A reading club with a view to the future

576 Aldous Huxley: Brave New World

“Brave New World” presents a dystopian future where society is controlled through technology, conditioning, and pleasure.



"Brave New World" is a classic dystopian novel set in a future world where technology and scientific advancements have ushered in an era of stability and apparent happiness. Society is meticulously engineered, and people are conditioned from birth to fit specific roles and be content with their assigned positions. The novel explores themes of individuality, freedom, and the price of utopia as it follows the journey of Bernard Marx and John "the Savage," an outsider from a different, more traditional society. As the two clash with the established order, they expose the dark underpinnings of the seemingly perfect civilization, ultimately questioning the true nature of humanity and the cost of sacrificing individuality for societal harmony.


  1. Title: Brave New World 
  2. Author: Aldous Huxley 
  3. Publishing Year: 1932 
  4. Publisher: Chatto & Windus 
  5. Length in Hours: 1 hr and 53 mins

5 main ideas

  1. Technological Control: The novel portrays a society where advanced technology and genetic engineering are used to manipulate and control individuals from birth.
  2. Conditioning and Conformity: Citizens undergo rigorous conditioning to ensure they fit into specific social classes and remain content with their roles, perpetuating societal stability.
  3. Dehumanization and Loss of Individuality: The quest for efficiency and uniformity results in the dehumanization of individuals, eroding their uniqueness and free will.
  4. Pleasure and Escapism: The society uses pleasure and distractions to keep its citizens docile and content, often at the expense of genuine emotions and experiences.
  5. Clash of Ideals: The arrival of John "the Savage" from an outside world challenges the established order, prompting a clash between traditional values and the engineered society's principles.

5 funny quotes

  1. "All the fetal conditioning, hypnopaedic learning, and the power of suggestion can't make people like their inescapable social destiny."
  2. "One cubic centimeter cures ten gloomy sentiments."
  3. "Ending is better than mending."
  4. "Feeling lurks in that interval of time between desire and its consummation. Shorten that interval, break down all those old unnecessary barriers."
  5. "Ninety-six identical twins working ninety-six identical machines!

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery."
  2. "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."
  3. "Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly -- they'll go through anything. You read and you're pierced."
  4. "You've got to choose between happiness and what people used to call high art. We've sacrificed the high art."
  5. "Happiness is never grand."

5 dilemmas

  1. The conflict between individuality and conformity, as characters must decide between embracing their unique identities or conforming to societal expectations.
  2. The ethical dilemma of sacrificing personal freedom and emotions in exchange for stability and comfort.
  3. The clash between the pursuit of happiness through pleasure and the yearning for meaningful human connections and emotions.
  4. The tension between maintaining societal order and suppressing dissent, exploring the consequences of strict control over human behavior.
  5. The philosophical dilemma of whether a utopian society achieved through control and manipulation is worth the loss of free will and authentic human experience.

5 examples

  1. Bernard Marx, a character who feels like an outsider in the engineered society and struggles with his identity.
  2. Lenina Crowne, a Beta-class citizen who is content with the pleasure-driven society but is intrigued by Bernard's uniqueness.
  3. Mustapha Mond, one of the World Controllers, who represents the ruling elite and holds knowledge of the world's history.
  4. The Savage Reservation, an isolated area where John "the Savage" grew up, contrasting sharply with the controlled civilization.
  5. The Savage, John, who becomes a central figure in the story, challenging the World State's values with his different upbringing and beliefs.

Referenced books

  1. "Othello" by William Shakespeare - Quoted by John "the Savage" to express his emotions and experiences.
  2. "The Tempest" by William Shakespeare - Referenced in the title of the novel, alluding to the line "O brave new world."
  3. "Macbeth" by William Shakespeare - Quoted by John "the Savage" in relation to his personal struggles.
  4. "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare" - Mentioned as one of the few books in the World State's library.
  5. "The Bhagavad Gita" - Mentioned as one of the books in the World State's library, indicating the coexistence of diverse texts in the engineered society.

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"Ending is better than mending."

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