Critical Response to Huxley Brave New World using Firchow essay.

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Critical Response to Huxley’s “Brave New World” using Firchow’s essay.

Huxley’s book ‘Brave New Word’ explains the cultural changes that occurred in the period between the first and the second world wars. The book explores the effects of mass culture (which conveys the idea that such culture emerges spontaneously from the masses themselves) and the implementation of eugenics, a scientific technique that has been developed and enables improvement of genetic composition of an individual as well as genetic manipulation, and mass education which was intended to make majority of the society members literate without considering the value of the education. The book also explains how different aspects in the society have changed. These include arts which the in the novel he explains as having been reduced to a pleasure seeking venture in today’s society. Huxley‘s life experience during the first and the second world war influences his take on how different aspects of life had changed. These include different fields such as reproduction, health, education and entertainment.

The novel criticizes some of the changes that occur due to some new inventions on the above four fields.

Huxley’s book criticizes the education systems developed after the world wars. Through the book, he explains how the mass education system focuses more of class work other than practical work and therefore the children do not have opportunity for creative work. This further explains how students of the post world war generation are not innovative. This criticism is true when one views the how the new generation has failed in class work. Most companies offering employment opportunities have been of the view that most of Institutions of higher learning are producing ‘ half backed graduates’ who are not able to face the current challenges facing the globe. These graduates tend to focus only in passing exams and therefore cramming tends to be the order of the day and this can be due to the education curriculum developed by these institutions. Huxley also believes that the current society cannot develop any better under the current education system. No scientist of the likes of Isaac Newton’s stature would come up with the current education system. This also seems to be right as the learners of the current education system are not interested in research work. To these students, education seems to be a punishment and an order from the parents which they do not have any other option other than to obey.

Huxley’s novel also lays a lot of concern on the changes in health care systems developed especially in the reproduction field through I industrialized reproduction. Several scientific innovations have been made and techniques developed that have enabled genetic manipulations be made to make sure that the offspring that comes out has desired characters needed. He views this as a process that is bound to bring a lot of problems to the families that support and practice of gene modification on their unborn children. He is also correct to note that this practice may have a negative impact on the character of the individual to be born. These negative attributes may include development of genetic disorders which may cause physical or mental defects to the said individuals.

The author is also critical of the artistic works developed as well as the changes which occurred in the music industry by making a comparison of ‘Jazz music’- a music genre which was common in the 19th century and different music genres developed after the two world wars. He describes a German song “Ach, du lieber Augustin.” He says that the song is not worth criticizing as is has no meaning. He further notes Huxley all contemporary popular music as lacking the meaningful emotional content as opposed to the jazz music most which were mostly composed in mid the nineteenth century and onwards. In his review “The Music Industry,” published in 1933 he also questions the short span nation of most the popular music. The novel also criticizes the kind message communicated by most of the popular music which one can easily agree with. Most of the artists use ‘dirty’ language in their songs which seems to be against most of the society norms. Through the novel, the author explains the differences in terms of the way both the ‘Jazz music’ and the contemporary music. The difference here is that the sexuality is ‘psychological’ in jazz music. Firchow also supports the author’s stand on the differences inartistic work that Huxley tries to question. He says that even though Firchow is inexperienced in matters relating to historical New Mexican native cultures, the effect of the changes in the music industries were correctly criticized by the author.

One can therefore agree that the writer in his novel was able to offer best criticism on the changes that occurred in the music, education and health industries.


Firchow, Peter. “Wells and Lawrence in Huxley’s Brave New World.” Journal of Modern Literature 5.2 (1976): 260-279. Web.