Top 10 Notes: Brave New World

Born in 1894 in Godalming, England, Aldous Huxley became famous for his novels, short stories and more. Aside from the psychedelic novel “The Doors of Perception,” Huxley was most famous for the dystopian “Brave New World.” Welcome to, and in this installment of Mojo Notes, we’ll be exploring ten things you should know about Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.” Special thanks to our users Margaret Rd, Michael Napoli, Martin Acoustics12 and George Webster for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest!

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The title of this sci-fi and dystopian novel is taken from Shakespeare's "The Tempest." Welcome to, and in this installment of Mojo Notes, we’ll be exploring ten things you should know about Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.”

#10: About the Author
Born in 1894 in Godalming, England, Aldous Huxley began writing as a teenager and studied English literature in college. While working different jobs, he wrote social satires, novels, non-fiction pieces and spiritual studies. In the late 1930s, Huxley relocated his family to the U.S. He died in 1963.

#9: Influences and Inspirations

With “Brave New World,” Huxley contrasted the utopian worlds presented by H.G. Wells with a tale that foresaw a negative vision of the future. His time at a high-tech chemical plant also inspired the sci-fi and dystopian novel.

#8: Settings and Era

Set in the future at what’s equal to about 2540 AD, Huxley’s fifth novel takes place in a time when most of the planet’s population is being governed by a single political authority. This World State sets a population limit and conditions children from birth about how to behave through a process called hynopeadia. It gives everyone a specific position within society according to their caste or rank, with the Alphas and Betas being higher, and the Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons being lower. It’s a civilized world filled with happy people that’s contrasted with the wild and old native folks on the Savage Reservation.

#7: Plot

The narrator of this tale is an all-knowing third person through which we learn about the World State. This is where people are created in a hatchery and are taught not to feel strong emotions through psychological manipulation and a substance called soma. After two workers in the World State named Bernard and Lenina meet one of the natives of the Savage Reservation named John, they bring him and his mother Linda back to the World State. Their return brings shame upon World Controller Mustapha Mond because he’s revealed to be John’s father. John has a hard time accepting this new world and finds a way to permanently escape from it.

#6: Bernard Marx

As one of the World State’s citizens, Bernard undergoes conditioning to be like the others. But he’s not: he thinks differently, wants what others have and feels strong emotions. Because of this, Mustapha Mond wants to exile him. He temporarily saves himself from this fate after he brings back the World Director’s son John from the Savage Reservation. But John’s rejection of the World State begins to affect Bernard’s societal status and causes the Hatchery worker to be eventually banished.

#5: John

John is the son of Linda and Mustapha Mond. But after his father abandons him and his mother, he’s left to grow up on the Savage Reservation, where he reads Shakespeare. Though he’s led to believe life in the World State is better, he doesn’t fit it in either place: he’s too moral and emotional. However, it’s his rejection of the shallow World State and inability to reconcile his feelings with Lenina that eventually bring him to his death.

#4: Lenina Crowne and Mustapha Mond

Lenina accompanies Bernard to the Savage Reservation and helps him bring John and Linda back to their civilized world. She soon begins to have feelings for John, but is unable to be with him. She’s a bit shallow and also has emotions, but doesn’t comprehend them. As World Controller, Mustapha Mond is seen as an intelligent leader and defender of the World State’s philosophy, championing ideas like stability and happiness. But the shame of his son’s return causes him to step down.

#3: Values and Themes

One of “Brave New World”’s major themes is how powerful and dangerous technology, not scientific research, can be in the hands of an over-controlling state. The respect and devotion the World State’s residents have for Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford and his assembly line values in a consumer society are important too. Huxley also explores how focusing on happiness over reality can make us miss out on what it really is to be human.

#2: Modern Popularity

Huxley’s dystopian novel was positively reviewed upon publication, despite some controversy. Today, it’s considered one of the best English language novels of the 20th century.

#1: Adaptations

“Brave New World” has been adapted for radio and for film. This includes the 1980 television film directed by Burt Brinckerhoff. Eighteen years later, another television movie took on a condensed version for the small screen.

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