Brave new world dystopia

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Transcript of Brave new world dystopia

  • 1. Utopian/Dystopian Literature Background information of BRAVE NEW WORLD Sheila Jones
  • 2. Origins in Greek Literature According to Greek mythology, famine, plague, and pestilence came into existence when the first woman, Pandora, opened a box given to her by the jealous gods. But this act also gave man the gift of hope. Man strives for an earthly paradise. This hope found literary expression within the genre known as the utopian novel. Utopian literature dates back to 5th Century B.C. It was looked on as a pleasant way to teach ethics and morals. Greeks 2 Greek words no place a good place
  • 3. Greek origins, continued Aristophanes The Birds. Utopian city in the air, meant to highlight the corruption of Athens.
  • 4. Greeks Aristotle Discussed ideal community in his Nichomachean Ethics, a book that discusses ethical standards as well as illuminates the philosophical concept of the Golden Mean. In the Golden Mean, a virtue is seen as the mean (the balance point) between two extremes. Thus the virtue is a balance between two vices, one being the excess of the virtue, the other being the absence of the virtue. For example. Cowardice Courage Foolhardiness Vice (absence) Virtue Vice (excess)
  • 5. Greeks Plato The Republic. A utopian essay about a scientifically-organized, cooperative city. There are natural rulers and natural subjects. Philosophers are the born rulers. Next, warriors to keep order Next, huge mass of workers Children are nurtured by the state No marriage. Wives were held in common.
  • 6. English Elizabethans (Shakespeares age) Sir Thomas More. Utopia, 1516. Based on The Republic. Crime is the result of the perverted social order. Instead of punishing crime, the state should correct those societal abuses that cause it: private ownership of property which breeds envy, greed, and crime. Property should be enjoyed by all, regardless of birth. Setting is a utopian Island: 54 model cities. Population is kept constant. Agriculture is regulated. Produce of the state evenly distributed to the public. Every persons basic needs met Love of money is discouraged. Work day is short. Recreation is state-sponsored and required. Everyone works 6 hours per day at necessary jobs. Laws were simple and few. Therefore, no lawyers. As a result of these, life is abundant for everyone.
  • 7. RENAISSANCE: Science is liberator and universal benefactor. Sir Francis Bacon: New Atlantis, 1627. Harnessed NATURE to do mans bidding. Science was key in BNW, although it tended to enslave Nature rather than free man.
  • 8. RENAISSANCE Jonathan Swift: Gullivers Travels, 1726 Semi-utopian narrative Satire attacking pettiness and grossness of man. Land of tiny folks, giants, philosophers, utopian society ruled by horse-like people.
  • 9. RENAISSANCE BRAVE NEW WORLD Title of book comes from Shakespeares The Tempest. Escapism, glorification of nature, and natural nobility are the central themes of this play. John the Savage, the protagonist, uses Shakespeare to obtain his entire education in conformity with nature.
  • 10. LITERATURE OF ESCAPE Simplify personal wants Live with Nature
  • 11. LITERATURE OF ESCAPE Jean-Jacques Rousseau: 18th century philosopher. Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains. Social Contract, 1762. Blamed all misery on over-civilization Championship of the noble savage
  • 12. LITERATURE OF ESCAPE Henry David Thoreau: Walden Retreating to Nature and the natural state Least government is the best government. This is similar to Johns retreat at the end of BNW.
  • 13. Late 19th & Early 20th Century In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many felt scientific and social progress heralded the approach of the new perfected world order. Social security, labor unions, mass literacy seemed promising. WWI brought disillusionment. Socialist revolution in Russia changed into totalitarianism. League of Nations failed. Hitler and Mussolini came into power. The stock market collapsed. Depression, WWII. Science was perverted and turned toward finding new methods of torture and brainwashing. The atom bomb was created. Increasing pessimism about the future.
  • 14. Late 19th & Early 20th Century Utopian Communities Following the 1600s new experimental Utopias. Some had religious affiliations. Mennonites Shakers Mormons Zionists Cooperative economies discouraged private property, promoted experimental family relationships. If they lasted, they modified.
  • 15. 20th Century Anti-Utopian dystopian novel debuts Bleak predictions about the future. George Orwell. 1984 World Controlled by fear Lord of the Flies
  • 16. 20th Century George Orwell 1984, written in 1948. Big Brother. Again life with a dictator. Power becomes autocracy and selfperpetuating. Very similar in themes, concept to BNW. The title of this book has made it seem obsolete; yet Orwells concept of Big Brother is very credible today. Animal Farm, 1946. Explores life under a dictator. The novel is an allegory of the Russian Revolution, with farm animals in the key roles of such Russian notables as Trotsky, Stalin, etc. Given the chance to return to the natural state, what does man become? The novel explores this question with children in the title roles.
  • 17. 20th Century H.G. Wells The Time Machine. Earth divided between master race and servants. War of the Worlds. Reason would triumph over instinct. Orson Wells radio broadcast of this in the 1940s caused mayhem in America as citizens fled New York fearing an alien (outer space) invasion. The Shape of Things to Come. 1933. Condemns capitalism
  • 18. 20th Century James Hilton - Lost Horizon. Return to natural. Wonderful life. Shangri-La. Recent dystopias: The Matrix; I,Robot; Enders Game, Hunger Games; Wall-ee.
  • 19. Traits of Dystopian Literature Propaganda is used to control citizens. Independent thought and freedoms are restricted. A figurehead or a concept is worshipped by the citizens. Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance Citizens fear the outside world. Citizens live in a dehumanized state. The natural world is banished and distrusted. Citizens conform to uniform expectations. Individuality and dissent are considered bad. The society is an illusion of a perfect world.
  • 20. The Dystopian Protagonist Feels trapped and struggles to escape. Questions the existing social and political systems. Believes or feels something terribly wrong with his/her society. Helps the audience recognize the negative aspects of the dystopian world through his/her perspective.
  • 21. Types of Dystopian Controls Corporate Control: Corporation controls society through products, advertising, or media. Examples: Minority Report or Running Man. Bureaucratic Control: Mindless red tape, endless regulations, and incompetent government officials. Technological Control: Society is controlled by computers, or other scientific means. Examples: The Terminator, The Matrix, I, Robot. Philosophical or Religious Control: A dictator or theocrat imposes a doctrine that controls society. Example: The Taliban, at least from a Western perspective.
  • 22. Utopia/Dystopia in BNW To begin, consider the world Bernard and Lenina discover on the Reservation Malpais where they meet John, the Savage, and Linda, his mother. What are the traits of this portion of the world? Why does Huxley choose these traits? Consider his what if.