Mini classic review: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Largely set in a futuristic World State, inhabited by genetically modified citizens and an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that are combined to make a dystopian society which is challenged by only a single individual: the story’s protagonist.

“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.”

I despise this book so much. It is, without a doubt, one of the worst books I’ve ever read, and I struggled to finish it.

The book has a lot to say about how consumerism and materialism is negatively affecting society and individualism. The book also has a lot to say about how this world has become devoid of human relationships and has instead conditions its society to believe they’ve created a utopia, when in reality they’ve perfected compliance and are oppressed.

The book raises questions about the importance of free will, which has been impeded by the government’s control over society and humanity.

The problem is: the book is so misogynist and racist, I literally couldn’t believe what I was reading. There is a whole society described as ‘savages’ that are explicitly linked to Native Americans, while also being featured as having elongated skulls and being ‘simian’. The depiction of non-white people is troubling and I could barely stomach reading it.

At the same time, Brave New World is so dull and emotionless. All of the characters are uninteresting and I couldn’t care less about their stories. It’s just a very weird book.

Essentially, I hated Brave New World. I believe there’s a TV show adaptation, which I was initially interested in watching, but after reading this book I don’t think I will.

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