Response to Brave New World
"Every human has four endowments - self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom...The power to choose, to respond, and to change."
One word that sums up my reaction after reading both "Brave New World," by Aldous Huxley and "Ismael," by Daniel Quinn is 'enlightened'. They made me think about the future, both near and far away. Both of these books could be labeled as realistic fiction, but then there are key elements in the stories that make them undeniably unbelievable. They talk about the same topics, and ideas, regarding the world's society and civilization.
"Brave New World" and "Ismael" show us the consequences of our present actions and how badly our society might turn out to be. Ismael was full of foreshadowing and possible situations of our world's future. It taught us how to look at things "in a different perspective," that there can be more than one view on a situation, idea, or opinion. "...Facts are facts, even when they're embodied in mythology. But what about the rest? Did the entire cosmic process of creation come to an end 3 million years ago, right here on this little planet, with the appearance of man?..."(Quinn pg 57.) Ismael asks us meaningful questions that make us think about what we think about the world, and why do we think about it that way.
In "Brave New World", Aldous Huxley uses a less obvious way of making us aware of ourselves, and our civilization. He doesn't directly ask questions; he gives us a possible scenario, and this set-up allows us to draw our own conclusions and opinions. He tells us about how the world might become a population of clones and castes. There could be countless replicas of the same person, blocking out uniqueness. He tells about the upside of this uniform civilization, how everyone is happy to be who they are. But the only reason they are happy with their lives is because they are trained, and hypnotized, to be.
"Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're so delightfully clever. I'm really awfully glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are so much better than the Gammas and Deltas..." (Huxley pg 27.) The people in this possible future society don't know any other way of living, which defies the way our present society views things, in having freedom and choices.
These two novels make readers aware of possible futures of our society. They encourage readers to make reparations by trying to change the way they think, and act, and become more open-minded.
"If I can bring some light to bear on problems like that, I feel that people will be enlightened not only on the question but also on a way of approaching such questions."