Not just another Utopia

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was not what I expected. I thought I knew what it was about. It was supposed to be a book about another version of Utopia. People have a certain obsession with the perfect society and writers can be strongly afflicted with this desire given their ability to make it a reality in literature, at least. Even Plato was determined to plan heaven on earth with The Republic.

This book was written in 1932 but one wouldn’t have known by reading it. The book is set in the future and it has references to modern science not yet discovered during the book’s creation. Even the fashion of women in that time could easily be imagined on today’s catwalks.

The most prized values are gone in Huxley’s new world. Love is blasphemous, promiscuity is encouraged, and everyone belongs to everyone else. Youth is preserved and family relations are totally obliterated. Everyone is “decanted” (born from jars) and society follows a strict biological hierarchy that puts present caste systems to shame.

The perfection is only shattered by the arrival of The Savage–a person borne from a modern individual but was raised in the reservations of the past. He rejects all offers of pleasure, ideals, and principles taught to him in the Other Side for the purpose of eternal happiness but instead chooses to dwell on the exact things that the previous generations tried so hard to destroy.

Huxley’s Brave New World shows a more intense and more frightening future than Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Her Go, and if you’re the type who likes to digest, dissect, talk about, and fight about what you read, then this book is for you.

You can read it online here. Or buy the book here if you can’t take staring at a computer screen for long.

I’m reading so much now. I’ve read three major books just this week, not counting the slim volumes my brother owns that I hit to pass the time when I’m bored.

But before I end this post, here’s a really neat tip for those who call people living abroad: KSAfone. Just download the dialer to your computer and a $10 card could give you 366 minutes of talk time if you call the US (rates vary according to place). It works with mobiles and landlines but I’d advise you to call a landline since some cellular operators charge their customers when you call them.

They should pay me for advertising space.

I just had a loooong talk with someone and, in my typical fashion, I managed to drag him into one uncomfortable topic after another. Yes, Steffi, you should shut up sometimes.

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