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This Huxley’s “Brave New World” study guide yields notes for an analytical essay
By – Steven Avalos
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Social Studies
Grade Level – 11th
- The following small group study guide is for Aldous Huxley’s novel,
A Brave New World
- . It is specifically designed to provide students with notes for an analytical essay on the novel.
Brave New World Study Guide
- In groups of three, analyze the novel in the context of the theme, expressed in Huxley’s words,
” A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. “(Introduction, xii)
- Answer the following questions in full paragraphs. I suggest each group member write down the responses, as you will be presenting your findings to the entire class for discussion. Additionally, the work you do on this assignment should serve as notes for your essay on the novel.
Chapters 1 – 5:
- Explain and analyze the caste system: how it is achieved and what are its uses and benefits to this society. Cite any contemporary parallels in our society.
- Explain and analyze the significance of consumerism in this culture. Cite any contemporary parallels in our society.
- Explain how morality and values are instilled and controlled in this population. Cite any contemporary parallels in our society.
- Analyze the dramatic effect of Huxley’s use in Chapter 3 of interfacing fragments of dialog, independent of setting or explanation, from varying scenes. What is the main idea being conveyed through this cacophony?
- How are natural instincts/human nature regulated in this society? Cite any contemporary parallels in our society.
Chapters 6 – 10:
- Explain and analyze how (and why) Bernard Marx is so different from his fellows.
- Explain and analyze the role of individualism in this society.
- Explain and analyze Linda’s experience on the reservation.
- Although raised by Linda, a product of “civilization,” John has taken on the characteristics of a “savage.” Explain and analyze why this is so and what these characteristics are that make John “uncivilized.”
Chapters 10 – 15:
- Explain the irony contained in the scene in Chapter 10.
- Explain and analyze the choice that Linda makes when she returns to civilization. How does her choice benefit this society? Are today’s medical advances to prolong the lives of terminally ill patients, as well as assisted suicide, parallels to the path Linda chooses? Explain.
- Compare and contrast Helmholtz Watson to Bernard Marx (you may need to look at Helmholtz’s introduction in Chapter 4 as well). Explain and analyze the disturbance that his original rhyme creates (Chapter 12).
- Based on what you know about John, explain his reaction to Lenina in Chapter 13, and his reaction to Linda’s fate in Chapter 14.
Chapters 15 – 18
- Explain Miranda’s proclamation, “
O brave new world!
- ” (defined in Chapter 15) as it applies to this society. Cite any contemporary parallels in our society.
- Describe Mustapha Mond and explain why, given his knowledge and instincts, he chose the path he has taken.
- At the end of Chapter 15, Mond explains how and why this society came into being. Do you agree or disagree with his assessment? Explain your position and how Mond’s conclusions apply to our contemporary society.
- In Chapter 17, God and humankind and their relationship to one another are discussed. Explain John’s and Mond’s positions and provide your opinion(s) on this topic.
- Explain and analyze what happens to John at the end of the novel. Compare and contrast the choices he makes in Chapter 18 to the choice his mother Linda makes on her return to civilization.
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