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Aldous Huxley And The Modern Novel Essay

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CHAPTER I


INDRODUCTION

ALDOUS HUXLEY AND THE MODERN NOVEL

It is rightly said “Aldous Huxley’s writings express the disillusionment of the 1920’s”, the cynicism of the 1930’s and the questioning of the 1940’s.’ (45 Paul W) P.S. Huxley was the product of the times and his novel and essays are the expression of his beliefs and concerns. Huxley was twenty when the First World War began in 1914. His book of stories Limbo was published in 1920 and his last novel Island in 1962. His work covers forty there years, which were very significant years in European history. The two world wars gave a bitter shock to the established world of the nineteenth century. The economic, Social, Psychological and intellectual changes were so sudden that many even could not keep pace with them.

Sigmund Freud came out with his theories of sex. The sanctity of the Victorian homes had been shattered by the brutalities of the war. Sons smoked before their fathers, and girls began to go out with their boy friends. Mothers came to be suspected of seeking to devour their sons as depicted in Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers. Sexual gratification came to be looked upon as a very normal and natural human activity. Society advanced towards permissiveness and promiscuity as presented by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World.

The conflict between the old and the new generation became bitter and significant. Possessing a strong will came to be looked down upon. That is why; Huxley depicts a Utopia in which human beings are conditioned as to have no will at all. Advancement of Knowledge combined with population explosion to create chaos in society. It destroyed faith in Christianity and right moral conduct.

The rise of communism changed the Nineteenth century emphasis on individualism and freedom. Freedom of individuality was replaced by “imprisonment in brotherhood.’ In Huxley’s time State was taking up national work in its hands. Social relationships were being established in accordance with...

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