Saturday, July 17, 2010

Brave New World

Small update on life:  I've been debating writing my review on Brave New World all night.  I received word today that my orientation will start one week before I thought it would.  So I'm starting to move tomorrow, instead of Monday.  I've also had some drama in my life as of late.  I just have to say, I hate being bad at things.  I hate it when I mess up or make mistakes and have them pointed out.  I'm a perfectionist, which is sometimes a flaw, I know.  But my recent drama has made me self-doubting and frustrated with my thoughts of posting my reviews or thoughts in general.  But part of my blog is expressing myself, whether people read it or not.  I think it is a wonderful way for me to catalog my thoughts on books, especially with references to other people's thoughts.  So.... on to my thoughts for Brave New World.

I have been thinking about this book for the last several days, and I still cannot decide if I really liked it or am totally confused.  First of all, I am a good-ending type of person.  I really like it if there is a happy-ending, some type of hope for happiness, or some type of good-feeling ending.  None of which happens in Brave New World.  I'm not sure what I expected, the whole world to change by the end of the book?  But this book definitely triggered many thoughts, and I have contemplated it for several days.  Both of which I consider to be signs of a great book.  (which is why I gave it a 4/5 stars on GoodReads).

Second major thought: Aldous Huxley is a great writer.  I can say that while reading this novel, I definitely commented several times, "Well, that's an interesting way to write that."  I never once thought of sentence structure mistakes or that there were stupid conversation pieces.  No, this book is very well written.  I love authors who write in ways that take me beyond the sentences.  Huxley did not simply tell about a world in the future.  Instead, he wrote of the world through a tour, thoughts of a worker, conversation between two friends, and automatic reactions of the characters.   I was totally impressed.

As far as the story goes, I do not feel that I can give a summery, except to say that it is a dystopian-type novel written about a future world.  I believe that Huxley wrote a warning of how our world is progressing, both in technology and in the emotions of the people around us.  My favorite part of the novel comes towards the end, when there is an honest conversation held between two characters, discussing how this world came to be.  I do not feel that I can say anything else, so I thought I would let the novel shine by itself through some amazing quotes I took note of.  My last thought should be that I find it interesting that Huxley does not himself draw a conclusion, but lets the readers take from his words what they will.  These quotes I believe are some of the main points he wanted us to contemplate:

"If you allowed yourselves to think of God, you wouldn't allow yourselves to be degraded by pleasant vices.  You'd have a reason for bearing things patiently, for doing things with courage."

"We are not our own any more than what we possess is our own.  We did not make ourselves, we cannot be supreme over ourselves.  We are not our own masters.  We are God's property.  Is it not our happiness thus to view the matter?  Is is any happiness or any comfort, to consider that we are our own?  It may e thought so by the young and prosperous.  These may think it is a great thing to have everything, as they suppose, their own way - to depend on no one - to have to think of nothing out of sight, to be without the irksomeness of continual acknowledgment, continual prayer, continual reference of what they do to the will of another.  But as time goes on, they, as all men, will find that independence was not made for man - that it is an unnatural state - will do for a while, but will not carry us on safely to the end..."

" 'It's curious,' he went on after a little pause, 'to read what people in the time of Our Ford used to write about scientific progress.  They seemed to have imagined that it could be allowed to go on indefinitely, regardless of everything else.  Knowledge was the highest good, truth the supreme value; all the rest was secondary and subordinate. "

"People were ready to have even their appetites controlled then.  Anything for a quiet life.  We've gone on controlling ever since.  It hasn't been very good for truth, of course.  But it's been very good for happiness.  One can't have something for nothing.  Happiness has got to be paid for."

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