Friday, November 18, 2011

Brave New World

Huxley, A. (1932). Brave New World. NY: Harper & Brothers.
LS5385 YA Lit / Censored (speculative fiction)

What a cool book!  Brave New World was amazing given that it was written in the 30s! Oh, the imagination and foresight Huxley had to envision the things that are probably scientifically possible right now (or quite nearly possible), though thankfully morally/ethically impossible to be authorized.  A classmate of mine pointed out that Huxley even projected paparazzi and the way the media act around celebrities.  I breezed right past that when reading, but upon reflection, I realized that in the 30s, they most certainly didn't have the media flying over celebrity's homes and invading their privacy; however, Huxley had that in the book.  Amazing.

I must say it was a pleasant shift to have some more advanced vocabulary and sentence structure from many of the other books I've been reading; however, the shift was enough that I wonder if it would be a turn-off to young readers. They typically aren't used to working that hard with their pleasure reading. It is NOT an easy read, but I think those kids who take the time to read and think about what they're reading would really enjoy it.

The censorship gods I'm sure have a hey-day over this book with a society of drug induced happiness and promiscuity being the norm. Again, the sex isn't graphic at all, but the suggestion of sex with a variety of partners and on a regular basis is probably just too much for those who are trying to protect the innocent children and who deem themselves capable of making the best judgment calls for acceptable youth literature.

Something about this book made me think of the movie Wall-E, and how in it, humanity has turned automated and controlled.  Keep the people plump and happy in Wall-E, keep the people sexed and happy in Brave New World.

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