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Books & Chocolate

I love to read just about anything, as long as it's fiction. I read for me - that means I read what I want, when I want. My reviews tend to mostly be based on how I'm able to personally connect with the story/characters. They are not intended to influence someone to read, or not read, a particular book. I always encourage people to take a chance and make up your own mind.

 

Oh, and I love chocolate.

Brave New World

Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

I've been on a mission to read some classics. Some of them I've read before, but it was way back in high school. Others have somehow escaped my reading list. Brave New World is one that I read as a teenager and it stuck with me. I was glad to finally read it again as an adult.

 

One thing that struck me was that while I remembered key aspects of the novel, there were several things I didn't remember or remembered wrong. Still, it was just as impactful this time around as it was the first time I read it.

 

I'm fascinated at how Huxley was able to envision a world that isn't all that far-fetched. I love the world he created and the reasons for why it came to be. We do strive for a world of peace and no war. We do want to be happy. But what would we have to sacrifice to achieve those desires? I agree with Huxley that passion is what can drive people to create war and unhappiness - whether that passion is for other people, for our family, for religion, for science, or for the arts. As long as we have those things, there will always be the opportunity for heartbreak and pain and the desire to inflict violence on others in the name of the thing we value most. 

 

I like how the 'comforts' of civilization were challenged through the different characters. There was Lenina who struggled with her desire to remain with only one person at times, yet was easily persuaded to follow regulations with the use of soma. Then there was Bernard who was unhappy and felt he wanted 'more', at least until he was treated with perceived respect and then he was satisfied with the ways of civilized life. There was also Helmholtz who truly did desire to do things differently, yet couldn't get past some of his conditioning. Finally, we have John the Savage. He was intrigued by the 'brave new world' and was repulsed when he finally experienced it firsthand. He didn't fit in at the reservation and he didn't fit in with civilized society. He tried to do the right thing based on his humanistic nature and paid the price for it in the end.

 

The only struggle I had with the book was the format and, at times, the writing. There were parts that were difficult to follow.