Friday, February 11, 2011

Brave New World

We are currently listening to Brave New World at work.  I've read this book several times before, but it's always good to read/hear it again. I love Brave New World.  Love.

But it;s really got me wondering why I enjoy it so much when I hate The Giver.  I mean, they're not exactly the same by any stretch, but you have to admit the have some similarities.  Both take place in futuristic societies that seek to control people by limiting their emotions.  Both have done away with natural families.  Both preordain the career paths of their inhabitants.  So why the drastic difference in my feelings towards the books?

I have two theories.  It could be because I Was younger when I read The Giver.  Thirteen might not sound that much younger than sixteen, but I think there's a big difference in maturity there.

But I think it has more to do with rules.  Both societies are equally controlling, but The Giver's seems more so because of all the constrictive rules.  People in BNW are trained from both to follow social etiquette (in their sleep), but are otherwise pretty much left to do whatever they want.  Think about it - would you want to live in a society that monitors your every movement, controls what you eat, decides who your family will be, and chemically limits your libido?  Or would you rather live in a society where every night is like a party, you can go where you want with whomever you want, you are encouraged to have sex with everyone you know, and you can take some happy pills if you ever start to feel a little down?  It seems like a pretty obvious choice to me.

This second theory falls a little flat when you take into consideration that I also love 1984, but that's a topic best left for another day.

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