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Compare 1984 with Brave New World

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Author: George Orwell Aldous Huxley
Brief Author Bio: Eric Blair was born and spent his youth in India. He was educated at Eton in England. From 1922-27 he served in the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. Through his autobiographical work about poverty in London (Down and Out more Aldous Huxley was born into a family of noted scientists and writers. His grandfather, a biologist, was instrumental in popularizing Darwin's theory of evolution. Huxley’s father was the editor of Cornhill magazine, while his mother was related to the English… Cornhill magazine, while his mother was related to the English poet Matthew Arnold. Huxley was a thoughtful, imaginative child, though his family teased him for his grumbling disposition. He attended Eton and Oxford and was skilled and knowledgeable in both literature and science. Though his hopes of a medical career were dashed when an eye disease almost blinded him at 16, he soon built a career as a writer. He wrote prolifically throughout the 1920's, publishing numerous essays, sketches, caricatures, and four novels. Huxley published Brave New World, his most successful novel, in 1932. As war loomed in Europe, Huxley, a pacifist, moved to California, along with his wife, Maria, and their son, Matthew. His attempt to write screenplays failed, but he developed an interest in hallucinogenic drugs that led to a book about his drug experiences, The Doors of Perception. In 1963, the same year he died, Huxley published his last book, Island, which depicted a utopia in contrast to the dystopia of Brave New World.' href='#'>more
Historical Context: Orwell was a socialist, the direct result of his service as a militiaman on the Republican side against the Fascist general Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War. Upon his return to England he joined the British Independent Labour Party… more When Huxley wrote Brave New World in the early 1930s, the world had recently endured the terrible trauma of World War I (1914-1918). Totalitarian states had sprung up in the Soviet Union, and Fascist parties were gaining power in Europe… more
When Written: 1945-49; outline written 1943 1931
Where Written: Jura, Scotland France
When Published: June 1949 1932
Literary Period: Late Modernism Modernism
Genre: Novel / Satire / Parable Dystopian fiction
Setting: London in the year 1984 London and New Mexico, under the fictional World State government
Climax: Winston is tortured in Room 101 The debate between Mustapha Mond and John
Antagonist: O'Brien The World State; Mustapha Mond
Point Of View: Third-person omniscient Third Person
Plot Summary In the future world of 1984, the world is divided up into three superstates—Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia—that are deadlocked in a permanent war. The superpowers are so evenly matched that a decisive victory is impossible, but the real reason for the war is to keep their economies productive without adding to the wealth of their citizens, who live (with the exception of a privileged few) in a state of fear and poverty. Oceania, made up of the English-speaking nations, is ruled by a group... The Director of the Central London Hatcheries leads a group of students on a tour of the facilities, where babies are produced and grown in bottles (birth is non-existent in the World State). The Director shows how the five castes of World State society are created, from Alphas and Betas, who lead the society, down to the physically and intellectually inferior Deltas, Gammas, and Epsilons, who do menial labor. The Director also shows how each individual is conditioned both before and after...
Major Characters: Winston Smith, Julia/The Dark-Haired Girl, O'Brien, Mr. Charrington Bernard Marx, John (the Savage), Helmholtz Watson, Lenina Crowne, Mustapha Mond, Linda, The Director (Thomas)
Minor Characters: Big Brother, Emmanuel Goldstein, Syme, Parsons, Mrs. Parsons, Tillotson, Ampleforth, The Woman With Sandy Hair, The Man With The Quacking Voice, Katharine, Martin, Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford, The Skull-Faced Man, Bumstead, The Old Prole Man, Winston's Mother, Comrade Withers, Comrade Ogilvy Fanny Crowne, Henry Foster, Benito Hoover, The Arch-Community-Songster, Popé
Themes:
Symbols:
Related Literary Works: In 1516, Sir Thomas More published a book called Utopia. Its title meant, in Greek, either "good place" or "no place," and the book described an ideal society in order to criticize More's own society. Utopia was not the… Republic, for example, does the same thing. But Utopia did give the genre a name, and numerous writers over the years wrote their own Utopian novels. In addition, a number of writers wrote Dystopian novels, in which they imagined the worst possible society, and used it to criticize their current world. Nineteen Eighty-Four is a dystopian novel. The primary literary model for Nineteen Eighty-Four is considered to be H.G. Wells's anti-Utopian satire When the Sleeper Wakes (1899), but Orwell was also influenced by the writings of the 18th century satirist Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels (1726). Prior to writing Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell wrote and published essays on Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (1932), Jack London's The Iron Heel (1907), and Yevgeny Zamyatin's We (1924), dystopian novels set in an imaginary future, and James Burnham's nonfiction political tract The Managerial Revolution (1941).' href='#'>more In 1516, Sir Thomas More published a book called Utopia. Its title meant either "good place" or "no place," in Greek, and the book described an ideal society that More used in order to criticize his own society. Utopia Republic, for example, does the same thing. But Utopia was the book that gave the genre its name, and numerous writers over the years wrote their own utopian novels. In addition, a number of writers wrote dystopian novels, in which they imagined the worst possible society, using it to criticize their current world. Brave New World is a dystopian novel, which extrapolated from the rise of technology, science, and totalitarianism in the 1930s to imagine a future totalitarian state in which humanity had been robbed of all free choice and were forced into happiness through the manipulation of genetics and psychology. In its focus on the evils of totalitarianism and the use of technology to support these evils, Brave New World most closely resembles George Orwell's 1984, whose dystopia enforces conformity through methods like surveillance and torture. In recent years dystopian novels have exploded in popular, with young adult books like Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games and Veronica Roth’s Divergent being expanded into incredibly successful series and film franchises.' href='#'>more
Extra Credit: Orwell didn't just write literature that condemned the Communist state of the USSR. He did everything he could, from writing editorials to compiling lists of men he knew were Soviet spies, to combat the willful blindness of many intellectuals in… more Though Brave New World is now considered to be one of the most important works of dystopian fiction ever written, its reception in the 1930s was much more restrained, even negative. It was dismissed by some reviewers as an unsophisticated… The Doors of Perception, was a cult classic among certain groups. One of those groups was a rock and roll band in search of a name. After Jim Morrison and his friends read Huxley's book, they had one: The Doors.

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