Brave New World : Blind Perception of the Early 20th Century

University essay from Karlstads universitet/Institutionen för språk, litteratur och interkultur

Abstract: Huxley’s Brave New World portrays a futuristic hyperbole of mankind’s future as a result of technological advancements. From a New Historical perspective, this essay examines how BNW satirizes contemporary society by satire where the audience is both a part of the problem and solution. Through the use of satire Huxley’s novel successfully portrays horrific examples of how human life in a not so distant future may find that the technology which revolutionized our lives actually enslaves us. Post-novel examples such as Hitler and his Nazi regime is a real life example of the type of totalitarian regime that is possible as a direct result of scientific progress in many fields. In this paper, however, posterity is excluded from the analysis. Instead this essay focuses on the contemporary society as depicted in early 20th century literature and how it reflects identifiable satirical elements in BNW. The analysis depicts how several discourses of contemporary industrialized Britain such as rationalism, socialism, industrialism, freedom, religion and political indifference are reflected in the novel. Ultimately, Huxley’s dystopian reflection of human future taunts us, the audience, by directly and indirectly illuminating the dangers of blindly accepting scientific advancements in the name of progress. The one, perhaps most relevant question the novel raises is – are we truly free when we are free to have the most wonderful time?

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