This is a classic story that I believe everyone should read. Be careful that it is not a light hearted read though. This book is heavy if you consider yourself a progressive thinker. The ideas of society and government that are presented in this book are so painfully true that it's hard to believe that it wasn't written yesterday. You care for the characters and can't help but paint pictures in your head of Huxley's dystopian future. If you consider yourself a natural thinker, then go ahead and read this but if you don't want a book that takes some thinking then you might as well skip it.
Our society has become very similar to Huxley's vision he wrote about 80 years ago. Today people only want to be entertained, and be constantly stimulated sexually, which allows the government to control people with little resistance. This is precisely what Huxley wrote about in this novel; that people would be so distracted with pleasure, the government would manipulate society without much fuss. This classic Brave New World, written all the way back in 1931, asks a lot of the most pressing questions about western civilization that we still grapple with today. For example, what is the role of the government? What about religion? Individualism or collectivism? Try this question on for size: Does all of your technology make you any happier? Relative to readers in the 21st century, this may actually be the most pertinent question raised in the book. There’s plenty of research out there that seems to indicate that the answer is no; it doesn’t make us any happier. And maybe that sounds self-evident to you, but if that were the case, then why is it that everyone you see has their face stuck in an iPhone or laptop everywhere they go?
O brave new that has such people in it.
Even though the story takes place in future England, reading Brave New World as an American in 2017 is a bit like looking in a funhouse mirror at your distorted self. It’s not quite you, but it’s close enough to appear ghastly.
The more I got to know the main character, which - for me - was not any of the people speaking but rather society as a whole, the more I felt their emptiness. The shallow lives in which they existed gave them no room to grow or learn. In fact, learning is as forbidden as giving birth to a child or being monogamous. And any unwanted emotions are easily seen to with a dose of soma.
I could go on about what I felt, how the story moved me, how it will stick in my head for a long time to come.
I appreciate this book for the issues it addresses, and the thinking that it engenders. I think it is still relevant for readers of today and I encourage anyone who hasn’t yet picked it up to do so. This brilliant story and great commentary included in this book.