Aldous Huxley was a writer of several novels, including the most famous Brave New World. He was born on 1894 and died on 1963. His interest includes politics, philosophy, parapsychology, psychology and mysticism. He was known to have close relationship to several people who have inclinations towards science. He has a botanical father and had worked in a chemical plant. Brave New World was written during an era where psychology and genetics play a vital role in explaining human behavior and reactions.
It is then not impossible that there will come a time that humans will be experimented using psychology and genetics to be able to determine the extent of its effect.
1)Identify the characteristics (dimensions) of the narrative. A narrative is about telling stories, thus, it consist primarily of a plot structure, conflict, characters, setting, theme and point of view. The plot structure is basically the outline or the framework of the whole narrative; it includes the introduction followed by the rising action and the climax and then the falling action and finally the resolution.
The conflict on the other hand is the disagreement in the narrative; usually it is where the whole plot revolves. The characters are the players or those who perform in the narrative. The setting is where the narrative takes place. The theme is the topic or the issue/s being portray or shown as the narrative progresses. The point of view is what the characters or the author seems to think from their perspective. 2)Discover an explanation for how the narrative creates meaning. The narrative creates a meaning by putting all of its dimensions together.
Weaving one with another, it generates an idea that later result to a series of story which are connected with one another. 3)What is the setting? Where does the story takes place? Brave New World starts in ‘Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre’, there is a tour in the Hatcheries. The director is explaining to the students the process of reproduction of ‘customized’ human beings. The story takes place during A. F. otherwise known as After Ford. 4)Who are the characters? Are they human? Fleshed out? Known and unknown traits. The first character to be shown was the ‘Director’ Tomakin.
He was the director of Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. As the story succeeds, he was shown to be a part of a scandal involving his impregnation of Linda, a second caste or Beta and having a son with her named John, some 25 years ago. The next character was Linda Crowne, she is another Beta which depicts the typical female in the Brave New World. She is nineteen years old and is a lab worker at the Conditioning Center. She is Bernard’s love interest and she also like Bernard. Bernard is the main character in the story, he works as a psychologist in the Conditioning Centre and belongs to the Alpha class or the first class.
He is the one to expose the son and wife of Director Tomakin. John or more commonly known as ‘the savage’ is the son of Linda and Tomakin. He lives in the savage Reservation along with her mother. He causes the big embarrassment for the director. He found his mother in the dying bed. He serves as the character who lives in the old world or something like that. Mustapha Mond is one of the World Controller. At the beginning of the narrative he told the students who are touring the Control Center about monogamy and the bond between mother and child, which he remarked as ‘horrifying’.
Helmholtz Watson looks like Bernard’s Bestfriend and adviser. He like Bernard is not in favor of the ‘new order’ he thinks that there is something that is not right in the system. Ford is another term or shortcut for Freud which serves as the new ‘God’ as revealed in the story by Mond. Other characters are just minor characters. Among the characters, ‘the savages’ are the only one who is really humans’ or those who become humans in the natural sense. Other characters are fleshed out. Although they are till humans are homo sapiens, they are not created in the normal process.
As stated above, they are somehow, customized. 5)Who is the narrator? Attitude toward story? Powers available to narrator? Characteristics? Trustworthy & reliable? The narrator is actually not among the characters thus he/she have the capability to tell the readers what is actually taking place in the narrative. The narrator’s attitude is somehow against the world order but it seems that the narrator is curios of what will happen after things are going this and that way. I could not say for sure if the narrator is trustworthy and reliable since there are instances wherein he/she tries to guess part of the story.
Also, since the narrator is not an actual character it is hard to tell how much is his/her if his/her interpretations are coherent. 6)What are the events? Which are important for the story’s development? Which flesh out the story? The first three chapters generally describe that ‘brave new world’. The tour in the Control Center gives us a brief overview of the workings involved in the conditioning and reconditioning of the people, from conception to old age. Then the presentation of Lenina as the typical human being during that time in contrast with Bernard who seems to deviate with what is foreseen as natural.
The visit to the Savage Reservation which shows the members of the old world and how they live corresponds to the presentation of a small part or population who still live in the ‘old system’. Meeting John and Linda who turns out to be the Director’s family, John being a child conceived through normal sexual intercourse which the new society or the Fordian society believes to be obscene. The presentation of John as the son followed by the fame of Bernard that was only short-lived since John did not show up in the conference which was arranged to confirm his identity.
Then it shows the Shakespearean love that John felt for Lenina while Lenina shows the love she knows, this leads him to beat her. It was then followed by Linda’s death which leads to a riot at the hospital. This leads to the arrest of Helmholtz, Bernard and John. Bernard and Helmholtz were sent to another island far from England. John on the other hand was permitted to live n England. The people in England seems to drive John crazy, thus at the end, he killed himself. 7)How are events related in time? How are they told in the story? (Flashbacks? ) What is the speed or pace of the story?
The events are related as the story progresses however there are indeed some flashbacks especially the scenes with John in the savage Reservation. The speed of the story is fast paced but there are enough explanation for every scenes. 8)What are the causes and effects? Are causes human? Supernatural? Are effects caused by accidents? Forces of nature? The Causes are the humans as can be seen since it is the humans who create the ‘brave new world’. Accordingly, the world is patterned to how Freud had conceived family as a disintegration of individual.
The new order also aims to promote happiness by controlling everything in the human life. The effects are not merely accidents but an understanding of a ‘utopian’ view. 9)Who is the audience? What can we tell about the audience’s knowledge, personality, and abilities, on the basis of the speaker’s attitude toward audience? The audience is basically the reader which is also the spectators who are looking forward the development and progress in the narrative. The speaker speaks of the audience as someone who wants to join or be included in the ‘utopian like’ world where everything is equal yet individuality is missing.
10)What is the theme? It may be an underlying truth or saying. How obvious and clear is the theme? “Community, Identity and Stability has been the central theme of the whole novel since it is even the motto of the ‘new order’. The theme is very obvious since it is discussed in the novel. Stability is always mentioned with its reference to control and less conflict. Science seems to be the central source of power in the ‘brave new world’, science is used to provide less conflict through conditioning and minimizing conflicts.
11)Does the narrative fulfill its creator’s purpose? I believe it has fulfilled its creator purpose of delivering a novel that shows a future society if it will be designed or patterned to a ‘communal, scientific capital system’. Everyone will be treated in the same way. People do not experience loneliness because they are conditioned to be like this and do that. People are treated as mechanisms and/or things that can be rejected if it does not suffice its purpose. People live and die with the purpose of living together harmoniously in a fake reality.
12) Does the narrative provide useful ideas for living your life? Yes, it had me thinking of my own view regarding Utopia. It also gives me an insight about the way society has effects on the individual. The way the society can shape and somehow manipulate what an individual will think and how he/she will react. Also, it shows that although science, in general and genetic engineering in particular, may be used to treat illnesses and can improve life, it might also result to artificial human beings which are created in laboratories.
Huxley, A. (1958). Brave New World.