In Brave New World, how does Aldous Huxley use Freud's psychoanalystic theory?

Expert Answers info

Dakota Rabbitt eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseProfessional Writer

bookB.A. from Colby College


calendarEducator since 2019

write295 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Psychoanalysis is a series of theories related to the unconscious mind pioneered by Dr. Sigmund Freud starting in the 1890s. By the late 1920s and early 1930s, psychoanalysis was prevalent and well-known. Aldous Huxley wrote his dystopian Brave New World as a parody to critique psychoanalysis and also to critique society’s obsession with new-age thinking that was quick to override traditional family values.

Freud’s work was groundbreaking because it separated personality into three entities: the id, ego, and super-ego, and Huxley used these three entities as the basis for his social criticism.

First, the id contains one’s animalistic urges, like hunger or sexual desire. This is the first aspect of the personality to develop and can be seen in infants. In Brave New World, children are taught to engage in erotic play to satisfy their urges from the id. In a tradition nuclear family, this behavior would be repudiated.

The second aspect to develop is the ego, which is intended to help the...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 876 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Tim Mbiti eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2014

write1,737 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write10,114 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mrs-campbell eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write2,159 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial