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Brave New World Aldous Huxley
Fun Facts His full name is Aldous Leonard Huxley. He was born on July 26, 1894. His family members were prominent figures of the English ruling class and intellectual elite. His father was the son of Thomas Henry Huxley (great biologist who helped to develop theory of evolution). His mother was the sister of Mrs. Humphrey Ward (novelist). His mother was the niece of Matthew Arnold (poet). His mother was the granddaughter of Thomas Arnold (famous educator and headmaster of Rugby School who also became a character in the novel Tom Brown’s Schooldays. Huxley’s ancestry “brought down on him a weight of intellectual authority and a momentum of moral obligations. ” —Gerald Heard (longtime friend)
Aldous Huxley When he was 16 years old, he was a student at the prestigious school of Eton. He suffered an eye illness which almost made him blind. He was able to attend Oxford University and graduate with honors. He was not able to fight in World War I. or engage in scientific work. He later became an author and screenwriter. He published his first book, which was a collection of poems in 1916. He also married Maria Nys in 1912. They had one child named Matthew. The family traveled to London and Europe in the 1920 s. The family also traveled around the world in 1925 and 1926. His experiences in these places provided material to be used in Brave New World (ie. Benito Mussolini led an authoritarian government that fought against birth control in order to produce manpower for the war)
Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World in 1931. This was after WWI. and at the onslaught of the Great Depression. This was also before Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany and Joseph Stalin became responsible for the deaths of millions of people in Germany. It took him four months to write. It was published three years after his best-seller, Point Counter Point. He also wrote six books of stories, essays, poems, and plays in those three years. He would go on to write other books and produce 47 before he died. In the 1950 s he became interested in LSD. He took LSD over a dozen times in 10 years. It is said that he was looking for a drug that would allow him to escape from himself. He died on November 22, 1963 (the same day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated).
Important Terms Utopia: Imaginary; indefinite place of ideal perfection (especially in laws, government, and social conditions) Are people really happy? Totalitarianism: The political concept that the citizen should be totally subject to an absolute state authority Caste System: division of society based on differences of wealth, inherited rank or privilege, profession, occupation, or race
Caste System in Brave New World Huxley was influenced by the previously established caste system in Hinduism, which was abolished in 1949. Caste systems were created by predestination and their function in society. The caste system in Brave New World includes 5 major castes named after Greek letters (ie. Alpha to Epsilon) There are differences in the members of castes (ie. outer appearance, intelligence, livelihood). As a result, everyone is happy and stability is achieved.
Introduction Thomas (The Director) Administrator in the year 623 AF of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. The Director runs a futuristic baby-factory where the assembly-line production of genetic castes is streamlined and controlled, and maturing youngsters are conditioned to be happy about their state-allotted roles in life.
Structure 10 World Controllers Alphas (ruling elite) Alphas (elite) Betas Gammas Deltas Epsilons
Function of Caste System The society in Brave New World seeks to create happiness for everyone. Everyone is happy to belong to his or her caste. The caste system is needed to cover every little part of the processes that form the society (ie. work, housing, etc. ). Everyone works for everyone.