What Happened to Us? Are we in a Brave New World yet?

In this special guest post, Lyubov Dali offers an analysis of Zamyatin’s We and Huxley’s Brave New World in light of their striking dystopian visions

What is freedom to you? Is it an ability to choose what degree to pursue, where to live, what to have for dinner, or is it that hip Pharrell tune? Would limiting these freedoms make you unhappy? More importantly, are you likely to ever be persuaded to volunteer your freedom, aspirations, identity to be sacrificed for the greater social good?  Now before you dismiss us as lunatics, you might be surprised to learn that there were literally hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people who not so long ago willingly sacrificed their freedoms for the promise of a better society. Can it happen to us?

Brace yourself to hear not one, but two such stories: one of a society whose existence was shaped by an authoritarian regime, another – of a society that we are at risk to be building now. We will call on to two dystopian (of course!) authors who produced two of the most consequential dystopian works: a Russian Evgeniy Zamyatin and an English Aldous Huxley.

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Five Fascinating Facts about Aldous Huxley

Interesting trivia about the life of Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World

1. Aldous Huxley was the great-nephew of Matthew Arnold. Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), the author best known for the dystopian novel Brave New World (1932), could boast the nineteenth-century poet and educational reformer Arnold (1822-88) as his great-uncle. This literary ancestry is worth mentioning at the outset of this list of interesting Aldous Huxley facts, not least because it is often eclipsed in accounts of Huxley’s life by his more famous family connection – namely, his grandfather, the great Victorian biologist T. H. Huxley, who coined the word ‘agnostic’. And while we’re discussing the coining of words… 

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Guest Blog: Aldous Huxley’s Island

By David Izzo (Shaw University, Raleigh NC) To be capable of love –this is, of course, about two thirds of the battle; the other third is becoming capable of the intelligence that endows the love with effectiveness in an obscure and complicated and largely loveless world. It is not enough merely to know, and it … Read more