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Brave New World

(Aldous Huxley)


About the author

Aldous (Leonard) Huxley was born at Godalming in 1894. He came of one of the most intellectual families of England and attended Eton and Balliol College, Oxford. He intended to become a doctor. Due to problems with his eyes he turned to literature.

His first publication was The Burning Wheel in 1916. Between 1920 and 1950 he published more than 35 volumes. He wrote novels (Point Counter Point 1928, Brave New World 1932), short stories (Mortal Coils 1922, Brief Candles 1930) and prose (Vulgarity in Literature 1930, Music At Night 1931). He also edited The Letters of D. H. Lawrence in 1932.

He died in 1963.


Main characters of Brave New World


The story plays in A. F. 632 (after Henry Ford). It starts with an introduction to the new world: all babies are "produced" in bottles by big Hatchery and Conditioning Centres. Using Bokanovsky's Prozess you can clone up to 92 identical twins from one fertilized egg (very useful if there are identical persons to do the same work). The embryos are conditioned for their later use (e.g. astronauts, chemists, ...) and divided in five groups: Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas and finally Epsilons. Alphas are intelligent, where as Epsilons are not – they have to do the low work. Because of that conditioning – which is done by using chemicals, electro shocks or dream teaching – nobody is unhappy with his life.

A drug with no side-effects called soma is used by everyone. It isn't illegal. But nobody of the lower classes knows that it is a drug. Every day after work they get their ration. This helps people to be happy all the time.

You also do not marry, you change partners several times a week. Things like "family" are unknown.

As a result of a mental excess, Bernhard and Helmholtz are not really happy with their life.

Bernhard has fewer girls than others and he cannot enjoy life as much as others while taking soma. He also says things which do not agree with the world state's motto: "Community, Identity, Stability".

Helmholtz instead has many girls, but he thinks that there must be more.

For those reasons, Bernhard gets into troubles, because the director (D.H.C.) of the centre wants to put him to Iceland.

But at this time, Bernhard is at the Savage Station in Mexico. Only a few people on the world have ever seen the savage people, which (Oh, Ford!) get children like dogs and live together almost a life after they married.

By random, Bernhard finds John Savage and his mother Linda. He figures out that the D.H.C. has lost her during a visit of the Savage Station and that John is his son.

He takes them with him and after public knows that the D.H.C. has a son (!), the D.H.C. has to go and Bernhard can stay.

John Savage's mother Linda is quite old (the people have never seen an old person, because they stay young). She is very happy to be back in her civilized world again, but she's taking too much soma (instead of drinking alcohol at the Savage Station) and dies.

After that John Savage starts to predict freedom and throws the soma tablets out of the window, but the police catches him. John and his friends Bernhard and Helmholtz have to go to the world controller of Eastern Europe.

The world controller tells them that individuals like Bernhard and Helmholtz can go to an island where they will meet similar thinking persons – but they cannot stay in the community.

The Savage becomes a hermit. But reporters find him and many people come to see him.

On the next day the Savage commits suicide.


Themes and motifs

Personal opinion

I was quite impressed that he wrote a book with such "modern" themes sixty years ago. It was very interesting to read about the conflict between the old and the new world. Although sometimes it is difficult to read I can recommend the book.



egg - Ei

to fertilize - fruchtbar machen, befruchten

to hatch - ausbrüten, ausschlüpfen

twin - Zwilling

side-effect - Nebenwirkung

random - Zufall

savage - wild, roh, grausam; Wilde(r), Rohling, Barbar

hermit - Einsiedler

to commit suicide - Selbstmord begehen

utopia - Utopie, wirklichkeitsfernes Weltverbesserungsprojekt

repression - Unterdrückung, Verdrängung


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Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag
Dieses Werk ist lizenziert unter einer Creative Commons Namensnennung - Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 3.0 Österreich Lizenz.
Letztes Update vom 11.July.1998 von Florian Rosenauer