Lack of literary value, censorship, control, lack of self identity… these are all the challenged qualities of a book that has joined the ranks of the other Banned Books mentioned this week. A dystopian classic, A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, is the book we are discussing today.
** Caution Spoilers ahead**
As a standard part of the reading list for schools across the nation, teachers teach this book with pride. The book itself is a challenger of censorship.
Removed from shelves and the hands of students, Brave New World describes a dystopian future in which ironically, books are banned.
The book opens the story with young boys touring the human embryo hatchery, yes, hatchery. The embryos are fed, and then transferred to one of five castes: the Alphas, the Beta, the Gamma, the Delta, or Epislon. Each embryo is “raised” differently to perform different tasks on a hierarchy you can probably guess.
The book goes on to dive into the plot of two worlds divided. It touches on different races, censorship, violence, misogyny, sexual experimentation, and substance abuse. All of these instances are challenged by parents. The parents are those who feel as though this book will damage their child or “teach them too much”.
Isn’t it too mature?
While the subject mature is considered more mature, the lessons this book teaches reach further and further. This satirical work does not promote a sexually permissive culture, substance abuse, or violence, but rather it shows the damage that can occur. It displays the clear cut results of a society overly regulated and controlled.
This book, like 1984, makes us squirm. It makes us uncomfortable. And with that, it serves its purpose. We are meant to feel the agony. That’s the brilliance of it.
People feel genuinely threatened by the lessons this book is here to teach. We lead by example, and we should be able to teach and learn from examples too. As Huxley asks us to take a close look into our own world, we start to see how we can avoid this type of society and future.
As your read the book, it provides the negative examples we could all learn from, but remains as one of the most consistently challenged books on the Banned List.
What’s your take on A Brave New World? Should it stay or should it go?
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