To begin with, students may have a difficult time unraveling the higher-level elements of Brave New World. The themes, allegories (of which there are plenty!), and symbols are challenging to understand without knowing the events and players of the 1930s that Huxley is referencing. A (very) basic initial introduction to who, what, where, and when can help a lot. After a quick and cursory mapping of some of Huxley’s most prominent allusions, students will need some reminders along the way. Shmoop has many US History Learning Guides that pertain to this era, which are quick and easy reads, and can serve as those reminding resources for students along the way.
London in the year 632 after our Ford is not a happy place, despite everyone’s soma comas. While it can be difficult to get students excited about all the gloom and doom in the novel, the very technological advances that Huxley cautions about in Brave New World are currently at many students’ fingertips. This fact, combined with the myriad of spin-offs and adaptations of some elements of the novel, create many possibilities to engage students with the novel as relevant and timely to their own lives.