Definition of UTOPIA
1: an imaginary and indefinitely remote place
2: a place of ideal perfection especially in laws, government, and social conditions
3: an impractical scheme for social improvement
Definition of DYSTOPIA
1: an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives
2: literature: anti-utopia
Many Americans today would quite possibly consider Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” to be a utopia of sorts with its limitless drugs, guilt-free sex, perpetual entertainment and a genetically engineered society designed for maximum economic efficiency and social harmony. Conversely, most free people today would view Orwell’s “1984” as a dystopian nightmare, and shudder to contemplate the terrifying existence under the iron fist of “Big Brother”; the ubiquitous figurehead of a perfectly totalitarian government.
Although both men were of British descent, Huxley was nine years older than Orwell and published Brave New World in 1932, seventeen years before 1984 was released in 1949. Both books are widely considered classics and are included in the Modern Library’s top ten great novels of the twentieth century.
Brave New World
Aldous Huxley was born to academic parents and he was the grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, a famous biologist and an enthusiastic proponent of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution who was known as “Darwin’s Bulldog”. Huxley’s own father had a well-equipped botanical laboratory where young Aldous began his education. Given the Huxley family’s appreciation for science, it makes perfect sense that Brave New World began in what is called the “Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre” where human beings are artificially grown and genetically predestined into five societal castes consisting of: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Epsilon.
Initially, the story centers on Bernard Marx, who is a slightly genetically flawed Alpha Plus psychologist with an inferiority complex due to his short stature.
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