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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Science

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...

Sex

Sex is closely tied to violence in Brave New World as the two extremes of passion. In this futuristic, controlled environment, promiscuity is the law and emotional attachment is illegal. Sex is no...

Power

As one character puts it, power in Brave New World "is a matter of sitting, not hitting." Rather than use violence to enforce the law, those in power in this futuristic society have simply programm...

Suffering

Brave New World takes place in a controlled environment where technology has essentially eliminated suffering, and where a widely-used narcotic dulls whatever momentary pains may arise. It soon bec...

Literature and Writing

In the futuristic dystopia of Brave New World, "history is bunk," literature is outlawed, and the only kinds of serious writing are the sleep-teachings used to condition children to function as ide...

Freedom and Confinement

The citizens of Brave New World's futuristic society are in a constant state of imprisonment. But because they've been conditioned to love their servitude, no one seems to have any problem with thi...

Isolation

Isolation is a tricky bird in Brave New World. On the one hand, it's a painful experience for more than one "unique" character who finds himself at odds with the rest of society. On the other hand,...

Drugs and Alcohol

The drug in question here is soma, a hallucinogen used by those in power to subdue the citizens in Brave New World's futuristic, totalitarian setting. It is described as "the perfect drug," with al...

Identity

Brave New World explores the classic conflict between the individual and society. In this particular case, personal identity has been sacrificed for the sake of a common good. A form of biological...

Spirituality

Spirituality in Brave New World is a mix of Christianity, the tribal beliefs of Native Americans, a non-denominational interest in the soul, a spiritual unity with the natural world, and a frenzied...

Society and Class

Society in the futuristic setting of Brave New World is split into five castes: Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons, with a few minor distinctions in between. Because of the technology wiel...

Dissatisfaction

The dystopia portrayed in Brave New World clearly leaves something to be desired – namely individuality, passion, and love. Because individuals have been programmed to be happy, those who do...
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