The role of civil disobedience, the act of defying society for the greater good, has been a theme of many famous and often controversial literary works.
***Brave New World (Aldous Huxley): "State versus the Individual: Civil Disobedience in Brave New World" / Jake Pollerd
This volume of criticism presents a variety of new essays on Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, a classic in the science fiction and dystopian genres. These essays delve into the cultural, historical, comparative and critical contexts for understanding Brave New World. For readers who are studying it for the first time, several essays survey the critical conversation regarding this work from all standard critical perspectives - social, gender, post-modern, psychological, and cultural as well as the more traditional historical and close readings. Aldous Huxley's Brave New World is (along with Evgeny Zamyatin's We and George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four) one of the founding texts of the genre of dystopian fiction. Such narratives, involving the exploration of possible dark, oppressive futures, have become one of the most popular genres of contemporary popular culture. Those narratives have recently become extremely common, even in Young Adult fiction. However, the founding texts of the genre remain compelling and continue to set its terms. Of these founding texts, Brave New World is widely acknowledged to be the one whose dystopian future most closely matches the Western world as it has actually evolved since the initial publication of the text more than eighty years ago. The essays in this volume examine the ways in which Brave New World continues to serve as an effective satirical commentary on our own reality, as well as the ways it continues to provide models for the numerous dystopian fictions that are being produced today.
Wandering into Brave New World explores the historical contexts and contemporary sources of Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel which, seventy years after its initial publication remains the best known and most discussed dystopian work of the twentieth century. This new study addresses a number of questions which still remain open. Did his round-the-world trip in 1925-1926 provide material for the novel? Did India’s caste system contribute to the novel’s human levels? Is there an overarching pattern to the names of the novel/s characters? Has the role of Hollywood in the novel been underestimated? Is Lenina Crown a representative 1920s “flapper”? Did Huxley have knowledge of and sources for his Indian reservation characters and scenes quite independent of and more accurate than those of D. H. Lawrence’s writings? Did Huxley’s visit to Borneo contribute anything to the novel? New research allows substantive answers and even explains why Huxley linked such figures as Henry Ford and Sigmund Freud. It also shows how the novel overcomes its intense grounding in 1920s political turmoil to escape into the timelessness of dystopian fiction.
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