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Themes

Huxley wrote that the focus of Brave New World isn't science itself, but science as it affects people. The vision he paints of a technological, futuristic society is both horrifying and fascinating. In a world where people are controlled down to their very impulses, emotions, and thoughts, science has the ability both to imprison (by conditioning, for example) and to set free (the frontiers of scientific discovery often lead to change). Because of this, "science" is somewhat bastardized by those who seek to control; use what's useful, but limit what's "dangerous."

Questions About Science

  1. What's the difference between writing about science per se and writing about science as it affects humans? Huxley claims he did the latter and not the former: does that seem true?
  2. Mustapha reminds John, Bernard, and Helmholtz that science is dangerous and needs to be muzzled, but also that it's useful if harnessed properly. Do the benefits of science outweigh the drawbacks in Brave New World?
  3. Does Brave New World condemn science in our own world?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Science is subservient to human nature in Brave New World; tools like the Violent Passion Surrogate and the Pregnancy Substitute prove that science must cater to the needs of the human body because it cannot overcome them.

Science trumps human nature in Brave New World; tools like the Violent Passion Surrogate and the Pregnancy Substitute prove that science is effectively able to replace all natural functions.

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