Brave New World


Aldous Huxley

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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.

Dystopia and Totalitarianism

Brave New World envisions a future totalitarian society in which individual liberty has been usurped by an all-powerful state. But while other dystopian novels envision totalitarian measures being carried out through tactics like surveillance and torture, Brave New World, in contrast, argues that the most powerful totalitarian state would be one that doesn't suppress and frighten its citizens, but instead manages to convince its citizens to love their slavery.

As the Director of London’s…

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Technology and Control

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 that human beings think and act. Once this happens, the novel suggests, the totalitarian government will cease to allow the pursuit of actual science, and the truth that science reveals will be restricted and controlled. Huxley argues that the more human beings harness technology to…

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The Cost of Happiness

If someone were given the choice between getting what they wanted and not getting what they wanted, they'd probably choose the first option 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. This universal "happiness" is achieved in three ways. First, psychological conditioning is…

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Industrialism and Consumption

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. Individualism, which encompasses an awareness of one's own opinions and abilities, the joys of personal relationship, and the accompanying sorrows of loneliness and isolation, is suppressed as aggressively as possible by the World State…

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