Postechian’s Pick: Brave New World
Postechian’s Pick: Brave New World
  • Reporter Yim O-Jung
  • 승인 2022.02.26 20:30
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▲Brave New World (1932)
▲Brave New World (1932)


This book is set in A.F. (After Ford) 632 (A.D. 2540). In the World State, citizens are assigned into predetermined classes based on intelligence and labor. They livepromiscuous life and are ashamed of words such as father and mother. World State citizens often consume a soothing, happiness-inducing drug called Soma to keep themselves peaceful and entertained.
Lenina Crowne, a hatchery worker, is popular and desirable in all respects. In contrast, Bernard Marx, a psychologist, is shorter than the average of his high Alpha class. His work with sleep-learning allows him to disapprove of the constant consumption of Soma. Bernard is vocal about his criticisms, and his boss contemplates exiling him because of his nonconformity. His only friend is Helmholtz Watson, a gifted writer. 
Bernard and Lenina go to a Savage Reservation, where they first observe natural-born people, disease, the ageing process, and religious lifestyles. Meanwhile, they encounter Linda, a woman from the World State who lives with her son John. She visited the reservation on a holiday years ago, but she was left behind. She later found out she became pregnant by Bernard’s boss. She did not try to return because of the shame of her pregnancy. Bernard gets permission to take them back in order to thwart plans to exile him. On their return, John meets Bernard’s boss and calls him his “father”, causing the boss to resign in shame so that he could not exile Bernard. 
The appearance of the savage has become a hot topic, and people flocks to see John. As John is introduced to the World State, he experiences everything he has admired. However, every time he experiences it, he feels disappointed and the continuous shock causes John to reject the World State. Meanwhile, Linda, who returned to her sweet world with her son, indulges in Soma to compensate for the pain in the Savage Reservation. Linda dies from an overdose. John then tries to break up the distribution of Soma to a lower caste, telling them that he is freeing them. 
Eventually, their disturbance is suppressed. After that, Bernard, Helmholtz, and John are all brought before Mustapha Mond, the “Resident World Controller for Western Europe”. He tells Bernard and Helmholtz that they are to be exiled to the islands. Mond and John argue about the present society. John talks about the irrationality of the World State. Then Mond sums up John’s views by claiming that John demands “the right to be unhappy”. John asks whether he may go to the islands as well, but Mond refuses. He said that he is willing to see what happens to John next. Eventually, John is forced to move to a remote place. 
He also becomes a spectacle for reporters and people there. Eventually, Lenina comes forward and meets John. However, John feels that even Lenina is laughing at him and mocking him, and he starts hitting Lenina with the whip he was holding. Eventually, Lenina runs away, and John collapses from his excitement and madness. In the end, people find that John is dead, having hanged himself.

Brave New World is a dystopian science fiction written by Aldous Huxley. This book depicts a dystopian future. The ideology and purpose pursued by the World State are uniformity and stability. This world has completely eliminated poverty, disease, anxiety, pain, guilt, and sadness from human life through scientific and technological advancements. An individual’s life is planned from beginning to the end without fear of death while feeling happy because individuals live exactly on a planned schedule and do not experience any pain such as hunger or illness. From this perspective, it feels like an ideal world. No one is in pain, and the world is stable. However, this society was born in an inhumane way. Classes are created based on intelligence, and people are brainwashed based on their class. In addition, freedom of thought is also limited. What is closer to utopia, the present society where human sufferings and conflicts exist, or the society in the novel where pain has been removed but some freedom and rights have disappeared.? Do we need the right to be unhappy, as John said in the novel? 
In addition, it was interesting that the story was about superior classes (alpha and beta). I also recommend imagining what the story of the lower classes of the world would be like in the novel. It will be easier to understand the contradictions of the society in the novel.