In 1958, Aldous Huxley wrote what might be called a sequel to his novel Brave New World, published in 1932, but it was a sequel that did not revisit the story or the characters, or re-enter the world of the novel. Instead, he revisited that world in a set of 12 essays. Taking a second look at specific aspects of the future Huxley imagined in Brave New World, Huxley meditated on how his fantasy seemed to be turning into reality, frighteningly and much more quickly than he had ever dreamed. It seemed to Huxley that people were well on their way to giving up their freedom and the sanctity of their individualism, in exchange for the illusions of comfort and sensory pleasure -- just as they had in Brave New World. In the end, Brave New World Revisited despairs of what has come to pass, primarily modern humankind's willingness to surrender freedom for pleasure.
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June 30, 2010
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