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Brave New World Paperback – October 17, 2006
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"Community, Identity, Stability" is the motto of Aldous Huxley's utopian World State. Here everyone consumes daily grams of soma, to fight depression, babies are born in laboratories, and the most popular form of entertainment is a "Feelie," a movie that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Though there is no violence and everyone is provided for, Bernard Marx feels something is missing and senses his relationship with a young women has the potential to be much more than the confines of their existence allow. Huxley foreshadowed many of the practices and gadgets we take for granted today--let's hope the sterility and absence of individuality he predicted aren't yet to come. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Grade 8 Up-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a classic science fiction work that continues to be a significant warning to our society today. Tony Britton, the reader, does an excellent job of portraying clinical detachment as the true nature of the human incubators is revealed. The tone lightens during the vacation to the wilderness and the contrast is even more striking. Each character is given a separate personality by Britton's voices. As the story moves from clinical detachment to the human interest of Bernard, the nonconformist, and John, the "Savage," listeners are drawn more deeply into the plot. Finally, the reasoned tones of the Controller explain away all of John's arguments against the civilization, leading to John's death as he cannot reconcile his beliefs to theirs.The abridgement is very well done, and the overall message of the novel is clearly presented. The advanced vocabulary and complex themes lend themselves to class discussion and further research. There is sure to be demand for this classic in schools and public libraries.
Pat Griffith, Schlow Memorial Library, State College, PA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Now let me have a soma and ponder some more on it.
In Brave New World, Huxley successfully predicts the future of genetic engineering. There are no parents or families, death no longer elicits emotional reactions, and men and women are expected to have with innumerable sexual partners. The society is genetically altered into class divisions known as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon. Alphas are the most intelligent, have the most important jobs, and have the most free will. In contrast, Epsilon's are the least intelligent, have the worst jobs, and have the least amount of free will. The society displayed is one that needs entertainment to be happy and live for a drug known as soma, which removes all pain and makes them "happy."
Sayings are ingrained into the minds of the people by repeatedly playing them as the children grow up. These sayings differ between the social classes. Here are a few examples:
"A gramme [of soma] is better than a damn."
"Everyone works for every one else. We can't do without any one. Even Epsilons..."
"Never put off till to-morrow the fun you can have to-day"
The book follows the journey of an male Alpha plus who becomes friends with a "savage" or one who grew up outside of the soma and ingrained sayings. In the end, the savage must decide between the society he grew up in, or the one he stumbles into.