Thursday, September 20, 2012

Literature Analysis #1: Brave New World

1.      Brave New World is a satiric vision of a utopian future where humans are genetically bred and rely on pharmaceuticals such as soma to find relief in their daily lives. Everyone in society belongs to one other, mother and fathers are nonexistent in society. The social classes in descending order are Alphas, Betas, Deltas, Gammas, and Epsilons. Your social class is determined when you are born and your class rank determines your stature and type of work. Everyone worships a “God” named Ford who they believe is responsible for their creation.
2.      The theme of the book is that modern society should enjoy their freedom and embrace the chaos and unknown in the world because life should be treasured. The genetically bred humans in Brave New World spend a lot of time taking soma to give them peace of mind and it illicit heaven like features in their dreams which is only allowed to patients with intense pain in modern times. Stability is all that matters in this utopian future and because of this humans are bred to be ignorant and naïve. God, Shakespeare, science, love, and other chaotic subjects are taboo in utopian society because they would cause unrest and revolution which will only cause death and unhappiness.
3.   The tone in Brave New World is dramatic and the book can also be considered a parody.  Huxley can get pretty dramatic in Brave New World. Lenina forgets to give a bottle its immunization and Huxley decides to tell the reader in a dramatic tone, "Twenty-two years, eight months, and four days from that moment, a promising young Alpha-Minus administrator at Mwanza-Mwanza was to die of trypanosomiasis." Another example is at the end of Chapter Three, "Slowly, majestically, with a faint humming of machinery, the assembly line moved forward, thirty-three centimeters an hour. In the red darkness glinted innumerable rubies." Brave New World combines drama with puns and parodies, like "Thank Ford!" or "Orgy-porgy." I couldn’t help but laugh when students turn pale and feel sick when they heard the word "mother.

4.      Five literary elements that I observed that strengthened the tone of the book were irony, satire, the author’s diction, symbolism, and imagery.
Irony: Irony is represented in the novel when the “savages” or Indians who praise an unknown deity are separated from the civilized world because they don’t worship “Ford.” Society in the Brave New World can be considered horrific to people in modern society because the World Controller’s have lied to the humans about science, God, and literature. The utopian society fears the term “mother” and “father” because it reminds them of a viviparous past.
Satire: It is satirical when everyone in society wants to meet John, the savage, when Bernard brings him home and away from the savage reservation. Bernard shows off John like an artifact in a museum to further his rank in society. Bernard’s popularity skyrockets after he brings John and Linda back from the reservation which allows him to have any woman that he desires.
Diction: Huxley’s diction is very sophisticated when he describes the dialogue between people from Ford’s society. An example of Huxley’s sophisticated diction is, “Lenina was shocked by his blasphemy. “Bernard!” She protested in a voice of amazed distress. “How can you?” Another example of his diction is, “The Warden was a blonde and brachycephalic Alpha-Minus, short, red, moon-faced, and broad-shouldered, with a loud booming voice, very well adapted to the utterance of hypnopaedic wisdom.”
Symbolism: "Euphoric, narcotic, pleasantly hallucinant" – that's what Mustapha Mond, a World Controller, says of soma. It's the best tool the government has for controlling its population. It sedates, calms, and most importantly distracts a person from realizing the citizens of the World State are enslaved. Mustapha Mond makes a claim about soma in the book, "Christianity without the tears." Soma is a drug that allows its users to be controlled. Brave New World seems to argue that Christianity functions in much the same way, it controls through pacification. It offers comfort, but at the expense of individuality.
Imagery: Animal imagery is consistent throughout Brave New World. In the first chapter there is the repetition of "straight from the horse's mouth," Foster's implicit claim that "any cow" could merely hatch out eggs, the remark that "Rams wrapped in theremogene beget no lambs." When John goes to the hospital, he sees the Delta children staring at Linda with "the stupid curiosity of animals." It looks like Huxley's message is that the new world has so dehumanized its citizens that they now resemble little more than animals. The irony is that "civilization" should seek to elevate man, to make him less primitive but, instead man resembles primitive animals of the world.
1. The first example of direct characterization is when Huxley describes Ford or “God.” “Our Ford- or Our Freud, as, for some inscrutable reason, he chose to call himself whenever he spoke of psychological matters- Our Freud had been the first to reveal the appalling dangers of family life.” An example of indirect characterization when Fanny disapproves of Henry Foster through her expressions which leads the reader to assume that Henry is not a protagonist. “Henry Foster.” “Again?” Fanny’s kind, rather moon-like face took on an incongruous expression of pained and disapproving astonishment. “Do you mean to tell me you’re still going out with Henry Foster?” An example of direct characterization was when Linda was described as a whore. “Lots of men came to see Linda. The boys began to point their fingers at him. In the strange other words they said that Linda was bad; they called her names he did not understand, but that he knew were bad names.” An example of indirect characterization is when John is being described as very daring and self-sacrificing. “Palowhtiwa only got as far as seven. They could have had twice as much blood from me. The multitudinous seas incarnadine.” Huxley uses both direct characterization and indirect to give hints to the reader about the characters and their traits but, he relies on the reader to interpret almost every character in their own perspective.
2. The author does not change his diction or syntax when he is describing the characters this makes it somewhat difficult to find detailed descriptions of the characters. In this excerpt from the novel Huxley is describing a dead boy and 2 characters are having a conversation at the same time, “The young man sighed and shook his head. “A most unhappy gentleman.” And, pointing to the bloodstains in the centre of the square, “Do you see that damned spot?” he asked in a voice that trembled with emotion.”
3. John the protagonist of Brave New world is a static and flat character which seeks the comforts of the old world such as freedom, love, chaos, and conflict. After, Mustapha Mond notifies John of the atrocities that the World Controllers have inflicted on society disturbs John because he has knowledge of the old world such as Shakespeare and he thirsts for old-world traditions to be remembered and brought back to society. John’s character and reputation stay the same throughout the book.
4. I felt like I met Mustapha Mond because when he was talking throughout the book I felt like he was right in front of me and describing a perfect society to me. The quote from the book that stood out to me the most and helped me analyze Mond is when he describes this perfect society. “Because our world is not the same as Othello’s world. You can’t make flivvers without steel- and you can’t make tragedies without social instability. The world’s stable now. People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can’t get. They are well off; they are blissfully ignorant of passion and old age; they are plagued with no mothers or fathers; they have got no wives, or children, or lovers to feel strongly about; they are so conditioned that they practically can’t help behaving as they ought to behave. And if anything should go wrong, there is soma. Which you go and chuck out of the window in the name of liberty, Mr. Savage. Liberty!”


  1. Good use of examples in your literary elements although I don't quite get the first one for diction. The description for number four is all white for me, and it's ten literary elements instead of five.

  2. Not quiet sure what Will is talking about when he says ten literary devices? But I thought you did an excellent job explaining each devices and its overall relavance to the novel.

    Also numerous times you used textual evidence in your explanations which I felt added to the clarity of your work.

    As for your summary in my opinon it was alittle short, I'm still interested in what exactly went on in your book, you described the setting and exposition but I still feel unclear as to what its all about.

    Side note: your blog is the most distracting and obnoxious thing I've ever seen, green, blue, yellow, white , and black do not go together

  3. Haha ya I agree your blog background and coloring is a bit off. You should spending more time on making it more professional and easy to look at. People could be really thrown off by that especially since they don't know you. I like that you get straight to the point and give us the answers. I think you need to be more clear however when you describe the book and certain elements of it because other people may not have read it and don't know all the stuff you're leaving out. To make you blog more neat try cutting the post with the cutting icon. It looks like a piece of ripped paper when you in the edit post section.

  4. I read Brave New World as well, it's really interesting seeing your perspective on the story. Your explanation of society's banning on religion and art makes a lot of sense, I was having trouble putting it into words myself. However, I would be careful to note that while Huxley advocates freedom and embracing the unknown, it is all with restraint. Hedonism is a big aspect of society that he criticizes, so you should be sure not to imply that people should just run around doing whatever makes them happiest. Also, I would argue that the diction is not particularly "sophisticated" (outside of words like brachycephalic, of course). Besides scientific jargon, most of the book is descriptive in nature. The complexity comes from the implications of the text, not from Huxley's use of language itself. That's my opinion at least.

    One last thing, the animal imagery motif went completely over my head while I was reading. That's a really good observation, and adds a lot to the analysis.