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Brave New World

Prophetic or Apocalyptic?

Prophetic: predictive; presageful or portentous

Apocalyptic: predicting or presaging imminent disaster and total/universal destruction

A collision of cultures
to shake our beliefs as readers

Brave New World

Historical Allusions

Allusions: references to history or literature


expression designed to call something to

mind without mentioning it explicitly; an
indirect or passing reference.


can be historical, political, literary,

or references to popular culture.


variation of Lenin -Nikolai Lenin, the

Russian Socialist, who
had a tremendous
influence in the
formation of the
Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics, the
present-day Russia.

An important figure in the
formation of the World
State. His utilization of the
mass-production technique
influenced social, political,
and economic life.
In Huxley's Utopia, the life,
work, and teachings of Ford
are the sources of
inspiration and truth. Even
time is reckoned according
to Ford.

Bernard Marx

Marx is an obvious reference to

Karl Marx, a German Socialist,
whose best-known work, Das

Kapital, expresses his belief that the

fundamental factor in the development of society
is the method of production and exchange. Karl
Marx called religion the opium of the people; in
Huxley's Brave New World, soma is substituted
for religion.

Neopavlovian Conditioning

Conditioning is defined as the

training of an individual to
respond to a stimulus in a
particular way. The Russian
scientist Ivan Pavlov
conducted experiments to
determine how this
conditioning takes place. In
Brave New World individuals
are conditioned to think, act,
feel, believe, and respond the
way the government wants
them to.

Benito Hoover

Hoover combines the names of two

men who wielded tremendous power at the
time Huxley was writing Brave New World:
Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator,
and Herbert Hoover, the
American President.

The Malthusian belt:

Thomas Malthus

This English political economist believed that

unless the population diminished, in time the
means of life would be inadequate.
Improvements in agriculture, he predicted, would
never keep up with expanding population, and
increases in the standard of
living would be impossible. In
the World State, mandatory
birth-control regulates the
growth of population.


Predestination is the act of

deciding an individual's fate
or destiny.

Both the Old and New Testaments contain

allusions to God as the Predestinator, but since the
World State has eliminated God, this is now the
function of government. In the World State each
individual has been predestined according to the
needs of society.


At the time Huxley wrote Brave New World, much of the

world, particularly the southern hemisphere, had been
subjugated by European powers and turned into colonies.

Indigenous people were enslaved and exploited by European

powers and their natural resources, both human and material,
were exploited to make Europeans wealthy.

In many cases, the church worked hand-in-hand with the

state because it believed that indigenous people were inferior.


1900, in any 10-year period,

advances in science and technology
have overshadowed advancements
made during ANY previous 100-year
Periodic table in 1869
Telephone in 1876
Light bulb in 1879
E=mc2 in 1887
Germ theory of disease in 1890
Radium in 1899
Radio tube in 1905, transmitter in 1914
Insulin in 1922
Sliced bread in 1928
Jet engine in 1937

Huxleys warning!
Huxley realized that these advances, which
were welcomed as progress, were full of
danger. Man had built higher than he could
climb; man had unleashed power he was
unable to control.


New World is Huxley's warning; it

is his attempt to make man realize that
since knowledge is power, he who
controls and uses knowledge wields the
Science and technology should be the
servants of man -- man should not
adapted and enslaved to them. Brave
New World is a description of our lives
as they could be in the none-too-distant

International political scene


Revolution in Russia, the

dictatorship of Mussolini in Italy, and the Nazi
Party movement in Germany. Concerned
about threats to man's freedom and
independence, Huxley realized that
communism and fascism place the state
above the individual and demand total
allegiance to a cause.

Economic changes

time of more and bigger factories, more

manufactured goods, the advent of massproduced automobiles
Big business used and misused the individual
-- man became important as a producer and
a consumer.

Societal changes

people were moving to the cities

change in attitude and point of view. As "one
of the crowd," the individual is not responsible
for himself or for anybody else. Huxley carries
this loss of individuality one step further in his
projection of Bokanovskified groups of
identical twins performing identical tasks.