Top positive review
This book is equally good if not better than Orwell's 1984. Highly recommended.
Reviewed in India on 20 July 2018
Aldous Huxley has depicted a dystopian world in this book where children are no longer born naturally and are rather genetically engineered and grown in decanters. Every child born has a predestined caste depending upon the conditioning of its decanted embryo. The residents of the world state are segregated into alphas, bravos, gammas, deltas and epsilons with alphas being the highest in the degree of precedence and epsilons being the lowest.
A decanted embryo is raised according to the caste it is predestined to born into. Alphas are breeded to be intellectuals and have excellent physical and mental conditioning whereas epsilons are conditioned to have stunted growth and low IQ so as to perform menial jobs. Once a child is born from the embryo , it is made to undergo a training program wherein it's reactions to various stimuli is engineered depending upon its caste and future job role. The juveniles are exposed to hypnopaedic learning or sleep teaching and also encouraged to perform erotic play to encourage promiscuity.
In the world state, there is no concept of religion, family or marriage. Women are born freemartins and don't give birth. All the residents are non- chastate and are promiscuous ("Everyone belongs to everyone else"). The world is depicted as technologically advanced where everyone commutes in a helicopter and residents are secure from all diseases and worries. They are kept in a false state of happiness with sex, drugs and music.
The residents of the world are conditioned not to question their existence or have an opinion on things. There are no history books or literature available to them. 'Soma' is a magical drug which removes their worries, anger and frustration and calms them. The drug is rationed to all the residents and they all are shown as its slave. The world depicted in the story shows no struggle for the residents and all of them are kept in a false state of happiness. Terms like vibro vacuum massage, sec hormone chewing gum and feelies ( movies where you feel all sensations) are a part of the false utopian world of the residents.
Other than the residents of the state world, there also exists 'savage' reservations. There is no specific protagonist in the story. There are various characters like Bernard Marx, Lenina, Helmholtz, John (savage), Linda ,Mustafa Mond etc. The story takes Bernard and Lenina to a savage reservation in Mexico where they meet John and Linda and bring them along to their world in London. The rest of the novel involves the Savage's point of view and his feeling with respect to the so called utopian world. The story with a few turn of events change the Savage's perception of the world completely.
The book is an excellent read. This book is equally good if not better than Orwell's 1984. Highly recommended.