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Brave New World

Brave New World


by Aldous Huxley

Analysis: Writing Style

Precise, Taunting

By "taunting" style, we're actually referring to the way that Huxley delays the disclosure of important information. For example, in Bernard's orgy-porgy scene, we don't really know it's an orgy until two-thirds of the way through. Even then, we're never explicitly told what's up—we're just given enough info to put two and two together ourselves. The same goes with the orgy scene at the end, where we don't know if John has sex with Lenina or not, but we're left with enough clues to make a reasonable assumption. And look how we find out about John's death. The whole time the visitors are calling his name, we think he's dead, but we're being taunted with the prospect of a cash-in moment when all will be revealed. The revelation itself is also telling. Instead of saying that John is dead, the text just shows us his dead hanging feet (attached presumably to his dead, hanging body).

Precision of language in Brave New World is a beautiful example of form matching function. Huxley describes a society in which scientific exactitude is everything: eighty-eight cubic meters of index cards, two hundred sixty-seven days for the bottles to travel along the conveyor belt at thirty-three centimeters per hour, etc. Similarly, the language of the novel itself is almost as precise. Check this out: "That which had made Helmholtz so uncomfortably aware of being himself and all alone was too much ability. What the two men shared was the knowledge that they were individuals. But whereas the physically defective Bernard had suffered all his life from the consciousness of being separate, it was only quite recently that, grown aware of his mental excess, Helmholtz Watson had also become aware of his difference from the people who surrounded him." Exact enough for you? This language has as much control over displays of emotion, thoughts, and opinions as the World Controllers have over centimeters, days, and grams.

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