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Brave New World. By Aldous Huxley. Two Worlds Collide. Post-World War I world was a suffering the effects of carnage and destruction of lives and property Ideas of civilization were shaken. Two Worlds Collide.

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brave new world

Brave New World

By Aldous Huxley

two worlds collide
Two Worlds Collide
  • Post-World War I world was a suffering the effects of carnage and destruction of lives and property
    • Ideas of civilization were shaken
two worlds collide1
Two Worlds Collide

Modern world = speed, science, technological advances, and radically new ideas of government and culture

fall of the last great empires
Fall of the Last Great Empires
  • World War I – Russia, Austria, and Britain crumbled
    • Ways of life that were stable before the war were ruined now
rise of totalitarianism
Rise of Totalitarianism
  • 1920s and 1930s – rise of totalitarian leaders
    • Russia – Joseph Stalin
    • Italy – Benito Mussolini
    • Germany- Adolf Hitler
  • All were charismatic leaders who rule by fear and force.
    • They had absolute control.
science technology
Science & Technology
  • Albert Einstein
    • General Theory of Relativity is confirmed
    • The world was no longer straight lines and absolutes.
    • Nothing was certain except uncertainty
      • Einstein didn’t like this. He believed in moral absolutes with a definite right & wrong.
science technology1
Science & Technology
  • Industrialization
    • The idea of mass production (thanks to the invention of the assembly line) paved the way for industrialization of military force
      • Used in WWI – It was not a far-off vision of science fiction
  • Mass production of goods was the norm for most western countries .
science technology2
Science & Technology
  • Darwin’s Theory of Evolution
    • Gave rise to the “logical” belief that the development of super-humans was possible through genetic selection (eugenics)
      • Hitler’s Aryan race
science technology3
Science & Technology
  • Henry Ford
    • Introduced the assembly line to manufacture automobiles
    • Led to more affordable cars
    • Other industries followed Ford’s model
    • Became one of the wealthiest and most famous men of his time.
henry ford s famous quote
Henry Ford’s Famous Quote
  • “History is more or less bunk. It’s tradition. We don’t want tradition. We want to live in the present, and the only history that is worth a tinker’s damn is the history that we make today.”
  • Often misquoted as “History is bunk.”
    • Look for this quote in Brave New World.
science technology4
Science & Technology
  • Sigmund Freud
    • Book- Interpretation of Dreams
    • Biggest reasons for Freud’s fame – the after-effects of WWI (PTSD) and trench warfare
    • His psychoanalytic process was more easily accepted and, due in a large part its inclusion of sex, much more sensational.
science technology5
Science & Technology
  • Radio, Television, and Propaganda Machines
    • Radio exploded in popularity in the 1920s & 1930s.
    • Many other leaders used it
      • FDR used it – “Fireside Chats”
    • Used it to distribute propaganda – Hitler and Mussolini
conditioning behaviorism
Conditioning & Behaviorism
  • Ivan Pavlov (Russian scientist)
    • Trained an individual to respond to a certain stimulus in a certain way, using positive or negative reinforcement – conditioning
    • Pavlov’s dogs
    • Individual behavior could be preconditioned to respond in

predetermined ways

conditioning behaviorism1
Conditioning & Behaviorism
  • John Watson – School of Behaviorism
    • Said he could take any 12 healthy babies, regardless of family background, and make them into any type of person
      • Rich, poor, intelligent, etc.
conditioning behaviorism2
Conditioning & Behaviorism
  • Thomas R. Malthus
    • English economist and writer
    • Malthus’ Principle of Population: unless controlled, the population of the world would exceed the necessary supplies for survival
      • Only ways to avoid over-population:
        • Disasters, war, famine (natural causes)
        • Murder, abortion, and homosexuality (moral restraint & vice)
importance of names
Importance of Names

Character names reflect different historical, political, social, and economic ideas that have helped to shape the novel’s fictional World State.

bernard marx
Bernard Marx
  • Named after Claude Bernard &Karl Marx
    • Claude Bernard: French physiologist who helped establish the norms for scientific study.
      • Studied the function of liver and pancreas
    • Karl Marx: Wrote Communist Manifesto, work that inspired countless socialists, most famously Lenin. He believed in a classless, equal society to replace capitalism
mustapha mond
Mustapha Mond
  • Mustapha Kemal Ataturk & Sir Alfred Mond
    • Ataturk:First President of the Republic of Turkey; helped create a western-style, democratic, secular state after WWI
    • Mond: German-Jewish industrialist and politician during the early part of the 20th century; advocate of labor reforms
henry foster
Henry Foster
  • Henry Ford & William Foster
    • Henry Ford: found and president of Ford Motor Company; developed the assembly line for mass production of the automobile; became one of the richest people in the world
    • William Foster: popular trade union leader and General Secretary of the Communist party of the U.S.; staunch supporter of Joseph Stalin and Soviet Russia
helmholtz watson
Helmholtz Watson

Hermann von Helmholtz: 19th century scientist best known for inventing the ophthalmoscope (study the inside of the human eye)

John B. Watson: founder of the school of behaviorism; later popular author of child-rearing books

lenina crowne
  • Vladmir Lenin and “Crowne” is a metonym for the monarchy in general
    • Vladmir Lenin: Important leader of the Russian revolution and first head of the Soviet Union; destroyed any opposition during the “Red Terror,” and advocated mass terror against any enemies of the state
benito hoover
Benito Hoover
  • Benito Mussolini and Herbert Hoover
    • Benito Mussolini: fascist dictator of Italy remembered for his militarism, nationalism, oppressive censorship, and wide-spread use of propaganda; close associate of Hitler
    • Herbert Hoover: 31st President of the U.S. ; presided over the Great Depression, blamed for the Stock Market crash, and was perceived as being unable to remedy the country’s economic problems.
utopian literature
Utopian Literature
  • Utopia: Vision of a world in which everything is in it place
  • Long tradition of Utopian literature
    • Goes back as far as Plato’s Republic
  • Any imagined perfect world is doomed to fail
  • Many dystopian novels: Animal Farm, 1984, The Giver, etc.
everything goes nothing goes
Everything Goes; Nothing Goes
  • Extreme dichotomy of rules
  • There are either no rules
    • Brave New World – all sexual morals have been abolished, yet almost all real knowledge has been banned
  • There are too many rules;
    • People are blindly obedient to a higher power
    • Power is ruthlessly setting an unbending policy of order (the World State)

Satire points out the wrongs of the current, real society

Exaggerate current politics and public opinions in order to show just how misguided society is

Satirizes the apathy of the people by creating characters who seem oblivious to the fact that they are simply consumers of meaningless products and ideas

  • Most utopian and dystopian novels take place in the near future.
  • Brave New World takes place in A.F. 632; 600 years from when it was written
    • – 2532 A.D. to us

Themes in the Novel

  • Technological advances are essential for the stability to the World State.
    • Every facet has been mechanized and streamlined.
    • Bokanovsky Process – human reproduction
    • Phosphorus Recovery – death
    • Hypnopaedia– sleep teaching (for children)
  • Technology does not necessarily equal science.
  • World State is controlled by World Controllers.
    • World Controller for Western Europe=Mustapha Mond
    • Controllers make sure nothing happens that might hinder consumerism or stability or might alleviate the ignorance of the people.
      • The only reason people are allowed to do as they please is because they have been conditioned to want to do only things that are allowed by the Controllers.
  • Individualism gets people in trouble.
    • Bernard and Helmholtz believe there is something missing in life.
    • Individuals are “savages.”

Individual happiness in the novel is defined as the ability to gather physical comforts and satisfy physical needs and desires.

Personal success is measured in buying power and the number of material possessions one is able to obtain.

happiness the human condition
Happiness & the Human Condition
  • Characters do everything they can to avoid facing the truth about their own situations.
    • Not one of the major characters we meet is fully happy..
    • Soma is used to cope with universal unhappiness in the society
  • Happiness = nothing more than immediate gratification of physical desire
    • Food, sex, drugs, material possessions
  • Citizens know no allegiance to family or friends, no aspirations, no sense of planning for a desired future, and (theoretically) no class conflict.


“T” sign


Sex and Drugs

  • Time is marked from the opening of Henry Ford’s assembly line plant for cars
    • “A.F.” for “After Ford”
  • Expletives – “Oh, Ford!” / “Oh, God!”
  • Ford = God (consumerism over religion)
t sign
“T” Sign

“T” stand for the Ford Model-T

Characters cross themselves in the shape of the “T” instead of the shape of the cross.

  • Quoted the most by John Savage
  • Honest human emotions are expressed through Shakespeare’s characters
    • Shakespeare is banned for the population of the World State.
sex drugs
Sex & Drugs
  • Happiness is instant gratification of any physical need or desire.
    • World State encourages/demands promiscuity
    • It’s a source of shame to be in emotionally invested in another human.
  • Soma is used to take people away from their troubles – “Go on holiday.”
    • Prevents dissatisfaction and