A novel written in 1931 and set in London, Brave New World is Huxley’s take on what a futuristic society could be like. The concept of futurism, popular in Italyin the early part of the 20th century, had found its way toRussia,England and other countries as well, and idealized youth and technology over art, legacy and tradition. Huxley’s reaction to this movement, combined with inspiration from H. G. Wells’ novel Men Like Gods and a trip toAmerica where he witnessed the ‘modern’ culture, resulted in the writing of this novel. Highly controversial when it was published, Huxley followed up on this book with Brave New World Revisited thirty years later, and concluded that the world was indeed moving in the direction that he had predicted.
The book introduces people who live in The World State, a single government that administers the whole of Earth. It is a ‘utopian’ state, where everyone is happy and there is plenty to provide for everyone. People are neatly divided into castes at birth, and birth itself is an artificial regulated procedure in a factory that controls the population and does away with parental or sibling relationships. Life revolves around being as sociable as possible and deriving pleasure from sexual relationships and the daily dose of hallucinogenic tablets. There are however, pockets of people who still live by the old laws in distant lands and are regarded as ‘savages’. In this setting, one of the main character of the novel, Bernard, finds himself an outcast.