Review: Brave New World

In the dystopian literature hierarchy, Brave New World often takes a backseat to the more bleak 1984 and even the much shorter and flashier Fahrenheit 451, but out of all the dystopian novels out there, BNW so far has predicted our current society the most accurately. BNW is a world of strict social classes, consumerism (“Ending is better than mending”), and citizens obsessed with non-stop pleasure (usually fueled by drugs).

Are you serious? That’s us! The 1% vs. the 99%? People who stand in line to buy a newer version of a phone they just bought less than a year ago? A country that is the most medicated (but still miserable) on the face of the planet?

It’s Huxley and not Orwell or Bradbury who most accurately predicted the future. It’s not the government who’s enslaved the general population; we’ve enslaved ourselves. It wasn’t war and hate that destroyed civilization; it was stupidity and consumerism. I consider myself (and my flip cell phone that most people owned in the 90s) to be a John Savage of the modern world, unable to stomach or understand the disgusting nature of modern Man.

I haven’t read BNW since college and I remember being more confused by it than anything else, but as time continues to pass, Huxley’s work stands as the most accurate predictor of what we would become in the Western World. My novel, Dystopia, borrows heavily from 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and even Clockwork Orange, but it might have the most in common with Brave New World. It’s a future that’s reverted to the feudal system of the Medieval Ages and wealthy individuals are willing to sell their souls for the latest technological gizmos even while most of the population starves in the streets. Oh, and there’s an entire department in Mega-Walmart where they sell nothing but illegal drugs.

Pass the soma, bud.

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~ by themoderntranscendentalist on October 28, 2012.

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