Brave New World
by Aldous Huxley
Take a story's temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?
Huxley can get pretty dramatic in Brave New World. Just check out that moment in Chapter 13 when Lenina forgets to give a bottle its immunization. The text is all, "Twenty-two years, eight months, and four days from that moment, a promising young Alpha-Minus administrator at Mwanza-Mwanza was to die of trypanosomiasis." Or the end of Chapter 3: "Slowly, majestically, with a faint humming of machinery, the Conveyors moved forward, thirty-three centimeters an hour. In the red darkness glinted innumerable rubies." Whoa there. Lighten up.
Fortunately, that's where the parody comes in. Brave New World manages to combine this dark sort of drama with healthy sprinklings of grinning puns and parodies, like "Thank Ford!" or "Orgy-porgy." Huxley also has a good time with the different taboos of the World State. As readers, we can't help but laugh when students turn pale and feel sick at hearing the word "mother."