What does the title Brave New World mean?

The title Brave New World is taken from a quote in Shakespeare's The Tempest. Upon seeing Ferdinand for the first time, Miranda says, "O brave new world, / That has such people in ’t!" The title is appropriate because John the Savage's situation parallels Miranda's plight in the play. Similar to Miranda, John is naive to the outside world. John's perspective of the world is also based on his knowledge of Shakespeare, which significantly influences his outlook on the World State.

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When Miranda uses the phrase "brave new world" to describe the survivors of the shipwreck in The Tempest, the jaded Prospero responds, "'Tis new to thee." Huxley presents the reader with an unfamiliar world, portraying it first through the eyes of the omniscient narrator and then as focused through the increasingly perturbed viewpoint of John the Savage. Both the reader and John encounter a world which initially appears to have many advantages. Its technological newness would have been self-evident and impressive to the reader of the 1930s. However, during the course of the narrative, it becomes clear that, as soon as the charm of novelty has worn off, the society it depicts is sinister and the description in the title profoundly ironic.

The title Brave New World conveys excitement and exhilaration. It suggests that all the pointless, limiting constraints of the past have been swept away, allowing humanity to reach its full potential. However, as John sees, the society Huxley depicts has in fact jettisoned all the complexity, depth, and beauty in civilization, leaving nothing but sensation and animal gratification. A world without tragedy is one in which it is impossible to be brave or to display any other heroic quality. This is what makes the title so ironic: the world, which soon ceases to seem new, is the opposite of brave, since it is adapted for the survival of a shallow, cowardly, deracinated parody of what mankind once was and is capable of being.

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Huxley's title Brave New World is an allusion to a line spoken by Miranda in Shakespeare's The Tempest. In the play, Miranda has been sheltered from the outside world and was raised on an enchanted island by her father, Prospero. When Miranda sees Ferdinand for the first time, she is in awe of him and excited about the opportunity to meet other humans. Miranda says,

How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in ’t!

Miranda's sheltered upbringing and inexperience with other cultures parallel John the Savage's circumstances in the story. Similar to Miranda, John was raised in a differing environment and naive to the outside world.

John repeats Miranda's quote several times in the story when he responds to the World State's citizens and foreign culture. Initially, John is inspired by the wonders he experiences and repeats Miranda's quote when thinking about Lenina. Later on, John ironically repeats the quote out of disgust when he witnesses a factory staffed by Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons. He also quotes Miranda's words following his mother's death and the horrifying scene of Deltas lining up for their soma ration.

The title is also relevant to the story because the extent of John's knowledge comes from his understanding of Shakespeare. John's perspective of the outside world and human emotions are shaped by the characters in Shakespeare's plays. John sees everything through the lens of Shakespeare and is a romantic, passionate individual. Once he arrives at the World State, John recognizes that the culture is hollow, and the citizens are comfortably numb. He quickly becomes disenchanted by the World State and longs for genuine, authentic experiences.

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Huxley takes the title Brave New World from Shakespeare's The Tempest. The title is apt because John the Savage knows Shakespeare by heart and quotes him often. When John says "oh brave new world that has such people in it" to describe the World State, he is being ironic. He is not impressed with the shallow, superficial lives people live. He finds it tragic that the humans in this futuristic society know nothing of sacrifice, suffering, real religion, literature, or the arts. He considers it a great loss that they have traded deep relationships for security. Mond, however, argues that the comforts and well-adjusted lives people have in the World State are a fair trade-off for giving up passion, art, and freedom.

Huxley is being ironic when he titles his book Brave New World. He writes about this dystopia to warn people against allowing this kind of drugged, shallow, and dehumanizing world to develop.

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The title Brave New World is a reference to Shakespeare's The Tempest. The line is delivered by Miranda, a young girl who has grown up on an isolated desert island, having known only her father and his deformed slave, Caliban. When Miranda meets men from the outside world, she says: "Oh brave new world, that has such people in it!"

This situation somewhat parallels that of "John the Savage," who has grown up on a reservation isolated from the modern world of technology and pleasure. Unlike Miranda, however, whose exposure to the outside world is full of promise and potential, John ultimately finds himself disgusted by the future society in which he finds himself, and is totally unable to adapt to it.

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