A Classic Book About A Dystopian Society

Discussion in 'The Library' started by PhotonGuy, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    I've read this classic book about a dystopian society. The author does a really good job with telling a story about a possible dystopian future. Unfortunately one of the main characters, a character who has perhaps the best hope of making a change in the world, dies at the end when he hangs himself.
     
  2. Azulx

    Azulx Brown Belt

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    what's the book?
     
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  3. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
     
  4. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    How did you know? I didn't want to post the title of the book as some people might find it offensive.
     
  5. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'm trying to remember if I've ever read that. I don't think I have, but my memory for plots is awful, so I might have.
     
  6. DanT

    DanT Black Belt

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    Read it back in elementary school. It's a good book. I like 1984 better though.
     
  7. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I thought we were talking about watership down.
     
  8. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    You sure it wasn't Ole Yeller?
     
  9. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    How did I know? it's a piece of classic literature, extremely well known and hardly offensive unless you are a complete idiot. It's studied in schools and universities as well as being number five on the list of the best English language novels of the 20th century. Aldous Huxley is a well known writer, anyone with a decent education will have heard of him and the book along with his other writings.


    "Social critic Neil Postman contrasted the worlds of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World in the foreword of his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death. He writes:

    "What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that our fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us.

    Journalist Christopher Hitchens, who himself published several articles on Huxley and a book on Orwell, noted the difference between the two texts in the introduction to his 1999 article "Why Americans Are Not Taught History":

    We dwell in a present-tense culture that somehow, significantly, decided to employ the telling expression "You're history" as a choice reprobation or insult, and thus elected to speak forgotten volumes about itself. By that standard, the forbidding dystopia of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four already belongs, both as a text and as a date, with Ur and Mycenae, while the hedonist nihilism of Huxley still beckons toward a painless, amusement-sodden, and stress-free consensus. Orwell's was a house of horrors. He seemed to strain credulity because he posited a regime that would go to any lengths to own and possess history, to rewrite and construct it, and to inculcate it by means of coercion. Whereas Huxley ... rightly foresaw that any such regime could break because it could not bend. In 1988, four years after 1984, the soviet Union scrapped its official history curriculum and announced that a newly authorized version was somewhere in the works. This was the precise moment when the regime conceded its own extinction. For true blissed-out and vacant servitude, though, you need an otherwise sophisticated society where no serious history is taught."
     
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  10. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Once again, @Tez3 has managed to make this an ignorant knock on America.
     
  11. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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  12. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Well some people do get offended by the book. Its even been criticized as anti Semitic. In this day and age of political correctness you got to be careful what you bring up, people can get offended by just about anything.
     
  13. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Some books do contain offensive material but should still be read to gain understanding of the times and thoughts of the people at the time it was written. Aldous Huxley certainly was anti Semitic but according to Cristopher Isherwood did spend a huge amount of his money earnt as a Hollywood screenwriter helping to get Jews, left wingers and writers out of Hitler's Germany.
     
  14. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Well you sure were quick in finding out the book I was referring in this thread, much quicker than in my Narnia thread.

    Anyway, the characters of Bernard Marx and Lenina, according to some critics their characterizations both hint at anti semitism. Also, Henry Ford is considered a god in the book, and supposedly Henry Ford was known to be anti semitic in real life although Im not sure about that.
     
  15. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    You know that the book is famous? Famous world wide. It's on school and university reading lists, it's part of classic English language literature. Most people read it in school or uni.

    A good many people were and are anti Semitic. There is absolutely no doubt that Ford was anti Semitic. Henry Ford Invents a Jewish Conspiracy
     
  16. DaveB

    DaveB 2nd Black Belt

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    Not really...

    There's much one can say about Hitchensbut ignorant is not in the mix.
     
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