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In the play, Miranda, who has spent her life on an island alone with
her father, meets people for the first time and says, “O brave new
world that has such people in it”. She uses the word ‘brave’ with
its old meaning of ‘fine’ or ‘splendid’.. The expression ‘brave new
world’ has come to imply a cynical view, meaning that things are
often not as wonderful as they look.
WHY THE TITLE?
Aldous Huxley was born into
a well-known British family.
Huxley was educated first at
Eton and later at Oxford
University, and he dreamed
of a career in science.
However, he had to give up
the idea when, at the age of
16, an illness severely
affected his eyesight.
Instead, he studied English
and developed a writing
• Lived in the US in later
life, died while living in
• His “novels of ideas” have
sometimes been criticized as
being “too intellectual”
Published Brave New
World in 1932
Huxley was particularly
concerned about the
ways in which dictators
used science to control
people and deny them
He was worried about
the idea of a future
world of tyranny and
When he wrote the
• Utopia – perfect society
• Dystopia – dreadful, dysfunctional society
• Satire – writing intended to ridicule and arouse
contempt – especially by using irony and
• Caste System – social structure which divides people
on the basis of inherited social status
• Soma – an anti-depressant, semi-
hallucinogenic drug introduced by the World State
Reservations: areas in
different regions of North
America where the Native
Indians were obliged to live
when white people took
over their lands
Eton: is one of the most
famous and prestigious
schools in Britain. Its
students come from
aristocratic, wealthy and
Ideas taken from:
• Sigmund Freud
o Mental health and illness spring from a child’s
upbringing, does not inherit it.
o Russian physician & psychologist
o “Classical conditioning” using dogs
o RESULT: Trained dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell,
even without giving food.
(On this basis they condition the children in the Brave New World.
They have to learn that flowers are bad, because flowers do not
support the economy)
A dystopian tale about a possible future
world where human faith in scientific
progress, freedom, dignity, and
individuality are all called into question.
Set in two locations in the 26th century:
London and a New Mexico Indian
Religion of the World State based on
the life and philosophies of Henry Ford
. A.F. (After Ford) is a cynical reference to B.C.,
(Before Christ) . A.F. refers to Henry Ford as a
god who is honoured and worshipped as the
inventor of the car, a material object.
• Our Ford is a parody of ‘Our Lord’, the
expression we use to refer to God. The title His
Fordship is used in the same way that we use
His Lordship to address lords, people of high
• • Mass-production is a process used to produce
many identical objects in a factory quickly and
efficiently. The Ford factory, for example,
developed systems of mass-production for
the lower caste children
• Sleep teaching
• Moral education
• Class conditioning
“The child’s mind is these
suggestions, and the sum of
the suggestions is the child’s
Alphas (Α)– highest, grey
Betas (Β)- mulberry,
Gammas (Γ)- leaf green
Deltas (Δ)- khaki
Epsilons (Ε)– lowest,
There are also plusses and
minuses, so one can be an
Alpha Plus or a Gamma
through oxygen deprivation
Some individuals are created using the
• Fertilization process used to create Deltas & Epsilons
• Divide fertilized eggs to produce identical twins
• Instrument of social stability
Scientifically-created babies were an imaginative concept in Huxley’s time
when people did not know about genetic engineering.
It was more than half a century later that scientists began work on cloning
and produced Dolly the sheep, the first cloned animal
• A society where all aspects of an individual's life are
determined by the state, beginning with the concept of
• A government bureau decides all roles in the hierarchy.
The society produces its own members and gives them
their place in the society where they have special tasks
they have to fullfill.
• Children are raised and conditioned by the state, not
brought up by natural families.
• Citizens must not fall in love, marry, or have their own
children. There is no love, because this could lead to
individual wishes and desires.
Brave New World
Future society that imposes control
over the individual
• Mental conditioning has eliminated
the need for strict government
enforcement at all
• Frightening in its implications
• Huxley seems to be warning us of a
future in which prosperity and
imposed happiness have caused us to
suppress our own individuality and
search for meaning.
Future society that imposes control
over the individual
• Big Brother controls society through
intimidation, fear and the violent
suppression of individual freedoms
• Disturbing and repulsive
• Orwell’s vision warns us of the
dangers of a totalitarian regime that
forcibly limits our intellectual
curiosity and freedoms
Brave New World is often compared to George Orwell’s novel, 1984,
which was written in 1948 and also deals with a future world of tyranny
1. Describe how the relationship between Lenina and John
develops during the story.
2. In your opinion, why did people take soma so often in the
3. What do you consider to be the positive and negative sides
of Bernard’s personality?
4. In what ways is Lenina a ‘victim of the system’? Explain
your answer by giving examples.
5. Why do you think John committed suicide? Could it have
been prevented? Explain your answer.
6. If you lived in the New World of Brave New World, what
aspect(s) of life would be the most difficult for you to get
used to? Explain the reason why.
7. People say that Aldous Huxley predicted many aspects of
modern-day life when he wrote Brave New World. Give
examples from the book that show this.
From population control
programs and test tube
conception techniques to the
use of drugs and material
consumption as a solution for
depression and discontent, the
book accurately predicts some
of the emerging social trends of
the last 50 years
Edmondson, Elizabeth. “Brave New World
Powerpoint.” Gilmour Academy. 8 May 2007. PDF
file. Web. 19 Apr 2010.
A Guide to Brave New World. Austin, Texas: Holt, Reinhart,
and Winston, 2003. Print.
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Harper
Wood, Lisha. “Brave New World Intro.” Sprayberry High
School. Typepad. 6 Sept 2006. Web. 19 Apr 2010.
Brave New world Burlington reading guide