And, that’s a wrap for this year’s reviews! I’m still in the progress of reading a few more interesting books, but I’m doubtful I’ll finish and review any before the year ends. So I thought I will make this brilliant book my last review for the year, and then post some snapshots of my reading year in 2018 later 🙂
So, coming back to the book. With this book, I completed the last category of Modern Mrs Darcy’s Reading Challenge for 2018 – A Classic you have been meaning to read.
To those who haven’t read or heard about this book, in short, this book was written in the year 1934, about a dystopian future where everyone is happy, there are no illnesses or dirt, no poverty, no wars, something called ‘Soma‘, which has the effect of the best drug you can think of, without any of the side effects, no relationships (mothers, fathers, partners, lovers, children, brothers, sisters, etc), where bodily, everyone belongs to everyone else and open promiscuity is promoted for overall happiness of all the people, no old age and no fear of death.
This is what many of us dream of even today, isn’t it? Then what’s the catch? Why is it called a dystopian future, when it should have been an ideal future that we can live in? That’s where the story actually starts. Because, the people living in this world, do not comprise of all the people inhabiting the planet. There is a place which is called the ‘Savage Reservation’, where people live with all of the things that the others don’t – poetry, monogamy, pride, legends, heroism, diseases, poverty, illness, fear of death, struggle, triumph, strength, honor and a sense of community.
The story is about the debate that takes place, when people from this world come into a long term contact with the people in the other world. What happens? Which is better, and which is right? Can they adapt and survive in each other’s worlds? How does it all end?
I have to say, that while I was reading this, I felt as if we already have somehow reached that place or World described as a futuristic place by the author Aldous Huxley in 1930s.
For example, we have now, the developed countries where there are people who are financially stable, have better living conditions and fewer diseases, and a reduction in wars, but at the same time I see that the same people (I think that includes me too) have fewer meaningful relationships, don’t feel passionate about many things in their lives, have help to help them with chores so we have time to work more in a job that we don’t like or enjoy or understand, so that we can get the money to drink more, eat more and watch movies or shows that have no poetry or beauty in them. People in this World have swapped discussing books and poetry at length, to discussing the violence and gore in shows like Game of Thrones (I’m a GoT fan too, so don’t mean any offense here), or watching mindless shows like Big Brother or Big Boss. Children and people have swapped spending time at each other’s place to talk about random things in favour of not having to talk by visiting loud places such as a movie theatre, or a crowded coffee shop in a mall, or just a mall, or a loud pub.
Whereas, on the other hand, we have people living in the war wrung areas or in developing countries, where poverty and diseases are rampant, the daily struggle of surviving itself seems like a victory at the end of a day, where the only thing that defines or brings happiness to an individual is a strong sense of community and religion or their Gods, where they sing songs of their Gods beside a fireplace at the end of a day, or just mercilessly beat each other over a piece of bread.
Which one is better? What world should we strive to live in?
Every time I read a book about a dystopian future, that was written many years back – 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, The Handmade’s Tale (I have yet to read this one), I feel as if all of these Worlds have in a way become our truth now. When I read those books though, I felt scared of living in such a World. Until I realized, that I probably am living in such a World already. And then, I panicked a little. Thank God we have books like Harry Potter to escape this reality 🙂
Also, have you noticed, that we have so many YA books set in a dystopian future these days, but none of them scare us or leave us with a panic attack, or an ominous feeling, because these books are more about the story of an underdog defeating the bad guys? Thank God for YA I must say, and for books like The Hunger Games. While reading this book, I felt as if The Hunger Games might have been inspired by Brave New World – what did you guys think?
To wrap up, I think the book is brilliant and a must read- especially some of the last chapters where the debate or discussion between John the Savage and Mustafa Mond, the DHC I think takes place. Just brilliant 🙂
(I know I have overused the word- Brilliant..lol :P)
Merry Christmas everyone!!!