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Barron's Booknotes-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
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ANSWERS

TEST 1

1. B
2. A
3. C
4. B
5. A
6. C
7. C
8. A
9. B
10. C

11. Every section of this guide can help you answer this question. Some characters exist only to express or embody a particular idea, and some have something close to three-dimensional, live personalities. Huxley expresses some ideas by putting them in the mouths of cartoon characters like the Director; some by making them part of serious dialogue, like the conversations between Bernard and Helmholtz and between the Controller and John; and some by actual behavior, like Lenina's sex life with Henry Foster and Bernard, and her attempt with John.

Compare the different kinds of characters and say what you like and don't like about them. How do their ideas affect their actions and their personalities, and vice versa?

Look for specific chapters where the plot stands still while ideas are expressed, and compare the "action" to a chapter in which the characters really do things and relate to each other. Which category does Chapter 17, in which the Controller and the Savage argue, belong in?

12. The goals of the world state are mentioned in the first paragraph of the book and frequently thereafter, and they are mentioned also in this guide. They are community, identity, and stability. The general principle for achieving them is to use new scientific techniques to make people like to do what they have to do, as the Director says in Chapter I, and to eliminate every painful emotion, as the Controller says in Chapter 3 and Chapter 17. Among the many specific techniques embodying those principles are the different kinds of conditioning, the use of soma, sex, and sports; the training about death; the elimination of history and literature. You should focus on three in detail.

13. This kind of satire is a matter of exaggerating behavior that Huxley saw around him and projecting it into the future. Look for vices and follies in the use of science, religion, the economic structure, and the attitude toward sex, in every theme and every chapter. Almost everything that the book satirizes existed either in the 1920s or today, but you may have to think about some or do research on others, like particular church practices. It would also be interesting to decide which is a vice and which a folly.


14. The benefits are the achievement of community, identity, and stability, if you prize them as the Controllers do, and the absence of war, poverty, disease, and social unrest. What do you think about them as benefits? What price would you be willing to pay for them?

Huxley thinks the cost in Brave New World is far too high. You can find some costs mentioned in the first three chapters and others in Chapters 16 and 17; they are summarized under Theme 11 in this guide. You can write an A (or alpha) paper if you think carefully about the value that you put on the benefits and the costs.

15. Huxley says in his 1946 Foreword that the theme of Brave New World is "the advancement of science as it affects human individuals." He had some scientific training before he lost his vision, and believed that scientific advances could and would be made, but he didn't trust scientists or rulers to use them properly. He foresaw danger in most scientific and technological discoveries-the danger that their use would turn into abuse and produce evil. The whole point of Brave New World is that it does not use science well. But as the guide tells you, Huxley never gave up on the possibility of using science well, and made that possibility a reality in his last novel, Island.

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