Brave New World
inevitably draws comparisons to 1984
, that other classic 20th century dystopian novel. I'd argue that BNW isn't so much a dystopic novel, as one that asks what you'd be willing to give up to have utopia. Wouldn't most people consider a society in which there's no war or crime and no one wants for anything a utopia? Isn't that the dream most of us have for the future? A life of leisure and happiness and freedom from the heavy burdens we carry each day? But would you sacrifice art and literature and god and your basic humanity to have that? My answer would be no, but I'd be willing to wager a lot of people in this world would say yes, which ultimately makes Huxley's vision far more frightening than Orwell's, I think, because everyone can see that Orwell's vision of a society controlled by the ever-watchful eye of Big Brother is undesirable. Huxley's vision of humanity's future is more insidious. It's the kind of thing that's already creeping up on us.
Overall, the book was well-written if rather uneven and dated in many spots.