Amph "A Brave New World" - Aldous Huxley's Classic

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by Alcareru, Apr 3, 2006.

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  1. Alcareru Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2002
    In perusing this forum, I see a lot of threads for new sci fi and authors I've never heard of. I feel strongly that a sci fi forum needs to also include the classics and the landmarks in the genre history. A Brave New World is one of these classics. Elements of its story can be found in many subsequent works. Wikipedia summarizes the book so:
    Has anyone read this classic? If not I highly recommend it!
  2. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2004
    star 6
    I read it in Yr 11 and then again as one of my free choice major project books in Yr 12. One of my favourites, though I haven't gone back to it since (analysing every line then writing 20 pages of journal and a 5000 word essay on it will do that).

    It was my first 'classic' sci-fi novel; quite disturbing to me at that time.
  3. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    It's one of those books that I've never really gotten around to reading. Someday.
  4. Laine_Snowtrekker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2003
    star 5
    I hated the ending. I mean, hated the ending. Despised it.

    But the book does explore a lot of ground--childhood training, elimination of the natural family, practically a caste system--but yet genetically and enviromentally so, and the rampant decay of moral values. Thus, all this causes the only sane educated person to be regarded as a crazy and he does go crazy, in the end. It's not the ending I wanted while reading it, and so I hated the ending it has. Same goes with Orwell's 1984 and Shelley's Frankenstein. Utterly loathful endings.

    But I did like the books. :)
  5. Cobranaconda Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2004
    star 7
    I loved it, it's still one of my favourite books now, and I read it years ago. Come to think of it, I should read it again :p
  6. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Sounds like someone has to have their Hollywood happy ending... ;) I think the endings of A Brave New World and 1984 fit the stories. They are stories of a dystopic future. They should end that way.

    Come to think of it, I should read both again.
  7. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2004
    star 6
    Strilo knows what he's on about. I can't imagine either of those novels being as good if they ended happily ever after.

    I mean, there really is no way for John Savage to fit into the world he was thrust into.
  8. Laine_Snowtrekker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2003
    star 5
    Well, I didn't say that the book would be better if it had a different ending. The endings fit with the whole book--but I guess I'm an idealist, and would prefer the 'Hollywood' endings. I mean, I was rooting for John Savage--but you're right, he could have never fit into the society he was thrust into. He could have never fit into the society he'd left. He was like a society into and unto himself. I rooted for him, as much as I rooted for Winston and Julia, the protagonists in 1984. The endings that I dislike are because of how much I wanted the main characters to win. I guess I don't agree with the idea of a dystopic society--and I can see how much I would hate one if I lived in one. I would be like John Savage, I would be like Winston and Julia--that's why I root for them, and hate the endings that come to them.

    If the story fails to make you identify with something in it, or if it fails to make you think, it wouldn't be considered a classic by a great deal of people. It should evoke some sort of emotion in you, I think. :)
  9. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    I think the point of A Brave New World is to try and deter the society in which we live from becoming this. The intent is to foretell what might happen if we are not careful and selective in how we apply the technologies and ideas addressed in books like A Brave New World or 1984. To me that is the whole point of a novel about or set in a dystopic future.
  10. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Haven't read this yet (I think we do next year) but I did read 1984. I didn't like the end at all, and I don't see hpw they could have broken that easily, but I suppose it fits.
  11. Amon_Amarth Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2005
    star 6
    Amazing book. Scary a bit. I also read 1984 and I like it more that ABNW; Orwel is one of my favourite writers.
  12. Obi-Kris_Kenobi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2002
    star 3
    BNW was part of an obligatory literature course at my University! I've never heard of it before, only the title was known as a one-liner. Needless to say, I was sucked in. Very rich descriptions, good use of language, it has almost a cinematic flow.

    And of course I can see the influences over movies, like Demolition Man, THX-1138 and The Island.


    I recommend, after reading Brave New World to check Halperin's The First Immortal, where he presents a future utopian society, the complete opposite of Huxley's.
  13. JediofJade Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 1999
    star 5
    BNW terrified me. Amazing book, perfect ending, but it still had me feeling revolted.

    The scene where the kids visit the Savage's mother in the hospital...creepy to the nth degree.
  14. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6

    I did not like Brave New World nor 1984. 1984 I found terribly depressing (I get my depressing reading material through non-fiction), but Brave New World I found flat-out boring.
  15. wukeskywakur Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Great read, and I think parallels between soma and television would be worth exploring for anyone intersted in dystopias and the modern world.
  16. JediNemesis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2003
    star 4
    It's been a while since I read Brave New World, but I remember enjoying it very much. I think the geek in me liked some of the weirder scientific aspects of BNW society as much as the social commentary - the cloning process, the multisensory cinema, that kind of stuff. IMO it's great how Huxley makes his world just strange enough to be new and just familiar enough to be scary.

    Ending-wise, well. It's a grim sort of ending, like 1984 - the system wins. But I've read 1984 very recently, and definitely in that case (and IIRC in Brave New World) there is no other reasonable way they could have ended. Given the society constructed by Orwell in 1984 or Huxley in BNW, their respective protagonists simply cannot win out.

    Half the chilling power of the Party in 1984 comes from the fact that they break Winston so completely that "he loved Big Brother". This is the same guy who's a fairly serious rebel for a lot of the book. In Brave New World, John Savage would never be able to integrate into the society, and the society would never see him as anything more than a freak, complete with a (whisper it) mother.

    All this has made me want to reread BNW now. I should.
  17. Jedi_Master_Conor Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 6
    i had to read this during senior year of high school. good book. i'll post more once i can remember more about it
  18. darth_paul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 5
    I can hardly believe you're saying this. I'll give you room on Frankenstein, but 1984 may have the best ending of any book ever written. Thoroughly horrifying, and amazing for it.

    I hardly remember Brave New World well enough to discuss it intelligently. I remember it as being interesting but ultimately perhaps not focused enough for my tastes. It definitely deserves a reread sometime.

    -Paul
  19. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    There, I disagree.

    V for Vendetta I see in some ways as a response to 1984, and one of the ideas behind V for Vendetta is that one person can shift the world. Another is that it?s vitally important to retain that last inch of being true to oneself, no matter what comes. Resistance is hard. It might have been that the respective protagonists of BNW or 1984 did not have the ability or the will to make that change in the world. But that does not mean that that change would have been impossible.

    Even in the real world, sometimes an ordinary person just standing in the right place and time and saying "This is wrong" is enough to move millions.
    [image=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/d/d8/Tianasquare.jpg/300px-Tianasquare.jpg]
  20. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    1984 and Fahrenheit 451 are better novels with dystopian settings, but BNW is pretty good. Anyone up for some soma?
  21. mrsvos Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2005
    star 5
    I liked it - I had read his "Doors to Perception" first and loved it.
  22. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    I agree that 1984 is better but I am not sure I agree with 451 being better. I love the book but I think A Brave New World is as good.
  23. NJOfan215 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 5
    I've been meaing to read some of the classic sci-fi novels, and some otehr clasic works, but i just haven't gotten to it yet.
  24. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    I think A Brave New World, 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 are the place to start. They should be required reading for all Sci Fi fans.
  25. Whizkid Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2003
    star 4

    1984 was a great story, but people give it too much credit when they compare it to real world situations. Its thoroughly annoying when I am debating someone about current politics and they try to use 1984 to back up there arguments. Its also weird how Orwell seemed to be against big, collectivist, authoritarian governments in the novel yet he identified himself as a socialist, but thats another debate.
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