Uncategorized | February 29, 2004
History Is Bunk
I just finished reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. It is a story about a post-apocalyptic future that gives rise to an industrial, efficiency worshipping dystopia. The society is a strange mixture of capitalism and communism in that individuality has been abolished, but the people are strongly urged to constantly spend money, because it is the patriotic thing to do. Although the book may sound like boring science fiction, it is actually about several people, one having grown up outside of the society, dealing with their troubles.
I liked this story quite a bit because it embodied several qualities I like in literature. First off, it was fairly original, and didn’t get bogged down in sci-fi jargon. Also, it seemed that great care was taken to ensure that the reader knew exactly what was going on, and it dealt with several unique characters and their personal difficulties. However, what I liked most about Brave New World is that it makes you question the world, which, for me, is one of the main purposes of literature.
The irony in this story is that, although written in 1932, there are many strange parallels between this society and our own. One example that is a prevalent theme, in both Huxley’s fictional society and our own, is the saying, “history is bunk.”
Beyond the popular opinion that history class is a horrible atrocity, it seems as though the past is something we’d rather forget about. There are many of my peers who know little about recent major historical events, such as the Cold War, Vietnam, and even the Great Depression. Without a historical perspective, I don’t see how it’s possible to understand what’s going on in our world today or have an informed opinion on it.
The worst part is that it has never been easier to get information, namely because of the widespread access to the internet. In doing research for a presentation about Huxley, I was surprised to find that he was a prominent figure in 60’s and 70’s counter-culture. His picture is in the inside cover of the Beatles’ “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album and the band The Doors named themselves after one of his books. In the same search, I also learned that only forty years ago LSD, the hallucinogen, was being used to successfully treat alcoholism, various mental diseases, and sexual deviants. If you’re wondering what this has to do with Huxley and Brave New World, like I said, it’s never been easier to find out.
SEE THE ISSUE
Poem of the Week
Nov 11 2019
Stevie Edwards “Window Shopping”
This week’s Poem of the Week is “Window Shopping” by Stevie Edwards! Stevie Edwards is author of two poetry collections, Good Grief (Write Bloody 2012) and Humanly (Small Doggies 2015),
Poem of the Week
Nov 04 2019
Kathleen Balma “Jaybirds”
This week’s Poem of the Week is “Jaybirds” by Kathleen Balma! Kathleen Balma is a Fulbright fellow and the author of Gallimaufry & Farrago (Finishing Line Press, 2018) a poetry
Poem of the Week
Oct 28 2019
Aaron Coleman “Negro Reverend of an All-White Church, Pennsylvania 1941”
Aaron Coleman is the author of Threat Come Close (Four Way Books, 2018) and the chapbook, St. Trigger, selected by Adrian Matejka for the 2015 Button Poetry Prize. A Fulbright