Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Caution: Treacherous Road Ahead

"But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin."

John the Savage knew what was important in life. Brave New World took me months to read, but I'm glad I finally finished it. In this classic by Aldous Huxley about a utopian society some hundred years in the future, the very few people who hold power in the world devote all their time to keeping the entire population in a perpetual state of mere satisfaction and comfort. They don't know pain, love, addiction, hard work, sacrifices, competition, lust ... They don't know about mistakes, because everything in their lives is laid out for them, and if something goes wrong, they take a half-gramme of soma and embark on a mental trip for the rest of the night to la-la-land to cure any problems in the real world.

These people don't know the joys of being independent, earning rewards, being in a passionate relationship, having a FAMILY, being in love with a sport or hobby, and many other things. All of that is given up, without their knowledge, all for order and stability. I say, Mustapha Mond, be the hero in this world and throw it all away - because what is a civilization without danger, freedom, and sin? If your existence is downgraded to 75 years of emotionlessly performing duties like a robot, all for the survival of the civilization, then what's the point? Your life will not have meant anything, except that it was part of continuing what rulers are striving for the longest-living society in the books. You think that the longer something lasts, the more successful it was, therefore the participants must have been happy, right?. Not true! If my world self destructs from the result of individual thinking and conflicting ideas, I will be proud. At least we are not being raised like clones.

If this makes no sense to you, I encourage you to read Brave New World. I also encourage you to read it even if this does make sense. Just don't take as long as I did, or else you'll gradually lose cohesiveness of the genius ideas in this novel, which is a shame. It's fun to read in the beginning, but you'll have to put effort into finishing after the initial excitement wears off. It's worth it, though, because some of the best material is at the very end. I wish I could write an A+ comprehensive and lengthy review on the book, but I don't have the capacity with my words to do it justice. Perhaps if I were writing a heavily-weighted essay for an English course, I could spend hours and hours of time on it. But alas, this is just my blog, and with only a few readers plus myself, I'm fine with just saying it's a great piece of literature that everyone should read. Oh, and congrats to myself for knocking off another one of my list items. It took you long enough.


Carmen Elizabeth said...

True, it really is a great novel.

Boquavv said...

How are you so sure that we are not raised like clones?

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