Brave New World

This was the first Aldous Huxley book I read and everything seemed complex, the ideas, the vocabulary and even the sentences. But I later realized why it was so. This prescient book was written in 1932 with layers and layers of ideas crisscrossed to create a dystopia-in-disguise-of-a-utopia. Creating this could not have been simple. And then Huxley was not a writer of simple prose. The plot is set in the future where the state engineers citizens based on a social hierarchy and maintains a stable status quo with hypnotherapy, sleep learning and soma, a happiness inducing drug. Huxley went about creating a negative utopia where things seem fine but aren’t. The protagonist Bernard Marx, a misfit and a non-conformist goes about questionining accepted norms and through the entire book you can feel the strain of tension between freedom and slavery and between the ideal and the not so ideal. This sentiment is echoed loudly when a character says “But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.” What was written generations ago has many lessons for us and the future. I became a lifelong fan of Huxley and read almost all of what he wrote after my tryst with the brave new world. It remains a classic in dystopian literature with a legion of fans and bans.