In Brave New World, what is Huxley's attitude toward science? Why?

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Science and scientists are not Huxley's main targets in the dystopian satire Brave New World, although he does warn--as any science-fiction writer does--of the possible dehumanizing aspects of scientific progress.

Huxley was the grandson of famed zooligist Thomas Huxley.  Huxley's father was a scientist.  Huxley himself would have been a scientist if not a science-fiction author.

Huxley's main targets are commercial and socio-political, not the scientific community.  Huxley's villain in Brave New World is a world controller, a former scientist.  Huxley likewise parodies Ford, Marx, and Lenin--all business and political icons.

Huxley is more a critic of a country's leaders who force people to take birth control of limit the number of births in a family (like China) than he is about the scientists that make the pills.

Huxley is more critical of communism and socialism and crass commercialism than he is about the scientific methods and technology used to implement them.  His targets are more powerful than the scientists and tech workers who are their pawns.

Huxley satirizes science mainly as fad, not as evil.  He wants to take down the powerful controllers of society, not their messengers (scientists).  So says Enotes:

...the ideas of Viennese physician Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), the father of modern psychoanalysis, were also becoming popular. He believed, among other things, that most psychological problems stem from early childhood experiences. Huxley incorporated all of these technological and psychological discoveries into his novel, having the Controllers misuse this information about controlling human behavior to oppress their citizens.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Huxley's main attitude towards science in this book is that it can get out of hand.  One of the book's major themes is that science can do this and that, when it does, society can suffer.

Think about all the ways that science has gotten out of hand.   They no longer have women carrying babies within their bodies.  Instead, they have the fetuses in bottles.  They are able to completely control how the fetuses develop through science.  They are able to split the fetuses through the Bokanovsky process.  All of this sort of thing helps to make their society uniform and soulless.

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Brave New World

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