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Brave New World

Aldous Huxley

Key Facts

Main ideas Key Facts

full title  · Brave New World

author  · Aldous Huxley

type of work  · Novel

genre  · utopian novel, dystopian novel, science fiction

language  · English

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.

tense  · Past

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.