Brave New World

Brave New World - Margaret Atwood, David Bradshaw, Aldous Huxley I've had this book on my TBR for about 4 or 5 years now and I'm so glad I was finally able to pick it up. It was absolutely everything I thought it was going to be. I was so engrossed and literally couldn't put it down. Mindblowingly fantastic (in my opinion anyways).

Brave New World is about a society that is completely controlled from before birth and all the way through their lives with conditioning and scientific influence. All babies are born from test tubes and are "conditioned" (raised) in centres that assure that they will be perfect adults that fit into society absolutely. This is achieved through pre-determining their rank and how they will be conditioned such as are they going to be scientists or factory workers. They are then subjected to conditioning that moulds everyone to believe that they are living the perfect life. In my opinion this entire concept is what makes the book mind blowing because it is totalitarian to the point of dsytopian.

The portrayal of sex in the novel is another key point throughout this novel and I thought it was executed brilliantly. Sex is viewed differently from our perceptions; practically everyone just has sex and it is a form of entertainment. They start from an early age and no one marries or falls in love. They just have sex with someone a couple times then move onto the next one. This was so interesting to watch to play through.

Also the use of Soma (a drug that induces euphoria and in heavier doses, deep sleep periods called soma holidays) was incredibly well done. The citizens of this controlled world rely on the drug to get on with day to day life. It's controlled addiction.

The characters themselves didn't seem to be used as main plot points, except for John, the Savage, who is the contrast in the book, who attempts to prove that liberty and the happiness/pain that goes with it is superior to this controlled and conditioned civilisation. John serves as the reader's opinion on the aspects of the controlled environment because it is in our nature to view this sort of culture as disturbing and horrifying.

This book really brings about some important philosophical and ethical questions about whether it is right or wrong to condition (passively control) everyone to adapt to a set of ideals that brings about general happiness for everyone. It takes away our born right of freedom and liberality and forces us to be happy. What is the difference between forcing someone to be happy or sad when in the end you're still forcing someone to do something or think a certain way, when they have no actual choice? This book definitely induces these types of philosophical ponders.

Absolutely amazing premise and execution. Would recommend to pretty much everyone who doesn't mind a small amount of mind-fuckery.