An Analysis of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World
The novel opens to a tour students are receiving from Tomakin, the director of the hatcheries, where they condition and regulate all new humans born, and predetermine their roles in society. Henry Foster and Lenina Crowne are introduced to us as a couple that has been dating for awhile, but Bernard Marx, also introduced in the beginning of the novel, is Jealous of Henry and has an affinity for Lenina.
This attraction to Lenina moves Bernard to invite her to go with him to the Savage Reservation-where those who are not worthy of the New World live-for vacation. Bernard asks his superior, Tomakin, for permission to go to this reservation and learns that Tomakin was once visiting there with a woman who got lost and was never found. While on the reservation, Bernard and Lenina meet a woman who was exiled for her promiscuity, Linda, and her son John the Savage, who was borne from her promiscuity.
Bernard fgures out that Linda is the woman to hom Tomakin was referring, and that John is Tomakin’s son. Bernard returns to the New World with Linda, John, and armed with the knowledge of John’s origin to combat Tomakin’s previous threat to exile Bernard to Iceland for not readily conforming to his place in society. Bernard relays that information and Tomakin resigns, meanwhile, John, who has been living with Bernard, is attracting attention from people throughout the New World and Bernard is excited about the attention he is receiving by association.
John is disgusted by the way those in the New World live their lives ree of religion, love, music, and other humanities, and then he goes crazy when Linda dies from an overdose on Soma. John retreats to a lighthouse where he is still attracting attention because of his self-mutilation that is a form of regulating your behavior and punishing yourself for impurities, and eventually the attention drives John to commit suicide. Throughout all of this, Huxley shows the reader that the possession of knowledge is important, even if that knowledge results in unhappiness.
The New World is one free of religion, love, music, and other things that would ypically speak the “soul” of a person. The New World came about after the Nine Years’ War, little of which is described in the novel, and the year was determines the start of AF, meaning After the first year Ford produced the Model T. In adopting AF as opposed to AD, meaning After the Death of Christ, they removed religion from everyday life. This allusion to the removal of religion equaling happiness as seen in John saying, “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,” allows Huxley to show the reader that the possession of knowledge is important, even if that knowledge results in unhappiness by showing the reader that his unhappiness is ultimately greater when he was deprived of those things. Allusion to Shakespeare is seen throughout this novel as well, not Just in the initial meeting with John when he says that he learned to read with “The Chemical and Bacteriological Conditioning of the Embryo’ and “The Complete Works ot Shakespeare,” but Jonn even recites lines trom Shakespeare while eprimanding Lenina, whose attraction to John is bothersome to him.
In reciting these lines, and down to the title of the book, “Brave New World” which derives from one of Shakespeare’s works, which is repeated several times by John, originally in a reverent way, devolving into disgust at the New World and the lack of knowledge that have to sacrifice in order to be happy. In including these quotes from Shakespeare’s works throughout the novel, and titling the book based on the same work, Huxley shows the reader that John would have been happier in a world where he was allowed to have he knowledge that was missing in the New World, even if the knowledge was depressing in nature. Brave New World” provides commentary on the decreasing amount of knowledge in the world, despite the ever-growing and changing amount of knowledge available; Huxley opens the discussion for whether or not, as a society, we are happy despite all that is kept from us “for our safety’ by the government and in doing so, ultimately encourages the reader to see that if they had the knowledge, they would be better for it.