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What is a critical analysis of Aldous Huxley, who is he, etc.

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jakande | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted September 12, 2013 at 5:55 PM via web

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What is a critical analysis of Aldous Huxley, who is he, etc.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 12, 2013 at 10:37 PM (Answer #1)

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Very much the icononclast, Aldous Huxley used his scientific nature to analyze sociological conditions. His brother, the zoologist Julian Huxley, wrote that for Aldous mysticism and science overlapped and were complementary realms:

The more [science] discovers and the more comprehension it gives us of the mechanisms of existence, the more clearly does the myster of existence itself stand out.

In his 1928 novel, Point Counter Point, Huxley became renowned for his innovative stylistic and thematic ventures. With a narrative that leaps from scene to scene and character to character, Huxley places under the literary microscope man's disillusionment with politics, sex, art, and religion. Reflective of himself, Huxley's character Philip Quarles is an intellectual skeptic.Some of his skepticism derived from the death of his sensitive and idealistic brother Trevenen, who committed suicide after his failure to achieve first-class honors at Oxford and a place in Civil Service. Later, in his Brave New World (1932), Huxley became more pessimistic with his portrayal of an antiutopia. 

Huxley's penchant for satire exemplifies his desire to demystify the conventional wisdom of his time. He attacked religion, but yet he concluded that without it man would probably turn to something worse. He dissected the human concept of love as a combination of Christian moral interpretation and the unrealistic Romantic sense of passion which leads to contradictions and conflicts. Yet, again, he strove to understand the sexual drives and attain love himself.

Huxley pushed his way into the mysteries of human consciousness through his analyses, and he even tried solutions through experimentation with mind-altering drugs such as mescaline and LSD. But, despite his eccentricities, Huxley and his iconoclasm have been beneficial. Critics have called it "a weapon of critical value" because he has directe people to a re-examination their beliefs and taken them to logical conclusions rather than sentimental ones.

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