What could be one type of literary criticism for Brave New World?

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Brave New World can be viewed from the following perspectives:

Feminist: how are women (Fanny, Lenina, and Linda) portrayed?  Why aren't they Alphas?  Why must they take mandatory birth control?  Does this lead to happiness and freedom?

Mythological / Archetypal: Who plays the role of the Hero, Loner, Temptress, Spirit, Benevolent Father, Comic Relief, Nemesis?  What do colors, shapes, numbers stand for?

Marxist: What is the role of socio-economic class system?  Why do the Alphas exploit the lower castes?  Is there an unequal distribution of labor?

Freudian / Psychoanalytic: Does John suffer from repression and Oedipal guilt?  Is his suicide the result of his guilt over having a relationship with Lenina, a younger version of his mother?

Existential: how does the society limit the choices and freedom of the individual?  What role does individuality have in the face of cloning and genetic engineering?

Historical: What are the meanings behind all the names, allusions, and references to science in the novel?  What does Huxely believe is the role of science and technology in government?

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a social satire that points to the pitfalls of a world controlled by science and technology.  Without families, without true religion, without connection to nature, without the opportunities and abilities to express true emotions, the citizens of the New World have no reality, no continuation of a culture, no true humanity.

Yet, as satire, Brave New World is a call to people to not allow such depersonalization through promiscuity and drugs. Personal and emotional relationships are part of the human condition.  And, it is through pain that people grow.  The great conflicts in life are what build character in people; sorrow is necessary to an authentic existence.  With all the drugs and technology in modern society, there clearly seems to be fewer and fewer people who interact with one another in meaningful ways.

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Brave New World

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