For most of us, it’s not difficult to remember Brave New World — when we first picked it up, read the first few lines, and then became en-mired in this “brave new world” of Aldous Huxley’s imagination.
Perhaps you really hated the book when you first read it, bothered by the weak plot and characterization that critics complained about early on, when the novel was first published in 1932. If you’ve been put off by the novel, or just haven’t delved into the “tempest” even for the first time, there are life lessons aplenty to be found.
- Real happiness: John claims the “right to be unhappy.” But, what does that really mean? Is it: “the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what might happen tomorrow…”There’s a duality in life. In order to experience the best that life has to offer, we’re also faced with the realities of all the ugliest, most miserable facts of life.
- Technology run amok: We like to think that the advancements in this world will save us. We’ll cure cancer, end war, cease poverty, hunger and pain — we’d all love to live in a perfect world.It’s not that simple. Every discovery is painstakingly uncovered; and we as humans are prone to violence and self-inflicted misery.
- There’s hope: Somewhere amidst the brutal portrayal of all that humanity has become, there’s a sense of hope that change is still possible. They are mind-numbed, and yet individuality shines through it all.If there’s hope for that devastating portrayal of society, perhaps there’s that much more hope for us…
Can we dream? Can we imagine a different way to live? Or do all those portents of technology — a life devoid of any real being, knowing or feeling — offer an irreversible vision of our future.