Study Guide

Brave New World

by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World Essay - Suggested Essay Topics

Suggested Essay Topics

Chapter 1
1. Describe the attitude of the Director toward his new students, and toward Henry Foster.

2. Compare the production of humans with the assembly-line process as it is used for products of the present time.

Chapter 2
1. Why is it necessary, in A.F. 632, that words referring to family relationships have been made words of ridicule and pornography? How has this shaping of language been an aid to the conditioning process?

2. Hypnopaedia and/or hypnotic suggestion is used today to help people overcome problems (smoking, weight loss, self-esteem). Create a situation where someone who is open to suggestion receiving this type of treatment could be misdirected into deviant behavior.

Chapter 3
1. Why does Mustapha Mond keep referring to the past pre-modern lives of families? Show how this is really a form of counter-conditioning and not just sensational.

2. Aldous Huxley uses the literary technique of moving across parallel scenes that change more quickly as the chapter progresses. Show how this technique allows examples of the pre-modern and modern world to be illustrated and how it also works as a device to move the novel from scientific explanation into plot movement.

3. Demonstrate how the intertwining of Ford and Freud blend the mechanical and psychological aspects of the New World.

Chapter 4
1. Explain the differences between Bernard’s and Lenina’s reactions to the sky when they are on the roof. From what you know of these characters so far, how do their differing views of the sky reflect their differing views of life?

2. Bernard overcompensates for his non-Alpha looks by being a bully with the lower castes. Why does he do this? Can you relate this to someone you know personally?

3. “Words can be like x-rays, if you use them properly—they’ll go through anything.” What does Helmholtz Watson mean? How has this statement often proven true in our own history? Is this why tyrants burn books?

Chapter 5
1. In the song “Bottle of Mine” that is performed by Calvin Stopes and his Sixteen Sexophones at the nightclub, what is the double reference with the word bottle and how does it apply to life in this New World?

2. Explain how the Solidarity Group meeting is designed to follow church ritual from various religions. Why do you think this was necessary?

Chapter 6
1. Bernard rationalizes the Director’s actions toward him. How does he turn his own feelings of inadequacy into anger against the Director? How does he blame the Director for his own mistakes?

2. Why do you think Lenina is drawn to Bernard, even though she calls him so very odd?

3. Is Bernard’s action over the Channel: (a) to truly enjoy the night sea, (b) to deliberately frighten Lenina, and/or (c) to punish Lenina for making him take her to Amsterdam and socialize? Explain your choice.

Chapter 7
1. How is the whipping of the boy and the ceremony of sacrifice a blending of Christian and pagan rites into a new mythology?

2. Imagine you are Lenina listening to Linda ramble on. What is going through your mind? What are your emotions?

Chapter 8
1. Discuss John’s affection for and defense of Linda, despite the fact of her abuse and neglect of him and her continual drunkenness.

2. How does John blend Linda’s stories and the tribal mythology to create his own religion? Why does he feel he must have his own initiation?

3. Compare Miranda’s speech as quoted in the Analysis with John’s use of her words. What kind of world does each imagine?

Chapter 9
1. Explain why you think Bernard called Mond directly, and what the plan is that he devised during his sleepless night.

2. Detail how Linda’s stories of her world have created the fantasy that causes John’s...

(The entire section is 1668 words.)