happy society of sinful ignorance.
- Second,I thought it was interesting that Huxley said phrases and words that were colloquial to the 1930’s, and used them as if he thought they would endure into his fictional futuristic society. Words like, “jolly well!,” and “hullaballoo.” And then he also did this with items: smoking cigarettes, which was pretty popular back then, but is now viewed with disgust and sickness; and he used the radio as the main source of propaganda, which seems funny to me now since it is probably the television or computers these days.
- And third, I just wondered this: The picture in my head of this future society – how would it compare to the picture Aldous Huxley imagined of this future as he was writing? How is my view of the future different because of my environment than that of Huxley as he was writing in the 1930’s? It was something I thought about the entire while I was reading the book.
Well, friends, I hope that leaves you with some good thoughts about Brave New World. I hope to God it doesn’t turn out like this, or our future generations are surely going to hell.
Happy reading, friends.