What does the title Brave New World mean?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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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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mr-robitaille eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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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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