I have currently finished 4 books as of now, including my AP novel, Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley. Brave New World takes place in England during the year 2540, where most people live in this almost magical futuristic world. In this dystopian setting, babies are born in factories and grow up in these strict social castes, such as the Alphas and Epsilon. People take these happy drugs called soma and participate in many sexual activities to forget how miserable their lives are in this society. A boy by the name of John was supposed to be born in a factory and be assigned a caste, however, after his mom got lost in a weekend getaway things took a turn for the worst (or better in some opinions. John eventually grew up "normally" on a reservation where many natives occupied the area. After he reaches civilized land, he experiences the total flaws of the society: how everyone is so disenchanted by reality, and how even when they are in a state of realization, they cover it up with drugs and sex. One event over another eventually leads to Johns fatal death, suicide.
In a way, I feel like this can be related back to our world now. In our society, even though we don't have babies popping out of a factory, and having an assigned social class, people tend to show segregation towards one another, whether it be the color of your skin, how you dress, or your own personality. This can at times lead to tensions or this superiority ideology over another. Drug addiction has also played a really huge role in this story, (aka soma). In our world, specifically in America, 24.6 million people, 12 and older, do drugs, having this concept that they can stop whenever they want. However, after reading an article from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, long-term drug use can result in significant changes in the brain function that can persist long after the individual stops using drugs. Almost most of those who consume or intake these drugs, at an excessive amount, struggle with reality, therefore try to find a new one. This can be related back to those living in the civilized world in Brave New World, and how they consumed soma, attempting to falsify their physical existence.
I personally loved this book, mainly due to the unsettling but still surreal experience it had to offer.
There was a quote that did stood out to me:
"I want to know what passion is," she heard him saying. "I want to feel something strongly."
What really captivates this scene is that this statement is very defying towards society. A man by the name of Bertrand stated this, a man who was raised in the civilized world. In the civilized world, emotion is lacked by almost all the population due to the extreme usage of drugs, therefore there is no remorse or sympathy found between one another. I just found it quite astonishing that he was able to cope with his actual feelings without falling into the disillusionment that the society had to offer.
What distinguishes this book from many other is that it doesn't hold back-meaning it's not really that censored when it comes to certain remarks, phrases, etc found in the text. As an AP book, I found it quite surprising that it was somewhat an easy read, and I plan to read many more AP sci-fi novels later on in eleventh grade.
To read more about this AP novel, click here!