I just got a comment that reminded me I hadn’t posted a quick review of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. I read this in one day over Thanksgiving weekend.
Of all the dystopia, future-state books and movies I’ve consumed (numerous, to be sure), this is the only one that does not present a clear picture that the Big Brother is evil. The citizens of the World State live in a world where people are bred to fulfill certain roles in life, have access to a sedative drug that produces a euphoric high with no side-effects, and go about their lives in blissful ignorance of what a freer life would be like. Things unravel slightly when a Savage is brought in from a Reservation. The Savage has read Shakespeare, thus breeding in him a desire for passions, properness, and, most of all, a true choice between happiness and misery.
The first half of the book laid the groundwork so the reader knows what the World State is like for those who are happy with it and for those few people who feel that something is not right. The human growing and socializing aspects are interesting from a science-fiction perspective, but it is the last twenty pages of the book where the book gains its worth. There is a discussion between the governor of the World State and the Savage that is thought provoking. I was almost persuaded that the happily peaceful but mediocre existence of the populace was a good thing. The possibility is definitely tempting.
The one thing I hate about writing book reviews is that I invariably get my verb tenses messed up. It’s late, I have class early tomorrow; so instead of proofing it I’ll just apologize for my screw ups. Where’s my soma!?