Brave New World

Quotes from the book.

I read a lot of futuristic/dystopian fiction this year (1984, The Hunger Games, Little Brother, The Host, The Lathe of Heaven, The Adoration of Jenna Fox) but Brave New World was amazing.

"... the sultry darkness into which the students now followed him was visible and crimson, like the darkness of closed eyes on a summer's afternoon."

"He pointed upwards. Like chickens drinking, the students lifted their eyes toward the distant ceiling."

"[These ideas are repeated] till at last the child's mind is these suggestions, and the sum of the suggestions is the child's mind. And not the child's mind only. The adult's mind too--all his life long. The mind that judges and desires and decides--made up of these suggestions. But all these suggestions are our suggestions!"

"It's not enough for the phrases to be good; what you make with them ought to be good, too."

"Words can be like X-rays, if you use them properly--they'll go through anything. You read and you're pierced."

Added 11.29

"It was the sort of idea that might easily decondition the more unsettled minds among the higher castes--make them lose their faith in happiness as the Soverign Good and take to believing, instead, that the goal was somewhere beyond, somewhere outside the present human sphere; that the purpose of life was not the maintenence of well-being, but some intensification and refining of conscienceness, some enlargment of knowledge."

"Why don't you let them see Othello instead?" "I've told you; it's old. Besides, they couldn't understand it." ... "Well then," he said, after a pause, "something new that's like Othello, and that they could understand." "That's what we've all been wanting to write," said Helmholtz, breaking a long silence.

"Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensation for misery. And, of course, stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamor of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand."

"Our Ford himself did a great deal to shift the emphasis from truth and beauty to comfort and happiness."

"He was a philosopher, if you know what that was." "A man who dreams of fewer things than there are in heaven and earth," said the Savage promptly.

"...civilization has absolutely no need of nobility or heroism. These things are symptoms of political inefficiency. In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic."

"What you need," the Savage went on, "is something with tears for a change. Nothing costs enough here."


Erin said...

Ooo. That last one.

Noel De Vries said...

Reminds me of Benedick ...

"She speaks poniards, and every word stabs."

hopeinbrazil said...

Very intriguing quotes. I've had this book on my shelf for way too long. Might be time to finally read it!