Thursday, 21 July 2011

BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley, written in 1931, C1, 3000 headwords, Penguin

By Helga Puigdomenech San Joan, 2º Bachillerato EFL

Brave New World is about a futurist view of society. The story is set in London, where the population is divided in five different casts (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Epsilon; each one has subcategories: Plus and Minus). Everybody has undergone several hypnotic and chemical programmes in their fetus "decanting bottles", where the psychology or the physical formation of the body and brain was manipulated, and also in their childhood. Thus, society has developed a new idea of reproduction. Marriage, natural birth, parenthood and pregnancy are considered too obscene to be mentioned in a normal conversation.

The main character, Bernard Marx, is an Alpha Plus worker who has an inferiority complex because of his short height, his different way of thinking and his different behaviour in his free time. He will turn out to be a problem for the stability of this perfect society.

The book talks about social problems, government power and corruption, human behaviour and weakness against the established political system, dreams of change, freedom, etc.

I would recommend the reading of this novel to those people who enjoy a futurist point of view and those who like to debate and criticise these themes, because there is a lot to talk about. In the book there is a wide range of vocabulary and grammatical structures, so, it can become a very hard read for those who have problems in understanding English.

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