Ideas for Group Discussions

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1. One of the obvious projects for a group discussing Brave New World would be to compare it to George Orwell's novel 1984.

2. Examine the novel for its prophetic qualities. In what ways did Huxley in the early nineteen-thirties anticipate things available now?

3. Also in what ways was Huxley overly pessimistic or optimistic about scientific progress over the last sixty years?

4. Huxley came to regret that he gave only two alternatives for his characters to follow within the novel, primitivism or modernism, and wished that he had made the choices more complex. How do we live today in that more complex middle ground between the two extremes?

5. How does Brave New World reflect the tensions of the times (the early thirties) in which it was written? What were the tensions of the time?

6. Huxley's novel has been described as a novel of ideas and not character or plot. Discuss how this is so.

7. What do you make of the ending of the book? What does Huxley finally seem to be saying about such a futuristic world?

8. The title of Brave New World is from Shakespeare's play The Tempest, which is about the discovery of the "new worlds" of the sixteenth century, primarily America. In what ways is the novel about the new world of America?

9. Think of all the ways a contemporary society can be voluntarily induced to "cooperate" with those in power.

10. What sorts of human "losses" shocked Huxley in his novel that we now find easily acceptable?

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