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Brave New World is not so much a prophetic book as it is a book that satirizes what the author views as harmful contemporary trends by projecting them to their extreme conclusions. The period between the two world wars (and indeed the first half of the twentieth century in general) was one of remarkable scientific and intellectual advances coupled with a great deal of anxiety about the future. The war raised a number of questions about the nature of progress, and the increasing mechanization of society, along with mass culture and an increasing focus on science, especially behavioral science, only made these questions more profound. It is also significant that Huxley wrote in the midst of the rise of totalitarianism, which was fulfilled in Stalin's Soviet Union and soon would be in Hitler's Germany. These trends are satirized in the society described in Brave New World: people are literally produced in what can best be described as human assembly lines; they are ruled by a truly totalitarian state that nevertheless appears to be benign; their lives are controlled by bioengineering; and individuality is nonexistent. Huxley was, in a sense, warning about the the world he lived in, and in carrying the dominant intellectual ideas of his day to their (il)logical conclusions, he was urging contemporaries not to accept them, or "progress" in general, uncritically.
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