Above them, in ten successive layers of dormitory, the little boys and girls who were still young enough to need an afternoon sleep were as busy as every one else, though they did not know it, listening unconsciously to hypnopædic lessons in hygiene and sociability, in class-consciousness and the toddler’s love-life. Above these again were the playrooms where, the weather having turned to rain, nine hundred older children were amusing themselves with bricks and clay modelling, hunt-the-zipper, and erotic play.Buzz, buzz! the hive was humming, busily, joyfully. Blithe was the singing of the young girls over their test-tubes, the Predestinators whistled as they worked, and in the Decanting Room what glorious jokes were cracked above the empty bottles! But the Director’s face, as he entered the Fertilizing Room with Henry Foster, was grave, wooden with severity.
I read this book as a recommendation from my boss. You can read for free at this link. I was mesmerized, I read the book in just a couple of long nights.
The book was written in 1932, but it seems so contemporaneous, 80 years later. It is a classic, in the same vein as 1984 by George Orwell.
Huxley’s writes about a future dystopia, where genetic engineering, recreational sex, drugs, hypnotic messages and brainwashing create a world were everyone thinks is happy. But this world lacks any deep meaning, no family, religion or art. A system of castes, heavily brainwashed, is ingrained in the texture of society.
The system seems to me very Soviet-like, were science is praised, family and religion is destroyed, but economy can only exists through a system of slavery and elites.
Some can see through the veil, as Bernard, and they are given sanctuary or prison, as you like, in some of the isles. The faults of the society are expressed by the life and dialogue of a men called the Savage, born in a so-called reservation and unwilling to bend to the wrong rules and be brainwashed.
I loved the book because it makes you think, it makes you ask questions. How many people make an opinion by just reading a title of news on Facebook? How many people good in the field, pretend with arrogance knowledge in other fields? How many people go to the original source and skip interpretations? How many people filter the information that comes to them?
In my own field, energy, I see people holding strong views, one way or the other, without knowing too much of how the system works.
It is a book recommended for high school reading in many countries. It makes you think.