The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.

Related Content

Related Overviews


H. G. Wells (1866—1946) novelist and social commentator

Nineteen Eighty-Four


'Brave New World' can also refer to...


More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Literature


Show Summary Details


Brave New World

Quick Reference

A novel by A. Huxley, published 1932.

It is a dystopian fable about a world state in the 7th cent. af (after Ford), where social stability is based on a scientific caste system. Human beings, graded from highest intellectuals to lowest manual workers, hatched from incubators and brought up in communal nurseries, learn by methodical conditioning to accept their social destiny. The action of the story develops round Bernard Marx, an unorthodox and therefore unhappy Alpha‐Plus (something had presumably gone wrong with his antenatal treatment), who visits a New Mexican Reservation and brings a Savage back to London. The Savage is at first fascinated by the new world, but finally revolted, and his argument with Mustapha Mond, World Controller, demonstrates the incompatibility of individual freedom and a scientifically trouble‐free society.

In Brave New World Revisited (1958) Huxley reconsiders his prophecies and fears that some of these may be coming true much sooner than he thought.

Subjects: Literature

Reference entries

Aldous Huxley (1894—1963) writer