full title Brave New World
author Aldous Huxley
type of work Novel
genre utopian novel, dystopian novel, science fiction
time and place written 1931, England
date of first publication 1932
publisher Chatto and Windus, London
narrator Third-person omniscient; the narrator frequently makes passages of “objective” description sound like the speech or thought patterns of a particular character, using a technique usually called “free indirect quotation.”
climax John incites a riot in the hospital in Chapter 15.
protagonists Bernard Marx, Helmholtz Watson, and John
antagonist Mustapha Mond
settings (time) 2540 a.d.; referred to in the novel as 632 years “After Ford,” meaning 632 years after the production of the first Model T car.
settings (place) England, Savage Reservation in New Mexico
point of view Narrated in the third person, primarily from the point of view of Bernard or John but also from the point of view of Lenina, Helmholtz Watson, and Mustapha Mond.
falling action Chapter 18, in which John isolates himself in a lighthouse and punishes himself; it ends with an orgy and his suicide.
foreshadowing The director’s memories of his trip to the Reservation foreshadow his relationship to John and Linda; Bernard’s insecurities and dissatisfactions foreshadow his exile; John’s longing to sacrifice himself foreshadow his suicide.
tone initially sardonic and detached; later, despairing and sympathetic.
themes The use of technology to control society, the incompatibility of happiness and truth, the dangers of an all-powerful state
motifs Alienation, sex, Shakespeare
symbols The drug soma is a symbol of the use of instant gratification to control the World State’s populace. It is also a symbol of the powerful influence of science and technology on society.