Allusions in Brave New World
Brave New world is a fictional novel set in 2540 A.S. or 632 A.F. (After Ford – as referred in the novel), written in 1931-32 by Aldous Huxley. It describes the development of mankind in fields of advanced physical and reproductive health as well as psychological improvements. At the time of publication, it raked up a few controversies and got banned in few countries due to its content and language. The book gets its name from the famous Shakespearean classic “The Tempest” where Miranda delivers the dialogue “How beauteous mankind is! O Brave New World”. The novel is set in the backdrop of the great depression and is located in London. The book revolves around the philosophy of practicality and shows no belief towards any supernatural accepted God. The work is an excellent example of allusion which has been applied to almost characters as well as their situations.
Before we understand the concept of the novel it is very important to know what allusion is. The allusion is a use of a phrase or reference, directly or indirectly to a circumstance, or a person or anything without explicitly stating the obvious. It is a way of watching the sea through a keyhole where something is stated and the reader or audience can directly relate to the actual event. We use allusions in daily life as well; when we use a specific term to describe a situation or some person, like “he is playing a Romeo” referring to the fact that he is acting like Romeo the lover.
Brave New World has many such allusions scattered throughout. Be it the names of the character of their behavior or even their actions and social backgrounds. It doesn’t even spare the Bible in creating allusions. One of the best examples that can be provided here is the related naming of the timeline as after Ford, in place of After Lord. There have been multiple uses of the word Ford like Oh Ford, Year of the Ford and so on. There can be no doubt that author uses his skills well.
There are other biblical references as well. When the main character John gets confused about his own sense of self-denial, and wonders about his soul. This type of self-denial is very common in some form of Christianity as they see self-denial and self-punishment as a source of redemption from mortal life. There is no doubt that the novel presents a striking similarity between the actions and thought the process of John with the biblical belief of Christianity.
There is other such small and subtle indication of situations to the Bible which becomes quite apparent to the reader while reading the book. There are quotes from Shakespearean classics and his banned work that keeps dropping hints about the use of religious references. Naturally, it got very less popularity among quite a few when published, though any restrictions were lifted later on. From the naming of characters to the social conditions, the book is full of allusions and well disguised original facts.