Brave New World Revisited

Aldous Huxley

Welcome to the fascinating world of Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World Revisited”! πŸ“šβœ¨ Published in 1958, this work is a non-fiction follow-up to Huxley’s groundbreaking 1932 novel “Brave New World”. It’s a deep dive into the themes and ideas presented in the original story, reflecting on how society has evolved since its publication.

Aldous Huxley, a visionary English writer and philosopher, is known for his acute observations on society, science, and the potential future of humanity. With “Brave New World Revisited”, he explores the realities of the time, comparing them with his fictional predictions, and offering a critical analysis of post-World War II society.

The genre of this book straddles social science, philosophy, and critical essays. Huxley examines the advancements in technology, politics, and sociology, providing a thought-provoking commentary on the direction humanity wasβ€”and isβ€”heading. It’s a must-read for anyone intrigued by the intersection of science fiction and reality, offering insights that remain profoundly relevant today.

Now, let’s dive deeper into the world Huxley revisits, dissecting its contents, themes, characters, and much more! πŸŒπŸ”

Plot Summary

“Brave New World Revisited” is not a continuation of the story found in “Brave New World,” but rather a non-fictional exploration and critique of the themes and predictions made in the original novel. Thus, it doesn’t follow the traditional narrative structure of exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. Instead, it’s structured as a series of essays where Aldous Huxley delves into how the world has aligned with or diverged from his anticipations. Here’s a breakdown of the main discussions in the book:

  • Overpopulation β€” Huxley starts by examining the rapid growth of the global population and its implications on resources, governance, and personal freedoms.
  • Propaganda and Persuasion β€” He explores the power of propaganda in governing masses, particularly focusing on advancements in psychology and technology that enable more effective manipulation of public opinion.
  • Education for Freedom β€” Huxley discusses the role of education in promoting individual freedom and critical thinking, contrasting it with indoctrination methods that lead to conformity.
  • Drugs and Control β€” The use of drugs as a method of control is analyzed, with Huxley comparing the soma of his novel to the development and use of pharmaceuticals in society.
  • Hypnopaedia β€” The technique of sleep-teaching, or hypnopaedia, is revisited, with Huxley evaluating its effectiveness and ethical implications in education and propaganda.
  • The Arts and Science β€” Huxley reflects on the relationship between science, art, and societal values, pondering the balance between technological advancement and cultural expression.
  • Democracy and Dictatorship β€” The tensions between freedom and order are discussed, with Huxley questioning the sustainability of democracy in the face of overpopulation and propaganda.
  • Conclusion β€” Huxley concludes with a call for vigilance and the pursuit of a balanced society that values freedom, critical thinking, and individuality above the efficiency and conformity of a controlled state.

“Brave New World Revisited” serves as a reflective piece, where Huxley critically examines the trajectory of human society in light of the advancements and challenges of the mid-20th century. Rather than telling a story, it presents a series of important questions and observations about the human condition and the path forward for society.

Character Analysis

Given the non-fiction nature of “Brave New World Revisited”, it doesn’t feature characters in the traditional sense as its predecessor, “Brave New World”, did. Instead, Aldous Huxley positions himself as the central figure, navigating through the various themes and topics with his own perspectives, analyses, and reflections. Here’s a closer look at the “character” of Aldous Huxley as presented through his essays:

  • Aldous Huxley β€” An insightful observer and critic of society. Throughout the book, Huxley demonstrates a deep concern for humanity’s future, particularly in how societal structures, technological advancements, and political systems influence individual freedom and integrity. His motivation stems from a desire to see a world where education fosters critical thinking, governments promote freedom, and technology serves to enhance human well-being rather than control it. Huxley’s character development, if one might call it that, can be seen in his evolving views from the somewhat deterministic outlook of “Brave New World” to the more nuanced, hopeful yet cautious perspective in “Revisited”. He emerges as a thinker deeply engaged with the ethical and philosophical questions of his time, urging readers to consider the implications of unchecked progress and to strive for a balance between innovation and humanity’s core values.

Given the analytical nature of the text, a traditional character analysis summary in table format doesn’t quite apply as it would for a fictional narrative. However, Huxley’s role as a narrator and commentator can be summarized as follows:

Aldous HuxleyInsightful, critical, concernedTo analyze and critique societal progress post-“Brave New World”, emphasizing the importance of freedom, critical thinking, and ethical considerations in the face of technological and political advancements.Evolves from a purely dystopian critic to a more nuanced commentator, acknowledging the complexities of balancing technological and societal progress with human values.

This approach to character analysis highlights the unique position of “Brave New World Revisited” as a work of non-fiction that still offers a profound exploration of human society, as guided by the singular “character” of its author.

Themes and Symbols

In “Brave New World Revisited”, Aldous Huxley doesn’t employ symbols in the traditional literary sense, as the work is an analytical and expository essay rather than a narrative fiction. However, he delves deeply into several major themes, revisiting the ideas he speculated about in “Brave New World” and assessing their relevance and manifestation in the contemporary world of the late 1950s. Here are some of the pivotal themes discussed:

  • Overpopulation and Resource Scarcity β€” Huxley highlights the dangers of unchecked population growth, such as resource depletion, environmental degradation, and increased social strife, which could lead to authoritarian measures to maintain order.
  • Propaganda, Persuasion, and Freedom of Thought β€” The manipulation of public opinion through advanced techniques in advertising, politics, and media is a central concern. Huxley warns against the dangers of propaganda in undermining democracy and individual autonomy.
  • The Role of Science and Technology β€” Huxley examines the double-edged sword of technological advancement, noting its potential to improve human life but also to enforce control and conformity, questioning the ethical use of technology in society.
  • Education for Freedom versus Indoctrination β€” The contrast between education that encourages critical thinking and self-awareness versus education designed to indoctrinate and control is explored as a crucial factor in maintaining a free society.
  • The Use of Drugs in Society β€” Similar to the use of soma in “Brave New World”, Huxley discusses the implications of pharmacological control, both as a means of escaping reality and as a tool for social control.
  • Individuality vs. Conformity β€” The tension between the desire for individual freedom and the demands of a socially stable state is a recurring theme, with Huxley advocating for a balance that allows for personal growth and freedom within a cooperative society.
  • Democracy, Totalitarianism, and Social Order β€” Huxley reflects on the fragility of democracy in the face of technological and psychological methods of control, emphasizing the need for vigilance to preserve democratic institutions and values.

These themes contribute to Huxley’s overarching critique of societal trends and his exploration of potential futures. “Brave New World Revisited” serves as a cautionary discussion, urging readers to consider the moral and ethical implications of societal choices, particularly in relation to freedom, control, and human dignity. Through this analytical lens, Huxley revisits the dystopian vision of his earlier work, offering a critical perspective on the real-world developments that mirror his fictional predictions.

Writing Style and Tone

In “Brave New World Revisited,” Aldous Huxley employs a style and tone that differ significantly from the narrative approach of his earlier novel, “Brave New World.” This section explores how his writing style and tone contribute to the mood and atmosphere of the book, as well as how they aid in delivering his critical analyses and reflections.

  • Expository and Analytical β€” The writing style is primarily expository, with Huxley using essays to explore and analyze the themes and issues presented in “Brave New World” in the context of the real world. This style allows for in-depth discussion and critique of complex societal issues, including overpopulation, the use of technology for control, and the erosion of individual freedoms.
  • Persuasive and Argumentative β€” Huxley adopts a persuasive tone, aiming to convince readers of the potential dangers of societal trends and technological advancements. His arguments are well-structured, often starting with observations, followed by evidence, and concluding with implications or recommendations.
  • Reflective and Thought-Provoking β€” The tone is also reflective, with Huxley pondering the future of humanity and the ethical implications of scientific progress. This introspective quality encourages readers to consider their own views on the topics discussed.
  • Critical yet Hopeful β€” While Huxley’s critique of societal developments is often stark and direct, his tone is not without hope. He suggests that through awareness, education, and ethical considerations, society can navigate the challenges it faces.
  • Accessible and Engaging β€” Despite tackling complex issues, Huxley’s writing remains accessible. He uses clear language and practical examples to explain his points, making the book engaging for a broad audience.
  • Urgent and Warning β€” There’s an underlying sense of urgency in Huxley’s writing, as he warns of the consequences of failing to address the issues he outlines. This urgency adds to the book’s atmospheric tension, highlighting the importance of the topics discussed.

These aspects of Huxley’s writing style and tone contribute significantly to the effectiveness of “Brave New World Revisited” as a work of social criticism. Through his analytical approach, persuasive arguments, and engaging prose, Huxley not only illuminates the issues at hand but also encourages active reflection and discussion among readers, making the book a timeless piece of literary criticism.

Literary Devices Used in Brave New World Revisited

In “Brave New World Revisited,” Aldous Huxley skillfully employs a range of literary devices to enhance his critique of modern society and its parallels with his dystopian vision. Below are the top 10 literary devices used in the book, each playing a crucial role in delivering Huxley’s message effectively.

  1. Analogy β€” Huxley often uses analogies to draw comparisons between the dystopian world of his novel and the real world, making complex ideas more relatable and understandable. This device helps readers see the relevance of his fictional predictions in their own lives.
  2. Allusion β€” Throughout the text, Huxley alludes to historical, scientific, and philosophical works and figures to support his arguments, lending credibility and depth to his analysis.
  3. Hyperbole β€” He occasionally employs hyperbole to emphasize the potential extremity of societal trends, such as overpopulation or the misuse of technology, creating a sense of urgency and warning.
  4. Irony β€” The use of irony highlights the contrast between the intended purpose of technological and social advancements and their actual consequences, often underscoring the gap between idealistic visions and reality.
  5. Juxtaposition β€” Huxley juxtaposes the ideals of freedom and individuality with the mechanisms of control and conformity present in both his fictional world and real society, highlighting the tensions and conflicts inherent in modern civilization.
  6. Metaphor β€” Metaphorical language is used to describe abstract concepts, such as freedom, control, and identity, in more tangible terms, aiding in the reader’s understanding and engagement with the text.
  7. Paradox β€” The presentation of paradoxes, such as the pursuit of happiness leading to unhappiness or freedom resulting in enslavement, challenges readers to think critically about societal norms and values.
  8. Personification β€” Huxley personifies society and technology to critique their roles and impacts, making his criticisms more direct and impactful.
  9. Rhetorical Questions β€” The use of rhetorical questions engages readers in a dialogue, prompting them to reflect on their own views and the societal implications of Huxley’s observations.
  10. Symbolism β€” While not as prevalent as in fictional works, Huxley uses symbolic references to represent broader themes and ideas, such as the soma representing the escape from reality through drugs or technology.

These literary devices enrich “Brave New World Revisited,” adding layers of meaning and enhancing its persuasive power. Huxley’s masterful use of these techniques not only deepens the reader’s understanding of his critiques but also engages them in a reflective examination of the world around them.

Literary Devices Examples

In “Brave New World Revisited,” Aldous Huxley employs various literary devices to underscore his critical analysis of societal trends and their implications. Below are examples and explanations for each of the top 10 literary devices highlighted in the previous section.


Comparing the use of propaganda in modern society to the conditioning techniques used in “Brave New World.”This analogy helps readers understand how subtle and pervasive modern propaganda can be, similar to the conditioning in his dystopian society.


Referencing George Orwell’s “1984” in discussing surveillance and loss of privacy.Huxley uses this allusion to draw parallels between his concerns and those expressed by Orwell, emphasizing the widespread relevance of these issues.


Suggesting that unchecked population growth could lead to people living like packed sardines.This hyperbole emphasizes the severity of overpopulation, encouraging readers to consider its serious implications.


The irony of technological advancements intended to simplify life actually complicating it.This highlights the unintended consequences of technology, questioning the true benefits of such advancements.


Placing the desire for individual freedom next to societal pressures for conformity.This juxtaposition illuminates the conflict between personal autonomy and the collective interests of society.


Describing the pervasive influence of propaganda as a “fog” enveloping society.This metaphor conveys how propaganda can obscure reality and truth, affecting collective perception.


The pursuit of happiness leading to widespread dissatisfaction.This paradox challenges the notion that material and technological advancements automatically result in genuine contentment.


Attributing society with the ability to “choose” its path forward.Personifying society emphasizes the collective responsibility in determining its future, making the concept more relatable.

Rhetorical Questions

“Are we sacrificing our freedom for the illusion of security?”This rhetorical question encourages readers to critically assess the trade-offs between security measures and personal freedoms.


Using “soma” as a symbol for the escape mechanisms society employs to avoid facing reality.This symbolic reference connects the fictional drug to real-world tendencies to seek distraction from pressing societal issues.

These examples illustrate how Huxley’s use of literary devices in “Brave New World Revisited” not only enriches his critique of contemporary society but also engages readers in a deeper reflection on the themes and issues presented. Through these devices, Huxley effectively communicates the complexities and nuances of his analysis, making the text a compelling and thought-provoking read.

Brave New World Revisited – FAQs

Q: What is the main purpose of “Brave New World Revisited”?
A: The main purpose of “Brave New World Revisited” is to analyze and critique the social, political, and technological trends of the mid-20th century, comparing them to the dystopian world Huxley imagined in “Brave New World”. Huxley aims to assess how close the real world has come to his fictional predictions and to warn against the potential dangers of unchecked societal progress.

Q: Is “Brave New World Revisited” a sequel to “Brave New World”?
A: No, “Brave New World Revisited” is not a sequel in the narrative sense. It is a non-fiction work that explores the themes and predictions of “Brave New World” through a series of essays. Huxley examines the relevance of his earlier work to the contemporary world he was living in during the late 1950s.

Q: What are some of the key themes discussed in “Brave New World Revisited”?
A: Key themes include overpopulation, the use of propaganda and persuasion, the impact of technological advancements on society, the role of education in maintaining freedom, the use of drugs as a form of control, and the balance between democracy and dictatorship.

Q: How does Aldous Huxley view the role of technology in society in “Brave New World Revisited”?
A: Huxley presents a nuanced view of technology, recognizing its potential to improve human life but also cautioning against its use as a tool for control and manipulation. He emphasizes the importance of ethical considerations and the need for a balance between technological advancement and the preservation of individual freedoms and human values.

Q: Does Huxley offer any solutions to the problems he discusses in “Brave New World Revisited”?
A: While Huxley does not provide specific solutions, he advocates for increased awareness, critical thinking, and ethical education as means to address the challenges posed by societal and technological progress. He stresses the importance of individual and collective responsibility in shaping a future that values freedom, human dignity, and the well-being of the planet.

Q: Can “Brave New World Revisited” be considered relevant today?
A: Absolutely. Many of the issues Huxley discussed, such as the impact of technology on society, the dangers of propaganda, and concerns about overpopulation and environmental sustainability, remain highly relevant in the 21st century. The book continues to be a valuable source of insight and warning regarding the direction of human society.

These FAQs provide a brief overview of “Brave New World Revisited,” touching on its purpose, themes, and relevance. The work remains a critical and thought-provoking analysis that encourages readers to reflect on the trajectory of modern society and the choices that will shape our future.


QuestionABCDCorrect Answer
What is the primary focus of “Brave New World Revisited”?Technological advancementsSocietal and technological trendsA continuation of the original novel’s storyA biography of Aldous HuxleyB
In what year was “Brave New World Revisited” published?1932194819581962C
Which theme is NOT explicitly discussed in “Brave New World Revisited”?OverpopulationThe role of technology in educationThe use of drugs as controlSpace explorationD
How does Huxley view the use of technology in society according to “Brave New World Revisited”?Entirely positiveEntirely negativeWith cautious optimismAs irrelevantC
What literary genre does “Brave New World Revisited” belong to?Science FictionAutobiographyNon-FictionEpic PoetryC
Which literary device is commonly used by Huxley in “Brave New World Revisited”?OnomatopoeiaAnalogySonnetHaikuB
What does Huxley advocate for in addressing the challenges discussed in the book?Strict governmental controlTechnological abandonmentIncreased awareness and critical thinkingReturning to primitive livingC
Is “Brave New World Revisited” a direct narrative sequel to “Brave New World”?YesNoIt’s a prequelIt’s a retellingB
Which of the following is a key theme in “Brave New World Revisited”?The importance of space explorationThe dangers of unchecked population growthThe benefits of a caste systemThe efficiency of totalitarian governanceB
What does Huxley use to support his arguments in “Brave New World Revisited”?Personal anecdotesScientific data and historical allusionsPure speculationDreams and visionsB

This quiz is designed to test comprehension of “Brave New World Revisited” by Aldous Huxley, covering its primary focus, publication year, themes, views on technology, genre, literary devices, proposed solutions to societal challenges, narrative connection to “Brave New World,” and support for arguments. It’s an engaging way to reinforce understanding of the book’s key points and insights.


Identify the Literary Devices

Below is a paragraph from “Brave New World Revisited”. Identify the literary devices used in this paragraph.

“In the current era, where information can be manipulated and broadcast with unprecedented speed, the individual’s capacity for independent thought is under siege. It’s a world where propaganda becomes the very air we breathe, subtly influencing our beliefs and actions without our conscious awareness. This invisible control is akin to the soma of my earlier work, offering a sedative to the pains of critical thinking and the discomfort of dissent.”


  1. Metaphor – The comparison of propaganda to the air we breathe, suggesting its omnipresence and subtle influence.
  2. Allusion – Reference to “soma” from “Brave New World,” symbolizing the use of drugs (or in this context, information) to pacify and control the population.
  3. Hyperbole – Describing the siege on independent thought as if it were a physical attack, emphasizing the extreme impact of propaganda.
  4. PersonificationPropaganda is given the ability to “breathe,” imbuing it with life-like qualities that enhance the sense of its pervasive influence.

This exercise invites students to delve deeper into the text of “Brave New World Revisited,” encouraging an appreciation for the complexity of Huxley’s arguments and the literary craftsmanship with which he presents them. Identifying these devices not only aids in understanding the content but also enriches the reader’s engagement with the text.