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Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Aldous Huxley (1894-1963). British writer—novelist, poet, essayist, film writer Son of schoolteacher and writer Critical observer of world around him, particularly of accepted norms and traditions Troubled childhood Mother died when he was 14

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aldous huxley 1894 1963
Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)
  • British writer—novelist, poet, essayist, film writer
  • Son of schoolteacher and writer
  • Critical observer of world around him, particularly of accepted norms and traditions
  • Troubled childhood
      • Mother died when he was 14
      • Brother killed himself
      • Aldous himself contracted an illness that left him virtually blind
  • Studied at Balliol College (Oxford)
    • Friends with D.H. Lawrence
  • Need for money led him to literary pursuits
huxley cont d
Huxley Cont’d
  • Wrote first novel at age of 20
  • Became a poet, journalist, and art critic in his early 20s
  • Traveled a great deal within Europe, shaping his view of world and society
    • Concerned about changes occurring in Western civilization
    • Concerned about technological advances and power structures within society
    • Influenced by ideas of behaviorism
    • Wrote against war and nationalism
brave new world
Brave New World
  • Huxley wrote it in four months
  • Written prior to Hitler’s reign in Germany and Stalin’s purges
  • Showed foresight in describing a dictatorial future
  • The future society Huxley created in BNW:
    • Use of genetics and cloning for control
    • Children conceived in test tubes
    • Genetic conditioning for societal hierarchy (classes)
    • “Perfect” dictatorship appears democratic but is actually stifling, creating prisoners of its citizens
    • Source: The European Graduate School (www.egs.edu/library/aldous-huxley/biography/)
pre reading questions
Pre-reading Questions
  • In what ways was Huxley similar to Orwell?
  • In what ways, from what you can discern at this point, is Huxley’s depiction of future society similar to Orwell’s?
    • Why, according to these authors, is Totalitarianism so bad?
    • Are there any relieving qualities?
    • How do these societies compare with our own?
  • How do authors use dystopias as satire?