Starting 2021 with a dystopian novel was either a really good idea or a really bad idea…
I want to take comfort in the fact that the world around me is not like the worlds that I read about but this last year is making it hard and it doesn’t look like it’s getting better. Watching the news I see the destruction and uncertainty happening in the real world and I think “Well at least x, y or z isn’t happening…“.
But! Let’s get all those bad vibes out of here for now and talk about Brave New World a little. No spoilers!
This book was very technical at the beginning. I was having extreme doubts about my intelligence and ability to read. Then he pulled out the chemical equations and I was the PTSD cat thinking of my days in chemistry and math class (NOT skilled in the maths over here, could somehow proficiently balance chemical equations in chemistry? I don’t get it either). Cliffnotes was my friend with this one. I’m a big fan of cliffnotes when I’m reading older books just to make sure I’m not missing anything important that I might not pick up. I find sometimes with texts if you don’t understand the time or place which a book was written you miss out on bigger picture things that the author is talking about.
Huxley creates a “utopia” that includes genetically modifying humans, cloning, promiscuity, and a heavily structured class system. Obviously all of those things are very much alive in our society today, which goes to show how much science has advanced in the last 90 years. Pretty spectacular when you think about it, but I”m distracting myself!
I also quite enjoyed the nod to Henry Ford in the novel. Using “Ford” to suggest how efficient this society has become at creating humans and keeping their system in place. People praised the name Ford like they would God in this world.
I found my groove in the latter half of the book. This section focuses on a world controller explaining how/why their society is the way that it is. This is more my speed of science fiction. I can get lost in the numbers and chemicals because my brain just doesn’t work that way. But I can imagine those who do enjoy that type of science fiction would really appreciate the first half of this book.
I will say I DID NOT love the section about, how do I put this, the freedoms they give children?? If you’ve read the book YOU KNOW what I’m talking about, if you haven’t, you can look it up as I’m not even comfortable enough to have it posted here. So that was uncomfortable…
All things told I can see why this is a classic and I’m glad I read it. They have also turned this into a TV series and I have the whole thing on my PVR so I will be bingeing that now! I will let you know my thoughts when I’m done!