For this exam I want you to answer these questions in essay, not in question and answer form. In other words, don’t number your answers and don’t put the questions in the essay. All of the exam should be double spaced with a minimum 1400 words. You don’t need a cover sheet or work cited page and should use 10 or 12 point font maximum, no extra spaces between paragraphs and provide page numbers in parentheses for anything you use from the book.
After answering these questions go to the prompt at the bottom of this page and write a three page response to that prompt that follows the same instructions for the Brave New World Questions.
Questions from Brave New World
1.Few of Huxley’s predictions have proven to be perfectly accurate, yet many aspects of the Utopia of Brave New World feel uncomfortably like our world. Which aspects of the book did you find most disturbing? Which hit closest to home? Which seem the most far-fetched?
2. When Brave New World was first published in 1932, the world was plunged in depression, fascism was on the rise in Western Europe, and Marxism appealed to increasing numbers of intellectuals in Europe and America. Is the book limited to that time period or does it transcend its time and place
3. The two greatest obscenities in the society of Brave New World are birth and mother. Why?
4. Toward the end of the book, the Controller Mustapha Mond sums up the benefits of living in the “brave new world” Utopia: “The world’s stable now. People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can’t get.” It sounds like perfection, and yet the world Mond describes is deeply, intentionally horrifying. Why? What exactly is so bad about this society of the future? Is there anything good about it, anything we could learn from and try to adapt to our own uses.
5. As dehumanizing and oppressive as the brave new world Utopia is, the alternative in the “savage reserve” is in many ways worse – dirty, violent, unhealthy, cruel, uncomfortable. What point is Huxley making about human nature and the nature of human communities? Is his vision totally negative – or does the book hold out some shred of hope, some alternative mode that fosters both freedom and community.
6. Could anything like Brave New World really happen? Has it happened in some form that we don’t fully recognize?
You have been dropped off on a deserted island with 49 other people, divided equally between men and women. All of you are adults and are of child bearing age. There is enough food and water to feed everyone but there is no currency or money. There is no hope of rescue from the island and who would want to be rescued anyway! It’s an island paradise. Using everything you have learned this semester in class, create your version of what a good government and society would look like. In order to create the “utopian” version of society, look at the following factors:
What type of government would exist? Be specific here but don’t worry about a label. Try to talk about how it would work, not what it is called. In other words, you’re not stuck with what has been done in the past. When creating your government consider:
- Type of government
- Civil freedoms
- Role of people in government
- Type of elections
- How wealth would be earned or distributed?
- What would education be like?
- What would relations between men and women be like?
- How would the needs of the disabled, elderly (because eventually you will become elderly) and physically and mentally ill be taken care of?