Brave New World Essay Questions
Here are some of the most typical yet exciting Brave New World essay questions that you can investigate in your paper:
- How does utilitarian society work?
- Why does the society need to limit not only the development of art and the cultural progress but also the scientific and technological progress as well, according to Mustapha Mond?
- What is John's function in the novel?
- How does a particular character develop in the novel (pick one)?
- What is the take on religion in Huxley's utilitarian society?
- How does Huxley theorize about sexuality in his novel?
- Do you agree that Huxley's views that he expressed in his novel were largely determined by his medical condition (blindness)?
- Where do John's suicidal thoughts root from and what motivation for suicide do they provide at the end of the novel?
- Is there an antagonist in the novel? Who could we call one?
- Can Huxley's Brave New World be truly called a dystopia?
Brave New World Theme Essay
The questions above are quite specific. Truly, a lot of serious works have been devoted to answering these questions. But, once again, as a student, you are allowed to cover one of them in a small five-paragraph essay. If your task is to write a bigger Brave New World essay, chances are you will have to write a Brave New World theme essay, i.e., to explore a particular theme and how it gets revealed in the novel. Here are some of the themes you can dwell upon when writing about Huxley's Brave New World:
- Commodification. An obsession with consumption makes people happy but poses an impossible obstacle to creativity and originality.
- Dystopia. How does the society seamlessly fall under one or the other kind of totalitarian control?
- Freedom. We can see how easily freedom can be re-defined into its complete opposite.
- Human impulse. We see that Huxley's utilitarian society does not control impulses. Is it wrong?
- Limits of science. How does the utilitarian government limit science to promote its central priority - the common happiness and why?
- Power of knowledge. In Huxley's novel, mankind seems to have gained absolute knowledge of everything, and it seems to have made them happy. What is the catch?
- Transformation of human relationships. The utilitarian society has rid itself of any human bond that we are used to today. How it affects them and what can we learn from it?
- Utilitarian happiness. How the notion of happiness transforms in the absence of unhappiness?
Brave New World Soma Essay
The absolute common happiness in Huxley's utilitarian society is achieved by providing the entirety of mankind with all the possible commodities. The elimination of any unhappiness is aided by the mass implementation of a particular drug called soma. Taking a closer look at this drug, its application and effects can provide for an exciting topic for an essay. If you choose to write a Brave New World soma essay, here is what you can do:
- Mark all the instances where the word 'soma' is used in the text of the novel
- Mark all the instances where the characters use this drug, ponder on their motivations to use it and its effects
- Mark the descriptions of soma's function in Huxley's utilitarian society
- Such a brief research will give you enough material to put together a solid essay.
Brave New World Analysis Essay
Another kind of essay that you can write about Aldous Huxley's novel is a Brave New World analysis essay. Here, you will analyze the novel as a whole, as opposed to putting the novel's particular detail or aspect in the center of your attention and abstracting from the rest. Such an essay will obviously be even more voluminous than a theme essay that we have discussed above - if you want to have it done properly.
When you analyze Huxley's entire novel in your essay, you will have to grasp at least several questions and themes that we have listed earlier: from the novel's background (including Huxley's blindness, as well as the events that inspired him to turn to the genre that would later be called dystopia) to the traits and functions of particular characters.
Brave New World Essay Prompts
When given a task of writing an essay, your instructor may offer you some prompts that you will have to address. If this is your case, then the job of a student gets much easier, because you no longer need to look for what exactly to write about. Either you know the material, or you don't. Either you can answer to the prompt, or you can't. Here are a few examples of Brave New World essay prompts:
- "Community, identity, stability." This is the slogan of BNW. Explain what each of these words means in the slogan. How true to life are they?
- Different opinions. The utilitarian society seems to provide happiness to all the society. Still, different characters seem to view such state of events differently. Give examples and compare them.
- Manufactured pleasure. How was it made possible to manufacture pleasure and at what cost?
- Mind meddling. Explain how the government controls the people's minds in the novel. What methods do they use? Do you know about any similar instances in real life?
- Ominous warning. Do you think that anything Huxley describes in his novel could happen in real life in the future? Maybe, it already has?
Brave New World Essay Outline
If your instructor is willing to facilitate your essay writing by giving you prompts to address, they might as well give you an outline for your essay. But regardless, if you have any doubts regarding how you should outline your essay, you should not hesitate to contact your instructor for assistance. A Brave New World essay outline may look as follows:
- Introduction. It should include the general background information - at least, the novel's title and the author's name, your thesis statement, and a transition sentence.
- The main body. Here, you answer the prompt.
- Evidence. You prove that your answer to the prompt is correct.
- Conclusion. You restate the prompt and state that you have answered it correctly.
Brave New World Essay Outlinebrave New World Essay Introduction
Finally, we would like to address an issue that many essay writers stumble upon - how to start off your Brave New World essay, i.e., how to write your Brave New World essay introduction. An introduction to an essay may be its smallest part, but it is of critical importance. If you want a good grade, you want to impress your reader. To do that, you should grasp their attention from the very first lines of your essay introduction and prepare them for what they are about to read. In case with a Brave New World essay, you are welcome to use the introduction to our humble article as a template to dwell upon.
So much is at stake in writing a conclusion. This is, after all, your last chance to persuade your readers to your point of view, to impress yourself upon them as a writer and thinker. And the impression you create in your conclusion will shape the impression that stays with your readers after they've finished the essay.
The end of an essay should therefore convey a sense of completeness and closure as well as a sense of the lingering possibilities of the topic, its larger meaning, its implications: the final paragraph should close the discussion without closing it off.
To establish a sense of closure, you might do one or more of the following:
- Conclude by linking the last paragraph to the first, perhaps by reiterating a word or phrase you used at the beginning.
- Conclude with a sentence composed mainly of one-syllable words. Simple language can help create an effect of understated drama.
- Conclude with a sentence that's compound or parallel in structure; such sentences can establish a sense of balance or order that may feel just right at the end of a complex discussion.
To close the discussion without closing it off, you might do one or more of the following:
- Conclude with a quotation from or reference to a primary or secondary source, one that amplifies your main point or puts it in a different perspective. A quotation from, say, the novel or poem you're writing about can add texture and specificity to your discussion; a critic or scholar can help confirm or complicate your final point. For example, you might conclude an essay on the idea of home in James Joyce's short story collection, Dubliners, with information about Joyce's own complex feelings towards Dublin, his home. Or you might end with a biographer's statement about Joyce's attitude toward Dublin, which could illuminate his characters' responses to the city. Just be cautious, especially about using secondary material: make sure that you get the last word.
- Conclude by setting your discussion into a different, perhaps larger, context. For example, you might end an essay on nineteenth-century muckraking journalism by linking it to a current news magazine program like 60 Minutes.
- Conclude by redefining one of the key terms of your argument. For example, an essay on Marx's treatment of the conflict between wage labor and capital might begin with Marx's claim that the "capitalist economy is . . . a gigantic enterprise ofdehumanization"; the essay might end by suggesting that Marxist analysis is itself dehumanizing because it construes everything in economic -- rather than moral or ethical-- terms.
- Conclude by considering the implications of your argument (or analysis or discussion). What does your argument imply, or involve, or suggest? For example, an essay on the novel Ambiguous Adventure, by the Senegalese writer Cheikh Hamidou Kane, might open with the idea that the protagonist's development suggests Kane's belief in the need to integrate Western materialism and Sufi spirituality in modern Senegal. The conclusion might make the new but related point that the novel on the whole suggests that such an integration is (or isn't) possible.
Finally, some advice on how not to end an essay:
- Don't simply summarize your essay. A brief summary of your argument may be useful, especially if your essay is long--more than ten pages or so. But shorter essays tend not to require a restatement of your main ideas.
- Avoid phrases like "in conclusion," "to conclude," "in summary," and "to sum up." These phrases can be useful--even welcome--in oral presentations. But readers can see, by the tell-tale compression of the pages, when an essay is about to end. You'll irritate your audience if you belabor the obvious.
- Resist the urge to apologize. If you've immersed yourself in your subject, you now know a good deal more about it than you can possibly include in a five- or ten- or 20-page essay. As a result, by the time you've finished writing, you may be having some doubts about what you've produced. (And if you haven't immersed yourself in your subject, you may be feeling even more doubtful about your essay as you approach the conclusion.) Repress those doubts. Don't undercut your authority by saying things like, "this is just one approach to the subject; there may be other, better approaches. . ."
Copyright 1998, Pat Bellanca, for the Writing Center at Harvard University