Aldous Huxley’s classic Brave New World was first published in 1932, becoming an instant success and remaining one to this day.
The story focuses on fears which were present during Huxley’s time, drawing on scientific advances such as reproductive technology, sleep-learning, and in particular, psychological manipulation. While the technology has not yet manifested in the way it appears in Brave New World, Huxley and others have pointed to many of his fears coming true, particularly concerning sexual liberation.
Brave New World is set in a utopian-style society, where everyone has their home, food, and work provided by the state, although these are generally fixed according to their genetic class.
The plot centres on the main character, Bernard Marx, and his troubled relationship with the society which leads him to take a trip outside the ‘civilised’ world with a woman whom he desires. Reaching the primitive world, they discover a woman who was originally from civilisation but was stranded outside. She returns with her son who has never visited civilisation, and he finds great displeasure in what he has termed the ‘Brave New World’, disliking their attitude toward sex and emotions.