Brave New World Questions for Study and Discussion

Aldous Huxley's Famous and Controversial Novel

Brave New World
Brave New World. HarperCollins

Brave New World is one of the most controversial and best-known works of Aldous Huxley. In this dystopian novel, Huxley foretold technological advances in many facets of society--including test-tube babies, sleep learning, etc. The novel has been listed as one of the top English-language books of the 20th century. It is often read in English classes and is a popular choice in book clubs. Here are a few questions for study and discussion.

Brave New World Questions for Study and Discussion:

  • What is important about the title?
  • Why is the society in Brave New World considered dystopian rather than utopian? Do you agree? Would you want to live in the World State? Why or Why not?
  • How do you think the culture in Huxley's World State compares to our current culture? Why did John find the World State to be an empty society? 
  • What are the conflicts in Brave New World? What types of conflict (physical, moral, intellectual, or emotional) did you notice in this novel?
  • How does Aldous Huxley reveal character in Brave New World?
  • What are some themes in the story? How do they relate to the plot and characters?
  • What are some symbols in Brave New World? How do they relate to the plot and characters?
  • Is Bernard consistent in his actions? Who is he? How does he relate with others? What is his position in society? Is he a fully developed character? How? Why?
  • Compare/contrast Bernard with John (the Savage).
  • How does the Reservation compare with Bernard's society?
  • How do you feel about the use of the drug soma in the novel? Would you take soma if it were available? 
  • Do you find the characters likable? Are the characters people you would want to meet?
  • Does the story end the way you expected? How? Why?
  • What is the central or primary purpose of the story? Is the purpose important or meaningful?
  • How essential is the setting to the story? Could the story have taken place anywhere else?
  • Why has the book been controversial? Is Brave New World believable (do you think the main events of the book could really take place)?
  • What is the role of women in the text? How are mothers represented? What about single/independent women?
  • Do you think Brave New World exhibits feminist ideas?
  • Do you think the World Society has actually achieved the racial and gender equality it claims to have? Why or why not?
  • What do you think of the roles of Freemartins in the World State? Are they an oppressed group?
  • Would you recommend this novel to a friend?

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