Sunday, May 8, 2011

30 Day Book Challenge: Day Twenty-One (prescheduled)

So Many Books, So Little Time is hosting the 30 Day Book Challenge. Each day for 30 days I'll be answering one question about books.

Day Twenty-One: The book that made you look at life in a different way

One of the first posts I ever wrote for this blog was about dystopian literature and how I came to really appreciate the genre and I talk about this novel a little bit.

I only read Brave New World this past year. It was one of those books that I always meant to read, but never did. Last semester, my friend John (the same John who lent me a book I haven't read yet) kept talking about it and finally I went to the library and borrowed a copy.

How did this book change the way I look at the world? In my the aforementioned post on dystopian literature, I mentioned that Brave New World made me angry. This is what I said:
I couldn’t help but look at the world around me as I was reading it and realize that, in many ways, Huxley’s world has become reality.
It wasn’t the book I was angry at; it was the world. How had we gotten to this point? Why had we allowed ourselves to become so enslaved to our own culture? I obviously don’t have the answers to these questions, although they continue to haunt me. But I did gain something from the experience: A Brave New World gave me yet another reason to love dystopian fiction: it reveals our darker natures, makes people think about who they are, who the people around them have become. It shines a light on the inequalities in society, the sheer madness of politics, religion, technology, etc.
Basically, Brave New World helped me to see how our rampant consumerist culture is destroying us. I, too, am a consumer and a slave to my culture. We all are, for the most part. This novel raised my awareness of my own slavery and helped to illuminate aspects of society that I had brushed aside as being unimportant or, at the very least, innocuous. I'm not saying that I had some brilliant epiphany or that I've since become a hermit living in a cave wearing nothing but a loincloth. What I am saying, however, is that I'm more vigilant when it comes to what society says is important and am more willing to speak up when I see something that I see as being wrong.

I've never been a sheep but Brave New World helped to ensure (hopefully) that I won't become one in the future either.



  1. thanks for sharing that perspective, i myself don't care for that genre of books, seem a bit extreme however our world maybe heading that way but i think it will end before it becomes a complete dystopia world.

  2. I read this one in my teens, maybe I should reread it.

  3. Sidne: I'm not sure what the future holds but books of this nature are always so compelling to me.

    booketta: You'd probably find that you have a new perspective on it now than you did then. There's a few books that I read (or failed to read) in my teens that I'd like to take another crack at just to see if I still love them or hate them.