Boekverslag : Aldous Huxley - Brave New World
De taal ervan is Engels en het aantal woorden bedraagt 2232 woorden.


Brave New World

Publisher Wolters-Noordhoff, Blackbirds, 1996.

Writer's Biography

Aldous Huxley was born at Godalming, Surrey in 1894, into prominent family scientists. Huxley was educated at Eton and Oxford. In 1919 he married the Belgian Maria Nijs. Huxley suffered most of his life from an eye condition, which often made him nearly blind. He died in Los Angeles in 1963. Huxley was a prolific writer of novels, short stories, essays, biography, drama and verse. His primary importance is probably not as an author of imaginative fiction, but as a thinker whose ideas about man and society greatly influenced intellectuals in Europe between the two world wars. Brave New World (1932) has proved to be his most lastingly popular work.


In the Year 623 (after Ford), there is a New World society. The motto is Community, Identity and Stability. There is no love, no individualism and, and people do not have extreme emotions. There is also a technique, which makes it possible to raise babies in bottles. Therefore, the people do not have a mother, a father, or other family so they can not feel strong love.

People are made in just five classes (from Alpha to Epsilon). The Alpha's are the most intelligent, and the epsilons the most stupid. Bernard and Lenina are colleagues. Lenina is a pretty girl, who is very popular by the alphas. When Bernard a Lenina visit the Indian reservation, they meet John. Lenina falls in love with John, but John is not a man for this brave new world. He wants that the world is just as his mother tells him.

There is a big discussion between John and the controller. John thinks that the brave new world is madness. God is not important anymore; there is no danger, no love and no pain. All there is, are soma (a drug), feelies (sort of cinema) and a scent organ (which creates happy atmospheres).

When Linda dies, John has a lot of anger. He says the, the brave new world is bat and that the soma is poison. They arrested him and the talk to him. They tell him that he may not read the Bible

because it is old. The people around him think that is just normal. His friends, Bernard and Helmholtz went to Iceland because they are both arrested because they are the friends of John. John wants to join them, but they only give him a house on a hill. There he can live as an individual.

When John lives there tourist are going to him and they don't leave him alone. After an emotional meeting with Lenina, he commits suicide. He can't life in a world like the Brave New World.

Setting and point of view

The novel takes place in Europe, in 625 after ford. There is a New World society. People are no longer born the natural way, but the state create and conditions them. Humans are mass produced and preconditioned to become members of one of the social classes, ranging from Alpha plus to Epsilon minus. The sorry is told out of the third person.


The novel satirises the notion that scientific development will lead to a perfect world.

The motto is Community, Identity, and Stability. There is no love, no individualism, and people do not have extreme emotions. The mean point is that people aren't alone, they all the same, so they can't be alone. Bernard is alone because there was a fault when he was an embryo. He has individual feelings, and he likes to be alone. He likes to be important, but he is not very popular because of his misshape. When the Savage argues that happiness is too dearly bought if art, beauty, religion, and all creative thinking an human feeling must be sacrificed for it. The fact that he wants is a right that the citizens of the New World have lost. People are going to work and get their soma, they get their education at their level and they get sleep teaching. They don't do anything wrong. When they are little they been thought that they can't love somebody, so they're going to bed whit everybody. The Savage can't use to it. The greatest danger caused by an idealisation of the advancement of science is that the individual may disappear. Another serious danger is that attention will be paid only too material welfare.


Huxley wrote Brave New World to explain certain of his ideas, ideas concerning the dangers of technology for man. Therefore the novel can be called a novel of ideas.


Brave New World.

In Shakespeare's The Tempest Miranda speaks the words: "O brave new world, that has such people in it." When she says this, she is filled with admiration for her first glimpse of the world outside the Island on which she grew up. In the novel, John Savage quotes this line when he is no longer convinced that life in the 'civilised' and technocratic world is a change for the better.

When John uses the phrase 'Brave new world', Bernard's reply is: "Hadn't you better wait till you actually see the New World?" Later when John actually has denied it, and has found that the people in it are for the most part ugly batches of semi-moronic twins, he remembers his original enthusiasm and repeats the phrase 'brave new world' again and again, but now sarcastically. He has seen that the New World is not excelled at all.

Character descriptions and character development

Bernard Marx: He is different in a world in which the greatest virtue is to be just like everybody else. His difference is in the first place physical: something went wrong when he was in his bottle and he turned out too small for an Alpha. His feelings of inferiority make him unhappy, and to be unhappy in the New World is to be an individual. But he can find no way of using his individuality: it only frustrates him and makes hem miserable. He wants things that nobody wants and he does things that almost nobody does. He wants to go to visit the Savage Reservation in New Mexico and he falls in love with Lenina. In the brave new world nobody falls in love whit somebody but Bernard does. So he fells lonely, because nobody understands him. Bernard is too well conditioned to believe in any alternative to the society he knows. When offered a chance of relative freedom on an Island, he breaks down and cries. He's irritable and jealous; he holds grudges against people who are kind to him; he feels sorry for himself. He things that he is a coward, when John throw the soma out of the window Bernard denied that he knew him.

Helmholtz Watson: He is a man of integrity. In another society he would have been an artist, a writer. But in the New World there are no words to express his feelings, and worse than that, no feelings to express, because the situations that used to give rise to strong emotions no longer exist. Helmholtz is delighted to see somebody unusual as John. Helmholtz looks forward to his banishment to an Island as the beginning of a new life where he can finally become a writer of something more meaningful than slogans and feelies.

John, the Savage: He is the most important opponent to the New World. Hi is the son of New World people but has been brought up among the Indians on the Reservation in New Mexico. John things that the brave new world denies the values that make life worth living. John measures the New World against two standards: firstly, the 'primitive' tribal ideas of bravery and loyalty that he has learned among the Indians, and secondly, the works of Shakespeare that he has lived with since his mother thought him to read. John feels his self-miserable because he isn't one of the Indians, the children don't want to play with him and he doesn't feel home there. The only thing that he can is that he can read and the other children can't. When he feels lonely he thinks: " I can read and they can't read, and then he goes back home." He's glad to hear that he's going to the brave new world, but when he finally is there hates it. Deep emotions, individualism and pain are very important to him. He loves Lenina, but they can't have a relation. He is an individualist and when they keep on looking for him, he can't handle is anymore and he commits suicide.

Linda: After being brought op in the new world, she found herself stranded in a primitive society whose standards and way of life were very different. In the New World she had been conditioned not to be adaptable to new situations, but to function well in one situation, her job as a laboratory worker. Linda never learns to understand the Indian women's anger when their husbands make love to her, because she has been conditioned in the New World to believe that everyone belongs to everyone else. She is glad when she can go back to the New World, she died to soma.

Lenina Crowne: She is a good example of a New World woman. She shows just enough individuality and lack of conformity to be interesting, she tend to like to go with one man rather than many, and she feel attracted to Bernard.

Opdrachten 'lees- en leerervaringen'.

Opdracht 1: De kwaliteit van het verhaal.

Ik vond dit boek echt een van de leukste boeken die ik gelezen heb. Ik houd namelijk helemaal niet van oorlogsboeken en de meeste literatuurboeken gaan over de oorlog. Ik vond dit boek zo leuk omdat ik wel houd van al de dingen die in het boek beschreven worden, zo vind ik de ontwikkelingen van het klonen bijvoorbeeld ook heel interessant. Ook vraag ik me zelf wel eens af hoe het over bijvoorbeeld 50 jaar zal zijn. Er wordt inmiddels zoveel ontdekt en ik ben er wel eens bang voor dat de hele wereld in het teken van de wetenschap komt te staan. Dat iedereen alleen nog maar aan zijn werk en aan het presteren denkt en dat liefde of vrije tijd helemaal niet meer voorkomt. Ik vind het ook heel goed bedacht dat iemand die helemaal niet in die samenleving is opgegroeid in die samenleving terechtkomt. Ik had zijn reactie eigenlijk wel verwacht, in het begin vindt hij het helemaal fantastisch dat hij naar de andere wereld mag, vooral omdat zijn moeder allemaal verhalen heeft verteld, waarin naar voren komt dat die andere wereld veel beter is. Als hij eenmaal in de andere wereld is dan valt het hem heel erg tegen. Zijn moeder heeft het echter wel naar haar zin. Je ziet nou heel erg duidelijk dat de omgeving van de opvoeding hele grote gevolgen heeft. De moeder is in de ene wereld opgevoed en kon de andere wereld niet begrijpen. De zoon is in de andere wereld opgevoed en kan juist de wereld van zijn moeder niet begrijpen. Ik denk dat je dat verschil in Nederland ook een beetje begint te zien. Nu je veel buitenlanders bij ons in Nederland ziet, zie je ook dingen die jij nooit zal doen. Je begrijpt gewoon niet hoe die mensen leven en hun snappen niet hoe wij leven. Ik denk dat je dat verschil overal blijft zien.

Ik vond het boek af en toe wel een beetje saai en ik kon het ook niet altijd helemaal volgen, maar met de Nederlandse vertaling erbij ging het uiteindelijk wel goed. Ik vind verder dat er een goede opbouw in het verhaal zit. Eerst wordt de nieuwe samenleving voor je beschreven zodat je je goed in kan beelden waar ze het over hebben. Daarna zie je de oude samenleving waar John in woont, dan zie je de verschillen goed, omdat John niet wordt geaccepteerd en daarna gaat John naar de nieuwe wereld. Je kan je door de goede omschrijvingen van de twee werelden goed voorstellen hoe John zich moet voelen en dat vind ik heel goed van de schrijver. Ook het eind van het boek had ik niet verwacht. Ik had niet verwacht dat hij zelfmoord zou plegen maar als je het boek eenmaal uit hebt kan je je eigenlijk wel goed voorstellen dat hij zelfmoord gepleegd had. Hij voelde zich gewoon nergens meer thuis en hij had helemaal niemand meer. Hij had geen vrienden en geen familie meer, maar het ergste is denk ik wel dat hij zichzelf niet kon zijn, hij werd gewoon niet met rust gelaten.

Opdracht 2: De presentatie van de handelingen

Ik vind dat de gebeurtenissen in een goed tempo worden opgevolgd. Heel af en toe is het een beetje saai, maar dan is het stukje wel van belang om het verhaal goed te kunnen begrijpen. Ik vind dat alles heel duidelijk wordt uitgelegd. Je kan je alles goed voorstellen en dat vind ik wel belangrijk om een verhaal leuk te vinden. Ik vind af en toe wel dat er moeilijke woorden in het verhaal worden gebruikt, maar met de Nederlandse vertaling erbij is het verhaal wel goed te begrijpen. Ik vond het gewoon een heel erg leuk verhaal met een goed eind en ik zal er helemaal niets aan veranderen.
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