Brave New World

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Themes and Colors
Dystopia and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Technology and Control Theme Icon
The Cost of Happiness Theme Icon
Industrialism and Consumption Theme Icon
Individuality Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Brave New World, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Brave New World is one of the two best known dystopian novels written in the twentieth century. The other is George Orwell's 1984. Both novels envision future totalitarian societies in which individual liberty has been usurped by an all-powerful state. But the two novels show two very different methods by which the state has amassed its power. 1984 presents the rather more conventional vision of a totalitarian state, in which the government maintains power…

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Science and technology are two different things. Science is the pursuit of truth and fact in the various sciences, from biology to physics. Technology refers to the tools and applications developed from science. Science is knowledge. Technology is what you can do with that knowledge.

Brave New World raises the terrifying prospect that advances in the sciences of biology and psychology could be transformed by a totalitarian government into technologies that will change the way…

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If you gave someone the choice between getting what they wanted and not getting what they wanted, they'd choose getting what they wanted every time. This satisfaction of desire, the person would believe, would make them happy. In order to maintain its stability, the World State in Brave New World ensures that all its citizens get exactly what they want all the time. In other words, the World State is designed to make people happy…

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Brave New World criticizes the industrial economic systems of the era in which it was written by imagining those systems pushed to their logical extremes. The industrial revolution that began in the second half of the 19th century and sped up through the 20th allowed for the production of massive quantities of new goods. But there's no value in producing new goods that no one wants, so the willingness of the masses to consume these…

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All of World State society can be described as an effort to eliminate the individual from society. That doesn't mean the elimination of all people; it means the conditioning of those people so that they don't really think of themselves as individuals. What makes a person an individual? Having a sense of oneself as being separate, distinct, unique. This sense includes both the joy of one's own talents and thoughts, and the sorrows of loneliness…

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