Huxley ‘Brave New World’ more relevant today than ever.
Hollywood Reporter is, well, reporting that Steven Spielberg’s Amblin is adapting ‘Brave New World‘ for SyFy. The article points out that Aldous Huxley’s classic novel “is set in a world without poverty, war or disease. Humans are given mind-altering drugs, free sex and rampant consumerism are the order of the day, and people no longer reproduce but are genetically engineered in ‘hatcheries.'”
In Huxley’s time, a good amount of his world building couldn’t have seemed too “out there.” It was the 1930s. Free sex, drug use, and no more war? Those were real issues of the time. Probably they’ve been more-or-less issues of every time in human history. Of course utopian ideals have always been around. As soon as people start promising anything without consequence, those simple ideals become utopian ideals.
The 1930s saw changes in birth control and drugs, and controversy surrounding both. Of course the Great War (which had promised to “end all wars”) had come and gone. Consumerism was blossoming in western culture. Collectivism and materialism had caught on in many cultures. There were people who had gotten pretty starry eyed about the future; so it makes sense to play with all of these things in a science fiction novel.
But today? We do have a medical science that could conceivably turn human reproduction into a commercial service, and turn children into products. I remember that being a major worry over “test tube babies” back in the 80s, and it remains a major ethical sticking point when it comes to human cloning.
In that light, Huxley ‘Brave New World’ might be even more relevant today than it was back in the 1930s, don’t you think?
Feel free to comment below. 🙂