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Home Middelbare School EN Uittreksels Uittreksel Aldous Huxley - Brave New World

Uittreksel Aldous Huxley - Brave New World

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Extracts English Literature
There are no translations available.

Aldous Huxley - Brave New World

Harper & Row, (1932)


The title suggests that the new world is a better one by quoting the line from The Tempest, "O brave new world, that has such people in it" but the theme of the book suggests that this new, technological world is not a change for the better, but for the worst.


Aldous Leonard Huxley was born at Godalming in Surrey, England, in 1894 to a very wealthy family. He was educated at Eton and Oxford, where he studied English literature and philosophy. He is one of the most versatile writers of the century, having started his career as a poet, who then published short stories and then turned to novel writing. But he also wrote biographies, critiques, travel books and books on science.

His first novels were satirical, mostly accounts of upper middle classes, who found themselves in an emotional crisis after the First World War. In 1937 he moved to the USA, where he died on November 22, 1963, the same day that President J.F. Kennedy was murdered. Huxley's death was scarcely noticed.

The literary period:

Twentieth century - first part.

The genre:

This book is a theme novel, with the main theme being the future. It also has aspects of the science fiction novel.


It is A.F. (After Ford) 632 and there is just one World Society. Everyone is happy because there is no longer individuality. Babies are created in bottles and are conditioned from birth to act in a certain way and their place in society is predestined. People have no families and marriage no longer exists. Sex is something which people have frequently to bind friendships. People are taught to reach the ideal of the state's motto: "Community, Identity and Stability."

People are also created with different levels of intelligence, according to the job that they have to do. They have no real feelings and they do not think for themselves. But sometimes things go wrong in the laboratory, and people are born without being fully conditioned. Bernard Marx is one of those people. Because someone dropped some alcohol in his blood by mistake, he is shorter than the rest, and he has his own views. He is considered an outcast and is alone most of the time. He is to be sent to Iceland, but before he goes, he meets a pretty girl named Lenina. She works with children and is seen as a model young woman. She is dimwitted, but kind.

Bernard falls in love with Lenina in the old fashioned way and takes her to the Savage Reservation, a trip only allowed to some Alphas. Bernard is an Alpha, which is one of the groupings which people are born into because of the way in which they are created. (There are also Betas, Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons). There they meet John and his mother. John wants to see the civilised world, so Bernard and Lenina take him back with them. John falls in love with Lenina. She wants to make love to him as soon as possible, as is normal in the Brave New World, but John is not ready for this. The relationship does not last long. John and his mother are not in the civilised world long before John's mother takes too much Soma, which is a kind of pleasurable drug, and dies as a result. John is furious with this "brave new world," and he tries to start a riot. Because of this, John and one of his friends are brought to the island. John isolates himself from society, and starts living on his own, depending on no one. But the press discovers him, and he is filmed. Upon feeling the film along with the others, he witnesses an orgy that he cannot resist taking part in. When he comes back from his unconscious state brought on by Soma, he hangs himself as punishment for not being able to overcome the temptations of the Brave New World.


The story is set in A.F. (after Ford) 632; this is 632 years after Ford has released the first T-Ford, which is around 2535 A.D. (C.E.).


The story takes place in London, England and also in Mexico.

Characters and relationships:

Bernard Marx:

An Alpha. When he was produced, someone mistook him for an Epsilon (one of the categories of humans) and put alcohol in his blood, making him smaller than the other Alphas and also making him an individual. He has emotions while the others are not conditioned that way. He likes the things of nature and believes in love. He is shy, but also very opportunistic. He finally proves himself an enemy of society and is put into isolation, only to be released again, and to be the object of many women's desires.

John, the savage:

He is the son of the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning, but he grew up in a reservation. So he is considered a savage. His mother was once a citizen of the Brave New World, but when she got pregnant she was so ashamed that she stayed in the reservation. He is a religious man, not the religion of the conditioned people of the Brave New World, but the Christian religion. John is frustrated because he does not feel that he belongs anywhere. He has read all of Shakespeare's poetry and can recite it all by heart. He also gained many of his values from Shakespeare's work, such as his feelings on love and punishment. John eventually commits suicide because he cannot cope with the civilised world.

Lenina Crowne:

A Beta woman who works in the Conditioning Centre where babies are produced. She is attractive, dimwitted, and is the model young woman for children growing up after her because of her commitment to the Brave New World and its ways. But she is not a normal person in the Brave New World because she wants a man for more than just one sexual experience. She has real feelings for him beyond that which she has been conditioned to have. She eventually falls in love with John, the savage, but John is not used to her sexual forwardness, so the relationship does not last.




A perfect society is impossible and there is a need for individuality within our societies. The theme could also be one of a scientific nature, that is, that science may sometimes go too far in the struggle for a perfect world; individuals may be much too affected by its effects.



Linguistic usage:

The language is from the twentieth century, and therefore easy to understand. But Huxley creates new words for the World, which may be confusing from time to time. Also, the system in Huxley's imaginary Brave New World may be difficult to follow, but this makes the reading interesting, yet sometimes confusing.




An omniscient narrator tells the story.


The story is divided into two parts, and within these two parts there are eighteen chapters.

Own opinion on the book:

Your opinion!


Time, patience, and perseverance will accomplish all things.

Tijd, geduld, en volharding zullen alles bereiken.