Reading log: Brave New World

I wouldn’t say that dystopia is my favorite book genre, however after I had already read the other two most famous representatives of dystopian fiction — 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 — I had no other choice but to compare them with the Huxley’s book.

Long story short, the world shown in Brave New World isn’t as grim as Orwell’s and, in general, looks like a nice place to live and I’m not going to declare pretentiously that it’s impossible to survive in a place where humanity doesn’t have fiction, religious or philosophic books and where it’s impossible to find an art-house movie. I wouldn’t blame anyone who wanted to move into such a world. No diseases, no wars, no struggles, no poverty. Soma =) Even those who revolt against the existing society do not get killed, just exiled.  This world is not ideal — “everyone belongs to everyone” is too much to my taste, as well as constantly being surrounded by other people. Yes, the idea of predetermination looks sort of ugly and inhumane; yes, you have to choose (if you’re a lucky Alpha) between your vocation and your stable life; yes, from our perspective the life in the Brave New World’s 25th century may seem rather dull. But it puts the depressing society of 1984 on its back in no time and lucky we are if in the future we’re going to have a choice between these two levels of being controlled.

A couple of words about characters. As usual, I didn’t like any of them. I sympathized with Lenina a bit (because “Mr.Savage” was acting like, you know, a savage) and I enjoyed how rationally and calmly European World Controller (Mond) explained everything to The Savage, Marx and Helmholtz. The trio of main characters left virtually no emotions, except some disgust towards Marx’ indecision and his attempts to clear his name at all costs.

P.S. At least now I know the roots of this “O Brave New World” expression. Also was kind of surprised that the phrase “I went and ask if I mightn’t go with you” actually meant that the guy asked if he might go with them.

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