Banned Books Week Featured Book: Brave New World
Listed below is a review of "Brave New World" courtesy of Terra Bianchi, University Archivist.
Six hundred years into the future, humans are bred by cloning, and "mother" and "father" are forbidden words. Originally published in 1932, Huxley's terrifying vision of a controlled and emotionless future "Utopian" society is truly startling in its prediction of modern scientific and cultural phenomena, including test-tube babies and rampant drug abuse.— Jacket Abstract
"Brave New World" begins with World Controller Mustapha Mond describing the assembly lines which create human life, including how babies are segregated into various social classes and conditioned through modern psychological techniques. Mond reminds us that before this Utopian world people had parents, lived in dirty homes, believed in religion, and allowed their emotions to override productivity. Now, everyone is conditioned to be stable, happy, and civilized—living in a much more unified and content society. But when an Alpha Plus, Bernard, visits a Savage Reservation, the stability of everyone’s Brave New World begins to unravel.
"Brave New World" looks at the advancements of science—and how they may affect society and human individuality. A satire of a future, technologically advanced world, Huxley’s work confronts topics such as sex and drug abuse, family structure, education, and morality. The novel has been one of most challenged and banned classics of all time. Banned in Ireland in 1932, the same year as its first publication, censors complained of foul language, anti-family, and anti-religious themes. It is constantly challenged in high schools across the United States as required classic reading for its moral content and adult themes. Ironically, "Brave New World" was written to argue against a future of oppression, conformity, and conditioning—the continual appearance as a challenged and banned book only furthers Huxley’s warnings about our future world.
To view a reading of this book, see the library's YouTube channel.
To see more about banned books, check the library's Banned Books Week Guide. We'll also be in the UC from 11am-2pm all this week for virtual read-outs.