Biographical Information: Aldous Leonard Huxley was born on July 26, 1894, in Surrey, England. He was the third son of Dr. Leonard Huxley and Julia Arnold. He was educated in Eton College until the young age of seventeen when a terrible infection afflicted his eyes. He was left virtually blind and caused him to relinquish his lifelong ambition of becoming a doctor. Aldous then attended Oxford University in England were he earned a degree in English literature. During World War I he served his country as an auxiliary, tree cutter, government office worker, and taught at a school.
In 1919, he married Maria Nys, and soon after gave birth to their son, Matthew. Huxley first tried journalism and even wrote four books of verse before writing his first novel in 1921, Crome Yellow. In 1932, Huxley wrote the novel that won him fame, Brave New World. Huxley traveled all around the world including Italy and France, in which he also lived. He immigrated to the United States of America in 1937 and settled in Los Angeles, California. Aldous Huxley died on November 22, 1963; this was also the same day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. During his lifetime, Huxley wrote many works of literature including:Jesting Pilate (1926), Ends and Means (1937), Tomorrow and Tomorrow (1956), and Island (1962). He also won many distinguished awards such as the Award of Merit and even received a Doctor of Letters degree from the University of California. (About the Author, Brave New World, Pg. 268-270).
Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction
Historical Context: Aldous Huxley was born in the year 1894 and died in the year 1963. Many momentous events occurred during this time that significantly affected the world. New technology such as planes and cars were being mass-produced and pioneered. World War I (1914-1918) began and greatly advanced military technology with the development of bombs, firearms, and airplanes. It also gave way to new diseases such as the Influenza outbreak of 1918, which killed over twenty million people worldwide. World War II (1939-1945) also introduced new technology such as the tank, biplane, and the submarine. (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 99, Timeline). In 1945, the United Nations was founded and the Cold War between the U.S.S.R and the U.S.A began. As one can see, this time period was war-filled and can explain why Aldous Huxley wrote about the disadvantages of a Utopian society and the disadvantages of our own society. (Time Line: The Twentieth Century; World Literature Textbook, Pgs. 1136-1137).
“Our ancestors were so stupid and short-sighted that when the first reformers came along and offered to deliver them from those horrible emotions, they wouldn’t have anything to do with them.” –Mustapha Mond
“No pains have been spared to make our lives emotionally easy-to preserve you, so far as that is possible, from having emotions at all.”-Mustapha Mond
“Stability, stability. The primal and the ultimate need. Stability. Hence all this.” – Mustapha Mond
“Feel how the Greater Being comes! Rejoice and, in rejoicings, die! Melt in the music of the drums! For I am you and you are I!” – Hymn
“That’s because we don’t allow them to be like that. We preserve them from diseases. We keep their internal secretions artificially balanced at a youthful equilibrium.” – Bernard
“The Savage shows surprisingly little astonishment at, or awe of, civilized inventions. This is partly due, no doubt, to the fact that he has heard them talked about by the woman Linda, his m-----.” – Bernard
“Our library contains only books of reference. If our young people need distraction, they can get it at the feelies. We don’t encourage them to indulge in any solidarity amusements.” – Dr. Gaffney
“But all the same, it is natural to believe in God when you’re all alone-quite alone, in the night, thinking about death…” – John
“Anybody can be virtuous now. You can carry at least half your morality in a bottle. Christianity without tears-that’s what soma is.” – Mustapha Mond
These quotes practically sum up my feelings for the novel. I thought it was well written especially for its time. Personally, I did enjoy the novel but as the quotes demonstrate, I would not like to be a part of that “Utopia”. It is a world without liberty to feel, love, and live life to the fullest. I would much rather live life with excitement, fear, religion, and sorrow; instead with soma, the remedy for what you need and what you don’t need. I believe that if and when this “Brave New World” comes life itself will perish, and human-robots will inhabit the planet in a so-called “Utopia”.