BRAVE NEW WORLD BY ALDOUS HUXLEY ACTIVITY #1 – QUICKWRITE • In 6-8 sentences answer the following question: Consider John the “Savage”. Is he a “noble savage” or is he dangerously naïve? Is John the protagonist of the novel? Is John a heroic character? Explain your answer. ACTIVITY #2 – PASSAGE ANALYSIS • Discuss the following passages for 10 minutes and write a half page analysis (not a summary) of each. Try your best to “read between the lines” to find the underlying significance of these passages. • Remember: analysis critiques and evaluates an idea, theme, concept, or character in literature. Analysis attempts to answer: • Does the subject matter have contemporary relevance? How does it relate to society today? Is there a controversy surrounding the text? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the choice of topic, the methodology, the evidence, and the author’s conclusions? ACTIVITY #2 – PASSAGE 1 FROM CHAPTER 15 "Free, free!" the Savage shouted, and with one hand continued to throw the soma into the area while, with the other, he punched the indistinguishable faces of his assailants. "Free!" And suddenly there was Helmholtz at his side – "Good old Helmholtz!" – also punching – "Men at last!" – and in the interval also throwing the poison out by handfuls through the open window. "Yes, men! men!" and there was no more poison left. He picked up the cash-box and showed them its black emptiness. "You're free!" Howling, the Deltas charged with a redoubled fury. ACTIVITY #2 – PASSAGE 2 FROM CHAPTER 16 “It’s an absurdity. An Alpha-decanted, Alpha-conditioned man would go mad if he had to do Epsilon Semi-Moron work- go mad, or start smashing things up. Alphas can be completely socialized,- but only on condition that you make them do Alpha work. Only an Epsilon can be expected to make Epsilon sacrifices, for the good reason that for him they aren’t sacrifices; they’re the line of least resistance. His conditioning has laid down rails along which he’s got to run. He can’t help himself; he’s foredoomed. Even after decanting, he’s still inside a bottle- an invisible bottle of infantile and embryonic fixations. Each one of us, of course,” the Controller meditatively continued, “goes through life inside a bottle. But if we happen to be Alphas, our bottles are, relatively speaking, enormous. We should suffer acutely if we were confined in a narrower space. You cannot pour upper-caste champagne-surrogate into lower-caste bottles.” PRO/CON CHART: GOVERNMENT CONTROL IN BRAVE NEW WORLD Pro Con DUE/HOMEWORK • Due: Activity #1 – Quickwrite and Activity #2 – Passage Analysis • Due: Character Chart • Homework: None! BRAVE NEW WORLD BY ALDOUS HUXLEY CLASS DISCUSSION – THE END OF THE NOVEL • How do John’s memories of his childhood change after the twins arrive? Why does he become angry with his mother? What happens to her as a result? • Why does John’s grief upset the nurse? What is she worried might happen as a result of his public display of emotion? How does she attempt to remedy the situation? • How do the policemen manage to subdue the angry mob? Why do you think they don’t use fear or violence as a method of control? • • What does chapter 15 reveal about Bernard’s character? How is he different from Helmholtz and John? • What does Mond plan to do with Helmholtz and Marx? How does each man respond to his punishment? What do their responses reveal about their characters? Why does Mond say that their punishment is actually a reward? • Does Mustapha Mond believe in God? Explain his beliefs. According to Mond, how were they able to take questions about God out of people’s consciousness? • What does John realize when he wakes up? What does he do as a result of this realization? Do you think he made the right decision? According to Mond, why is beauty dangerous? Do you agree with him? What is the “price that must be paid” for social stability? FINAL SPEECH REQUIREMENTS After carefully reading Brave New World, and through our class discussions, you will of course have some opinions on the topics that Huxley raises in this controversial novel. In your 4 minute speech you will look at how this book compares with our own world and the costs and benefits of such a dystopian society. You will fully examine the topic and relate it to both the brave new world and our current society. You need to show understanding of all sides of the topic and discuss especially how it relates to the book. Choose one of the four topics listed below. SPEECH TOPICS THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS THROUGH DRUGS Soma is a drug used by everyone in the brave new world. Huxley believed in the possibility of a drug that would enable people to escape from themselves, but he made soma a parody of that possibility. Is it possible for people to achieve true happiness through drugs like Soma? MINDLESS CONSUMPTION AND DIVERSIONS This society offers its members distractions that they must enjoy together; they are never allowed to be alone because solitude breeds instability. They also make their citizens constantly buy things and spend money. This leads to the citizens being constantly diverted from reality and consuming mindlessly. Is this a threat to society or is it stability? SPEECH TOPICS SCIENTIFIC ADVANCEMENTS The combination of genetic engineering and bottle-birth seem to make the society stable in the fact that they know exactly who they are and where they fit into society. However these scientific advancements seem to bother readers. It seems as though these advancements seem to make us feel less human. Will continued interest in scientific advancement dehumanize a society? THE INCOMPATIBILITY OF HAPPINESS AND TRUTH Brave New World is full of characters that do everything they can to avoid facing the truth about their own situations. According to Mustapha Mond, the World State prioritizes happiness at the expense of truth by design: he believes that people are better off with happiness than with truth. The happiness they experience is the desire for food, sex, drugs, nice clothes, and other consumer items, and the truth that is covered up is scientific as well as “human” truths, such as love, friendship, and personal connection. Is this a problem or is ignorance bliss? SPEECH INTRODUCTION You will begin with a general introduction that includes what your topic is and your general views on how it relates to our world. There is no need to introduce yourself in this speech, we all know who you are Your first 30 seconds should have something interesting (a fact, a story, a statistic, etc.) to hook the listener in, give some background on the book and your topic in general. It should also give an overview of the points you will make in your speech. Your speech introduction should be very similar to an essay introduction. THE BODY OF THE SPEECH The bulk of your speech will be explaining how your topic is revealed in BNW and how that compares and contrasts with our current world. If you focus too heavily on examples from the book or on real life examples you are not showing a complete understanding of the topic and therefore will be down graded. Provide evidence of the points you are trying to make. Use quotes or paraphrases from the book, and use statistics, stories, or facts to support your real life examples. Devote about 3 minutes to this section. SPEECH CONCLUSION After examining each side of the issue and seeing how your points relate to the book and real life, sum up your points and end with a call to action. What should we learn from not only Huxley’s book, but your speech as well? Devote about 30 seconds to 1 minute for this final section. DELIVERING A SPEECH You will also be graded on speech mechanics such as: eye contact, voice volume, and posture. It should be evident that you have rehearsed this speech and that you have paid attention to timing and pacing. You should not only bring some insight into your topic you should entertain us as well; you may consider bringing props or visual aids to enhance your presentation. Happy speaking! Additionally there will be a required visual element/enhancement to your presentation. We will further discuss this next week on Monday/Tuesday. READ AND ANNOTATE “BRAVE NEW WORLD AND THE THREAT OF TECHNOLOGICAL GROWTH” We will be reading “Brave New World and the Threat of Technological Growth” by Derek D. Miller. As we read make AT LEAST 4 thoughtful annotations per page. Things to consider: • How do we so technology growing and increasing in our society today? Is it growing in a good way or a bad way? ACTIVITY #1 – WRITING HUXLEY A LETTER • Reading involves an emotional response. You like or dislike a book. You are bored or excited by its contents. What is your emotional response to Brave New World? Write a one page letter to Aldous Huxley describing your reaction to his novel. You must reference the Miller’s article. Construct your introduction, body, and conclusion based on your answers to some or all of the following questions: What is his view on technology and civilization? What is your overall opinion of the novel? What are the three main reasons for your opinion? How does Huxley develop his characters? Is the plot a strong one? How might it be improved? What elements of the tale are realistic? Which are purely fictional? Did you like the novel’s ending? Explain. What elements of Brave New World do you like the most? What elements would you change? (Point of view, style, plot, characters, setting, tone, etc.) DUE/HOMEWORK • Due: Activity #1 – Letter to Huxley • Homework: Start thinking about what your speech topic will be and what you want to say about that topic. Next class we will start working on the speech and filling out the outline.