Free Study Guide: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - Free BookNotes

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The style of Brave New World is typical of Huxley; it is complex and highly wrought, but it is still readable, even if not entertaining. The narrative is, however, constantly enlivened by sophisticated dialogue, constant irony and occasional humor. Inventive ingenuity adds sparkle to the novel that is already punctuated with satire, as seen in the nursery rhymes modified to suit this "odorless, hygienic" world. Huxley also uses the familiar to represent the unfamiliar, as seen in the hypnop'dic proverb: A grammar in time saves nine.

Basically written out of social concern, Huxley's own ideas and attitudes emerge throughout the novel, in both the characters of the Savage and the Controller. He clearly sees good and bad in both of them. He is most troubled, however, that the two of them can find no common meeting ground or acceptance of the other's ideas. As a result, Huxley sees no light at the end of the tunnel for the old order; as a result, John commits suicide and the final picture seems to be a choice between the devil and the deep, dark sea. Although the novel belongs to the genre of utopian novels, popular at the time, Huxley presents an anti-utopia rather than creating an ideal world in which to live.


Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas, Epsilons: the caste hierarchy in Utopia.

Anthrax Bomb: a Pre-Ford weapon used in germ warfare.

Bokanovsky Process: a process by which a human egg has its normal development arrested. It starts to bud and produces many identical eggs.

Bottling: the stage where artificially created embryos are put into sowperitoneum-lined bottles for maturation.

Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy: an intricate ball game played with complicated equipment.

Community Sing: a pseudo-religious meeting for the lower castes, promoting fraternity.

Decanting: the process by which Utopian embryos are removed from the bottles after maturation.

Ectogenesis: birth outside the human body.

Emotional Engineering: the profession responsible for preparing propagandistic diversions for the people.

Erotic Play: a pastime for Utopian children, involving exploration of each other's bodies and meant to absolve all feelings of guilt associated with sex.

Five Step: a popular Utopian dance.

Ford: the Utopian idol, the nearest equivalent to God.

Freemartin: a sterilized Utopian woman.

Hypnop'dia: sleep-teaching to inculcate prejudices into the subconscious of the sleeper.

Internal and External Secretion Trust: this utopian organization is in charge of hormones and extracts to keep the people young and happy.

Liners and Matriculators: people who work in the Bottling Room.

Malthusian Belt: a device worn to discourage sex in the unsterilized women to avoid pregnancy.

Malthusian Drill: another device meant for the unsterilized women to avoid pregnancy.

Orgy-Porgy: a ritual where indiscriminate, en masse sexual relations ensure solidarity in the participants.

Podsnap's Technique: a process resulting in speeding up the ripening of embryos artificially.

Power Elite: an exclusive and restricted group which exercises power by forceful means.

Pregnancy Substitute: this medical procedure allows utopian women to experience the psychological benefits of childbirth without actually undergoing it.

Scent and Color Organ: a console that plays concertos of fragrant aromas and capriccios of colored lights.

Sex-hormone Chewing Gum: an artificial means of gaining sexual satisfaction.

Social Predestination: a process by which a card file of data on every Utopian is preserved to establish a quota system for those types of persons the state intends to create.

Solidarity Service: a pseudo-religious gathering to promote fraternity among the upper castes.

Soma: a drug that dulls the passions and understandings of the people and creates a false sense of happiness. It is frequently consumed to escape reality, mainly in the form of tablets. For the state, it serves as a tool of preserving social stability.

Subliminal Projection: an image presented to the sight or words to the hearing for split seconds and super-imposed upon visual or aural entertainment. This split-second communication lodges in the subconscious and greatly influences subsequent behavior.

Super-Vox-Wurlitzerians: a synthetic-music box.

T-Model: the Utopian equivalent of a religious symbol, meant to be a play upon the Christian cross; it honors Ford, the founder of this utopian society and alludes to Henry Ford and the mode-T.

Violent Passion Surrogate (V.P.S.): a chemical intended to give the body the psychological experience of having had normal sexual relations.

Voice of Good Feeling: the artificial voice that suppresses any riot by soothing the people with suggestions of peace through loudspeakers.

Will-to-Order: the drive in human beings that compels them to forge unity out of diversity to the extent of over-organizing things.


1. Explain John the Savage's beginning and why he wants to depart the Savage Reservation.

2. Contrast the brave new world as it exists with John's idealized version of the new world order.

3. What is the significance of the title of the novel and where does it come from?

4. Compare and contrast Bernard and John.

5. Compare and contrast Bernard and Helmholtz.

6. Describe the Controller, Mustafa Mond.

7. Contrast the old world order with the brave new world. Who are the best symbols of each? Defend your answer with specifics from the novel.

8. What is the conflict in the novel and how is it resolved?

9. What is the attitude about sex in the brave new world? How do John, Lenina, and Linda handle their sexual relations in the novel?

10. What aspects of his age is Huxley criticizing in "Brave New World"? What aspects of our world are satirized in the novel?

11. Explain why brave new world becomes an anti-utopian novel.

12. What does Huxley criticize about science in the novel?

13. Do you believe that the novel has a satisfactory ending? Fully explain your answer.

14. What are some of the high technology gimmicks and comforts that exist in "Brave New World"? Have any of them come to pass?

15. Why do you think that Huxley criticizes the novel as not being whole or complete? Give specific from the novel to support your response.

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Brave New World by Aldous Huxley: Free Book Notes Summary

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