Margaret Atwood on ‘Brave New World’

One of my ‘Brave New World’ editions has a foreword by Margaret Atwood, who wrote for example “The Handmaid’s Tale“, another famous dystopian novel.

I looked it up and found it also in the Guardian so that you can find and read it there via this link. Reading it may give you (the students) a good view of the topics and themes of the novel and also will put it in a frame of reference to history and other utopian and dystopian works.

Especially the comparison of ‘Brave New World’ with Orwell’s ‘1984‘ will again raise the question if Huxley had a utopian or a dystopian view in mind. What do you think?

The headline of the article also reminds me of something said by one of the main characters in “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, again another example of a famous dystopian novel. When Captain Beatty, a head of a kind of  “GESTAPO” like fire brigade, explains the history of the Fahrenheit world to the protagonist Montag, he claims: “We are the happiness boys”. And he really believes it.

Which shows that there are two different kinds of people who are extremely dangerous: the ones who simply want to have power and the ones who want to make you happy whether you share their idea of happiness or not.

‘Fahrenheit 451’ portrays a world where books are not only banned but burned (Talk about extrapolation here…) and we live in a free world, don’t we? Then why is ‘Brave New World’ one of thetop ten books Americans most want banned? Read about it in this Guardian article.

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