Although not my favorite of the classic dystopians, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is certainly a ground-breaking work about societal control through genetic manipulation, subliminal conditioning and socially acceptable drug use.
You are not born into this world; you are decanted. The institution of the traditional family has fallen apart- is even considered obscene.
Children run about naked and wild, experimenting with sex from a shockingly young age. This is a world where everyone’s body belongs to everyone else. Promiscuity is encouraged as well as mass consumption and instant gratification.
Men and women take a drug called “soma” to mellow out any pesky emotions. It is also used in quasi-religious ceremonies and public gatherings to create a kind of ecstasy.
A strict caste system is in place from the moment a baby is decanted. Societal mores are whispered into children’s ears thousands of times per week while they sleep. So, when they grow up, they fit seamlessly into the role that the world has chosen for them from conception.
Not everyone is happy in this world. Can you imagine that? Perhaps they just need more soma…
Recommended for those who enjoy classic works that examine the way society’s systems constrain and suffocate those who, for whatever reason, don’t or can’t fit in.
Thanks for reading.