Brave New World – History , Science , and Dystopia



This Book is meant to be a “Reader’s Companion to the novel”. I only have a 3 days loan so I am going to quote a paraphrase a lot of stuff from the book maybe none of it is necessary for my dissertation but at least I have it for reference otherwise.

pg(1) Huxleys intention was to link his interests in history and psychology and his sustained attempt throughout the twenties and thirties to assess the course of postwar history in psychological terms.” 

“the novel of social history” combining personal and social in a set of symbolic characters.

pg (2) His novels are crowded with scientists,artists,historians, and clerics who represented the competing philosophies of the twenties and thirties.

pg (2) The typical huxleyan hero is usually shy, introverted figure who lacks a coherent sense of purpose and is lost amid the conflicting ideologies of Marxism, Christianity, Liberalism and fascism


Pg (3 -4 ) his novel of social history customarily registers such “complicated diversities” by means of a large cast of characters who undergo different yet subtly similar experiences and express similar yet significantly divergent opinions.

Pg (4) [..] his social novels were, at least in part, rooted in the generational conflict of the 1920s. Their aim of rendering “the whole life the community” by means of symbolic or paradigmatic characters, fantastical exaggeration, and contrapuntal forms, was shot through with a deep skepticism concerning historical progress and the ends of human history. 


pg (4) Brave new world also exemplified many traits. Chief among these were his reservations about history, progress, and technology, All of his social novels contain considerable speculation on the direction that technological progress seemed to be taking, on the role of science in modern societ, and on the nature of historical process…. A World shaped by the intense industrialization of the 20th century, and by the advances in technology that were rapidly altering the fabric of British society. Such accelerated progress was a challenge to traditional religion and political ideology, especially in a society shaken by the war and the Russian revolution.

Historical Context Brave new world – psychology 

huxley and freud

(pg 4-5 ) One of the persistent assumptions in his writings of the 20s and 30s was his belief that society and history could be interpreted from the perspective of the psychologist […] Huxley extensively utilized Freudian psychoanalytic concepts in his novels, yet he remained highly critical of Freud in his essays and nonfiction works. In many of his novels, including brave new world, he dramatized his characters in terms of oedipal fixations, sadomasochistic behavior, and broadly neurotic tendencies in order to illustrate what he saw as the general “behavior-pattern”

pg(5) Huxley regarded European culture as having entered a period of decline. His Satirical Novels are animated by a sense of crisis, social disintegration, and imminent collapse. Deploying an imagery of regression, degeneracy and inward decay, his work. repudiated modern theories of historical progress.

Pg (50) “It’s a bad word; at the moment worse that usual. One has the impression of being in a lunatic asylum- at the mercy of the driveling imbeciles and dangerous mad men in a state of frenzy – the politicians .


and heres a summary of the book


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