Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

GoodReads Summary: Brave New World is a dystopian novel by English author Aldous Huxley, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Largely set in a futuristic World State, inhabited by genetically modified citizens and an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that are combined to make a dystopian society which is challenged by only a single individual: the story's protagonist.


There is a weird thing about "Brave New World". Well, there are a bunch of weird things, like the pacing, the idea in the early chapters which make it confusing to see where the author wants to go but, on top of that, there is this dystopian future (apparently, 300 or 400 years from the early 20th century) that sounds so much like our days.

The book opens with a very dystopian society: People are bred, not born, and the needs of the society decide the type of people who will be born: Do we need more administrators? Then we'll have this kind of people; do we need more workers? Then we'll have a bunch of twins with low IQ that will be prepared to do menial tasks.

Not only that, but people are thought, at the very age, by continuous reinforcement propaganda that things like "marriage", "naturally born", "father", "mother" and other things are actually bad; we need more money being spent in the country, so let's train people to like being outside the cities; clothing is thrown away because that makes the clothing industry prosper (instead of simply mending); people are actually encouraged to be promiscuous (sorta) in other to never feel lonely.

(In part, this resonates a bit with The Robots of Dawn, but while in Aurora people would engage sex when they felt like, in Brave New World people engage sex because they are massively pressured since their early training to do so.)

But then again there are small pockets of people who are not part of the society, being kept in Savage Reservations. And when one of such "savages" is brought back into society, then we have our discussion about total free will and the workings of a completely conditioned and "harmonic" (with quotes) society.

Again, it's weird to understand where the author wants to go in the early chapters, but the final chapters (with the exception of the end of the last one) are pretty damn thought provoking.