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Brave New World Writing Style

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  • 0:04 Writing Style
  • 0:34 Language
  • 1:39 Tone
  • 3:15 Descriptive Text
  • 3:52 Narrative Text
  • 4:35 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Christina Boggs

Chrissy has taught secondary English and history and writes online curriculum. She has an M.S.Ed. in Social Studies Education.

If you've ever read ''Brave New World,'' then you may know that Aldous Huxley has a very unique writing style. This lesson explores Huxley's writing style by analyzing specific examples of literary techniques used in the novel.

Writing Style

One of the first things you may notice while reading Brave New World is the wit and wonder of Aldous Huxley's unique writing style. Huxley employs a blend of descriptive and narrative styles in this novel. Unlike many authors who are characterized by a distinct voice or literary hallmark, however, Huxley is well-known for dazzling readers with a revolving door of written language that constantly challenges, engages, and teases his readers. This lesson explores Huxley's distinctive writing style throughout Brave New World.

Language

Huxley's use of language in the novel is a reflection of who he was as a person, including his education and place in society. As a man of privilege, he had access to the best education that England could offer. He studied a number of subjects, including literature and science. This is largely reflected in Huxley's use of pedantic, or lofty, language that challenges the readers' own vocabulary. His word choice is also a way to reinforce the very clinical and scientific nature of the society that he describes.

For example, Huxley describes the reaction of students learning about the Central London Hatchery:

The students nodded, emphatically agreeing with a statement which upwards of sixty-two thousand repetitions in the dark had made them accept, not merely as true, but as axiomatic, self-evident, utterly indisputable.

Huxley could have easily stated that the students agreed with the director because the points he made were ingrained in them. Instead, he employs words like 'axiomatic,' 'self-evident,' and 'indisputable,' which are all often associated with very formal, scientific language. His choice of words here is a reflection on the general tone and ways of the futuristic society.

Tone

Huxley's tone through Brave New World, while pedantic, is also very humorous. He manipulates language to make unfunny things sound quite funny. One of the best examples of this is the description of how babies are 'born' in the futuristic society. Instead of babies being grown inside of a mother's womb for nine months, they're actually grown inside of glass tubes. Huxley describes the 'birthing' process as 'decanting,' a word used to describe pouring liquids (usually wine) from one container to another. This is a clever re-imagination of the concept of decanting. Depending on the reader's knowledge of the world, Huxley's reference may go unnoticed, but for those in the know, he infuses delightful and clever humor throughout the novel.

To emphasize important points to the reader, Huxley uses juxtaposition, or contrasting elements. One of the largest examples of juxtaposition is the stark comparison between the civilized world and the Savage Reservation. While civilization is routine and scheduled, people embrace new things, and sexual promiscuity is ingrained, the Savage Reservation reflects the world the readers know. People there are religious, they experience disease and aging, and they have a sincere attachment to other people.

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