Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring Literary Analysis #3: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (analysis by Hayden Robel)

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
“O brave new world…”

Literature Analysis
By Hayden Robel


1. Briefly summarize the plot of the novel you read, and explain how the narrative fulfills the author's purpose (based on your well-informed interpretation of same).

2. Succinctly describe the theme of the novel. Avoid clichés.

3. Describe the author's tone. Include a minimum of three excerpts that illustrate your point(s).

4. Describe a minimum of ten literary elements/techniques you observed that strengthened your understanding of the author's purpose, the text's theme and/or your sense of the tone. For each, please include textual support to help illustrate the point for your readers. (Please include edition and page numbers for easy reference.)


1. A modernist magnum opus straddling the perilous precipice of post-modernism, the world of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World is a cautionary tale, a fictional fable of human fallibility. An utterly efficient, emotionless utopia, the World State functions by three foundational tenets: Community, Identity, Stability. A civilization bereaved of emotion, the arts, religions, individualism, expressionism but perpetually sustained in monitored maintenance, in equilibrium, consumerism, industry, the sciences, "perfect content". Bernard Marx, the debatable "protagonist", however lacks such content, dissatisfied, introverted and alienated for his lack conformity in a culture constructed upon universal uniformity. Threatening the fragile stability of the world state as stability cannot be achieved without complete and total lack of individuality, the hatchery director Helmholtz threatens to exile Bernard. Bernard, having visited the Savage society, a society outside the world state lacking the technology, soma, the same system of cultures and values, however has a different plan confronting the director with his naturally conceived son John. Fleeing in confusion, embarrassment, in fear the director enables us a perspicacity, a window to observe world state society. A society forgoing death and aging, a society without love, family, emotions a world without humanity. Huxley by novels end connotes his ultimate purpose, theme, as John symbolizes the values and culture of our society whilst the director (and Mustapha Mond) symbolizes that of the world state. John argues what I ultimately do, that forgoing the flaws of humanity, pursuing perfection via the elimination of emotions, any danger, or love, ultimately sacrifices what makes us human, a sacrifice that ends with John (Spoiler Alert) sacrificing himself to preserve/symbolize our most human trait: imperfection. Something flawed can only ever be but is our flaws that make us human, give us our humanity. This is what I believe Aldous Huxley's ultimate purpose whilst crafting the world and characters of the World State, a cautionary tale on the costs of perfection, perfection at the cost of our humanity. Indeed this is a potential future, but I try to be an optimist, all I can say is I can't wait to see what lies in our futures, can't wait to see the Brave New World.

2. (Essentially answered this in previous question) Huxley by novels end connotes his ultimate purpose, theme, as John symbolizes the values and culture of our society whilst the director (and Mustapha Mond) symbolizes that of the world state. John argues what I ultimately do, that forgoing the flaws of humanity, pursuing perfection via the elimination of emotions, any danger, or love, ultimately sacrifices what makes us human, a sacrifice that ends with John (spoiler alert) sacrificing himself to preserve/symbolize our most human trait: imperfection. Something flawed can only ever be but is our flaws that make us human, give us our humanity. This is what I believe Aldous Huxley's ultimate purpose whilst crafting the world and characters of the World State, a cautionary tale on the costs of perfection, perfection at the cost of our humanity.

·        "In the Bottling Room all was harmonious bustle and ordered activity. Flaps of fresh sow's peritoneum ready cut to the proper size came shooting up in little lifts from the Organ Store in the sub-basement. Whizz and then, click! the lift-hatches hew open; the bottle-liner had only to reach out a hand, take the flap, insert, smooth-down, and before the lined bottle had had time to travel out of reach along the endless band, whizz, click! another flap of peritoneum had shot up from the depths, ready to be slipped into yet another bottle, the next of that slow interminable procession on the band."

·        "Roses and electric shocks, the khaki of Deltas and a whiff of asafœtida – wedded indissolubly before the child can speak. But wordless conditioning is crude and wholesale; cannot bring home the finer distinctions, cannot inculcate the more complex courses of behaviour. For that there must be words, but words without reason. In brief, hypnopædia."

·        "Phosgene, chloropicrin, ethyl iodoacetate, diphenylcyanarsine, trichlormethyl, chloroformate, dichlorethyl sulphide. Not to mention hydrocyanic acid. Ch3C6H2(NO2)3+Hg(CNO)2=well, what? An enormous hole in the ground, a pile of masonry, some bits of flesh and mucus, a foot, with the boot still on it, flying through the air and landing, flop, in the middle of the geraniums – the scarlet ones; such a splendid show that summer!"

The brave new world of Huxley's novel is bound by the dogma of rationality, science, utilitarity and uniformity. A cold tone, calculated and relentlessly analytical Huxley's tone is undeniably the vehicle of World State society's relinquishment of all things mute to the state's benefit. As illustrated in the excerpts above, Huxley characterizes the mechanical hive of efficiency that constitutes the surrounding society via an equally if not exceedingly machinist tone bolstered by an ironic use of flowery if not waxing poetry to describe what contemporary readers such as myself would cringe at the gruesome spectacle (quote 3). Quotes like #1 and 2 capitalize on this juxtaposition of vibrant descriptions and figurative language against the cold and cruel, the ethically grey scientific systems of the state (I.e. hypnopaedia, neo-Pavlovian conditioning etc.). A master of the rhetorical strategies Huxley's tone within Brave New World expertly convey's the sense of cold, emotionless, frequently cruel, ethically, morally grey ambiguity of the eponymous novel's World state society, connoting the values of its culture in the process.

4. Here we go. (Ad infinitum)

1.     Setting: “A SQUAT grey building of only thirty-four stories. Over the main entrance the words, CENTRAL LONDON HATCHERY AND CONDITIONING CENTRE, and, in a shield, the World State's motto, COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY.” (Pg. 1) Depicts thru cold cut description/tone the setting of Brave New World, the grey, clinical surroundings that come to characterize the surrounding World State society as well as its values of: COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY.

2.     Theme: “Hot tunnels alternated with cool tunnels. Coolness was wedded to discomfort in the form of hard X-rays. By the time they were decanted the embryos had a horror of cold. They were predestined to emigrate to the tropics, to be miner and acetate silk spinners and steel workers. Later on their minds would be made to endorse the judgment of their bodies. "We condition them to thrive on heat," concluded Mr. Foster. "Our colleagues upstairs will teach them to love it. “And that,"put in the Director sententiously, "that is the secret of happiness and virtue – liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny.” (pg. 11) This quote describes the pre-conditioning/controlled conception of humans via mechanical processes ultimately connoting one of the novel’s central ideas, theme: subjugation thru perfect content, apathy. I.E. Caste system according to the World State.

3.     Rhyming scheme/Free Rhyme verse: “Bottle of mine, it's you I've always wanted! Bottle of mine, why was I ever decanted? Skies are blue inside of you, The weather's always fine; For There ain't no Bottle in all the world Like that dear little Bottle of mine.” (pg. 47) Not long enough to qualify as a sonnet (needs 14 lines etc.), the rhyming scheme however cleverly creates a catchy means by which Huxley identifies but one of the many ideals of the World State, a society without art or expression, even their “folk-songs” are merely propagandist spirituals.

4.     Aphorism: “When the individual feels, the community reels.” (pg. 52) Huxley thru World State Aphorisms such as these connotes the beliefs of the civilization’s ideological dogmas, this aphorism in particular exhibiting the fear of individuality in a universally uniform society.

5.     Allusion: “Bernard Marx, Lenina, Henry Foster etc.” (pg. throughout the novel) Huxley brilliantly incorporates the names of famous historical figures directly into that of his Brave New World characters often to further characterize the themes of the novel. EX. Communist proponent Karl Marx is the derivation of Bernard Marx, Russian ruler Lenin is feminized for Lenina, Henry Ford’s first and last name is similar to Jesus in stature/naming frequency in characters like Henry Foster.

6.     Imagery: “In the Bottling Room all was harmonious bustle and ordered activity. Flaps of fresh sow's peritoneum ready cut to the proper size came shooting up in little lifts from the Organ Store in the sub-basement. Whizz and then, click! the lift-hatches hew open; the bottle-liner had only to reach out a hand, take the flap, insert, smooth-down, and before the lined bottle had had time to travel out of reach along the endless band, whizz, click! another flap of peritoneum had shot up from the depths, ready to be slipped into yet another bottle, the next of that slow interminable procession on the band.” (pg. 22) Paints the imagery of the mechanical process by which humans are manufactured, not far off the manufacturing mechanisms of cow slaughter or assembly line electronics.
7.     Personification: “The roses were in bloom, two nightingales soliloquized in the boskage, a cuckoo was just going out of tune among the lime trees. The air was drowsy with the murmur of bees and helicopters.” (pg. 37) Huxley at times engages in beautiful bouts of imagery laden figurative language to juxtapose the otherwise cruel and grey atmosphere of the novel. I personally liked the use of personification in this passage with the soliquizing flowers and drowsy air, creates a mood contrasting with the overall foreboding feeling of oppression prevalent in the book.

8.     Tone: “The overalls of the workers were white, their hands gloved with a pale corpse-coloured rubber. The light was frozen, dead, a ghost. Only from the yellow barrels of the microscopes did it borrow a certain rich and living substance, lying along the polished tubes like butter, streak after luscious streak in long recession down the work tables.” (pg. 12) Cold, clinical the tone of Brave New World is sterile in it’s diction, even the similes/figurative language (in bold above) are Huxley’s tool to crafting a tone fitting of a society automated by a hive of machines and identical automatons—I mean humans.

9.     Theme: “The various Bureaux of Propaganda and the College of Emotional Engineering were housed in a single sixty-story building in Fleet Street. In the basement and on the low floors were the presses and offices of the three great London newspapers – The Hourly Radio, an upper-caste sheet, the pale green Gamma Gazette, and, on khaki paper and in words exclusively of one syllable, The Delta Mirror. Then came the Bureaux of Propaganda by Television, by Feeling Picture, and by Synthetic Voice and Music respectively – twenty-two floors of them. Above were the search laboratories and the padded rooms in which Sound-Track Writers and Synthetic Composers did the delicate work. The top eighteen floors were occupied the College of Emotional Engineering.” (pg. 62) Automation of all things is a prominent facet of the World State and the naming conventions of various operating branches such as “the Bureaux of Propaganda and the College of Emotional Engineering” service as quick references to the values of this society, Huxley’s theme of replacing all things that make us human, even emotion thru propaganda and conditioning.

10.    Theme: “The greater a man's talents, the greater his power to lead astray. It is better that one should suffer than that many should be corrupted. Consider the matter dispassionately, Mr. Foster, and you will see that no offense is so heinous as unorthodoxy of behavior. Murder kills only the individual-and, after all, what is an individual?” (pg. 86) Yes, there are a lot of themes that Huxley imbued his novel with thus do I with these examples.  No theme more prominent then that of the elimination of the individual as the quote yet again connotes the theme of individuality and its role…lack there of in World State society.


1. Describe two examples of direct characterization and two examples of indirect characterization.  Why does the author use both approaches, and to what end (i.e., what is your lasting impression of the character as a result)?

2. Does the author's syntax and/or diction change when s/he focuses on character?  How?  Example(s)?

3. Is the protagonist static or dynamic?  Flat or round?  Explain.

4. After reading the book did you come away feeling like you'd met a person or read a character?  Analyze one textual example that illustrates your reaction.

Direct Characterization

·        EXAMPLE 1: “Tall and rather thin but upright, the Director advanced into the room. He had a long chin and big rather prominent teeth, just covered, when he was not talking, by his full, floridly curved lips. Old, young? Thirty? Fifty? Fifty-five? It was hard to say. And anyhow the question didn't arise; in this year of stability, A. F. 632, it didn't occur to you to ask it.”

·        EXAMPLE 2: “The completed mechanisms were inspected by eighteen identical curly auburn girls in Gamma green, packed in crates by thirty-four short-legged, left-handed male Delta-Minuses, and loaded into the waiting trucks and lorries by sixty-three blue-eyed, flaxen and freckled Epsilon Semi-Morons.”

Indirect characterization

·        EXAMPLE 1: “Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm awfully glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly color. I'm so glad I'm a Beta.

·        EXAMPLE 2: “And then he spends most of his time by himself – alone.” There was horror in Fanny's voice.

“Any writers worth their royalties utilize both direct and indirect characterization.” – Hayden Robel after answering this question in seven other analyses…

Yes, Huxley is one such author. In the direct characterization examples we see the author’s direct description of the physical appearance of various caste levels.  In the indirect characterization examples, Huxley synthesizes the two types of characterization to not only directly characterize a given character(s) but so to subtly (and not so much) indirectly detail the character spouting the quote’s own character. Indirect example one is an excerpt of Lenina’s comments upon various castes of which she dubs as categorically worse due to their lower social stations, thus her final comment (in bold) ironically indirectly characterizes her not only as a pretentious [insert expletive here] but also ignorant her pre-conditioned ideals. Indirect example two indirectly characterizes the fear of individuality (as Fanny and Lenina discuss Bernard’s peculiar self-isolation/introversions) not just in Fanny but World State society as a whole as Fanny gasps in “horror” to the idea of self-isolation, quite reflection and solitude. Huxley utilizes both approaches as the author’s of my seven other literary analysis sections do: to further the novel’s themes/his own ultimate purpose in the creation of the work. (Level of annoyance with this question=exceedingly obvious :)

2. No. Huxley (IMO) rarely shifts in his cold/clinical diction/syntax even whilst in characterization rather emphasizing the automated society of the world state with inhuman, terse and mechanical word choice/structure even in character speech.

3. Bernard Marx is indeed a “dynamic character” by the definition of a character arc but ultimately remains static in his individuality. In the beginning of the novel Bernard is incredulously introverted, an individual alienated for his individuality, he dissatisfied with his society as well as his status within it. By the mid-act of the novel Bernard depicts a character shift from somewhat timid to nearly narcissistic in arrogance as he seizes the popularity and attention arrived from John, thus Bernard is dynamic in his total polarity shift from an introvert to extrovert. But by the novel’s end, however, Bernard loses all of his popularity yielded from John’s providence and yet again descends into introverted misery. Consequently Bernard may have changed superficially, dynamic for a time being, but the “protagonist” returns to his static introverted state, ultimately remains the same, an individual exiled (metaphorically and literally), a lone voice drowning in a sea of uniformity.

·        “The mockery made him feel an outsider; and feeling an outsider he behaved like one, which increased the prejudice against him and intensified the contempt and hostility aroused by his physical defects. Which in turn increased his sense of being alien and alone. A chronic fear of being slighted made him avoid his equals, made him stand, where his inferiors were concerned, self-consciously on his dignity. How bitterly he envied men like Henry Foster and Benito Hoover! Men who never had to shout at an Epsilon to get an order obeyed; men who took their position for granted; men who moved through the caste system as a fish through water – so utterly at home as to be unaware either of themselves or of the beneficent and comfortable element in which they had their being.”

Bernard Marx emblemizes the most human trait of humanity: imperfection. In a society founded upon the principles of manipulated equilibrium, manufactured happiness, Bernard stands as an individual, free of thought and selfish in such, just like any real person. While most of the characters of Huxley’s utopian dystopia are intentionally artificial, Bernard Marx is human in his flaws, his personal ambitions of “self-improvement” even if that self-improvement can be perceived as superficial and servicing on his social aspirations. The quote above connotes his envy of others, his source of alienation, introversion, self-isolation, his individuality. An outsider in a society of COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY, Bernard Marx is a tragic character in many ways, seizing what he was pre-conditioned to desire (a higher social standing as an Alpha) but ultimately failing, falling from the heights of his ambition. Something flawed can only ever be, in the end Bernard Marx is pathetic, insecure, at times introverted, an individual, flawed, just like you or me, just like humanity. (So yes I think he’s more person than character :P)

A few AP Resources

Here's some AP resources each offering tips and tricks that should aid in prepping for exam day (E-Day....much worse than D....).






Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Brave New World Essay

“Often it seems that those who are quiet, stoic, reserved, are often those with the most to say.”

Some may call them “outliers”, others “introverts”, since society’s construction there have been those who, for better or worse, harbor a fundamental sense of disconnect, feel as if they do not belong within their society’s structures. From Holden Caulfield to Christopher McCandless, there is many an introvert in literature, individuals dissatisfied with their respective culture, their society’s expectations, its morals, those unable to find a place in society for themselves. Undoubtedly gleaning from his own deep-seated disposition, personal experiences, Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World provides a porthole in to the perspicacity of one such an introvert, one decidedly alienated, self-isolated from the world of the World State. Whether it be a marker of emerging individualism or even a sign of surfacing rebellion, the arguable “protagonist” of Brave New World, Bernard Marx, is not only an introvert internalizing his cultural dissatisfaction, disconnection, but so to a means by which his surrounding society’s beliefs, its values, are identified, characterized.  

An utterly efficient, emotionless, utopia, a man made machine manned by the manufactured machinations of mankind, a human hive with its assorted hierarchy, worker bees and queens, with its castes, the society of the World State functions on three foundational tenets: Community, Identity, Stability.  Yet, what of those with their own identity? Bernard Marx is the answer, an individual where there should be not.  Bernard from the beginning of the novel and beyond depicts a peculiar proclivity towards introversion/internalization, quickly becoming dissatisfied with his pre-designated caste, societal station. Contemplative, if not completely sentimental, Bernard’s individualism, his growing disillusionment with the World state is perceived as a stigma in such a uniform, utilitarian society. He is alienated, a threat to communal singularity, stability as true stability, as is the assumption of Bernard’s society, cannot exist without ultimately non-competitive, wholly identical uniformity. Bernard’s thoughts and actions enable us a contrasting perspective, a critical eye on his society.  While his culture, his caste, is conditioned for materialistic consumerism, Bernard finds no real contentedness in objects, inanimate baubles and “things”. Ford jettisoning Jesus, industrialism and mindless mechanical industry propagated, assembly line occupations proliferated not unlike some kind of hynpopaedic propaganda; Bernard resists so to his culture’s compulsions of unconditional dedication to machinery. Even against threats of exile, exportation to Iceland byway of the Hatchery director Helmholtz for endangering the World State’s rationalistic ideology, Bernard bites back with a marked level of emotional identity. Wanting to watch, see, inflict intangible but all too real damage, Bernard confronts the director, forces him to confront his own societal stigmas in the form of the naturally conceived John. He did this as a strike of emotion, a strike to Helmholtz and World state society, striking damage all to real via human introversion, such emotional futility dubbed fickle. He rebelled against a society who could not and would not facilitate him, a society who valued only uniformity in the fears of the uncertainty that comes with illogical, imperfect individuality. Bernard, thru his alienation, thoughts and actions, illustrates that most inherent dogma of his society’s values: unequivocal fear, fear of fear itself, fear of uncertainty, of the variable, erratic and incalculables… the unknown. Indeed amongst all others Bernard is a variable, an individual threatening all of the ideals of his own culture, a lone voice in a sea of collective consciousness.  

Mother, father, family, such familial, nuclear relational sundries of old are deemed as pornographic, purposeless and inefficient in the eyes of World State society. From an early age children are conditioned to sexual promiscuity, openness, the World State encouraging, perpetuating multiple “mutual beneficiaries”, anything but sexual solidarity, emotional connectivity, romance. As Lenina, a symbol/representative for sexuality in her society at large, loads on Soma, is sent to thoughtless, worry-less, numbing euphoria, Bernard (AT LEAST INITALLY IN THE NOVEL…) abstains from her inter--… her “course”. Bernard depicts in this action a snippet of surviving sentimentality that his society has attempted since test-tube immaculate inception to snuff out. His lack of leaning towards mindless libido, his surfacing individualism contrasts with the promiscuity perpetuated by his society as he, if only ever slightly, leans closer to the romance, traditional relationships conventions of old, of our times. Subsequently Bernard juxtaposes from the World State’s ideas of sexuality and relationships, yet again alienated, yet again unique amongst the uniformity.

A modernist magnum opus peeking over the perilous precipice of post-modernism, Ford interchangeable with Freud, Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World serves as a fictional fable of foreseeable fallibility, a cautionary tale, however seemingly hyperbolic, very well a possibility. With content comes over-indulgence, indulgence lending to need for persisting indulgence until apathy arises from said numbing content. The World State’s ideology is founded upon this ideal, the tenets of community, identity stability that subdues any uncertainties that emerge from individuality. Bernard Marx provides with his societal alienation, introversion a perspective, a threat to The World State assumptions and values. While the world state prefers universal uniformity, Bernard’s introversion staves such efforts, his individuality surfacing so far as to blatantly rebel against his society byway of forcing Helmholtz to confront John. While Lenina promotes her society’s sexual promiscuity, Bernard abstains from the thralls of Soma, if only briefly. Bernard Marx, thru his internalized thoughts and actions, his alienation and introversion further depicting his introverted schemata, exposing the schemata, the values of his own society.      


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Brave New World (Ch.10)

O my what a chapter! The director got his just deserts after the threats he prompted towards Bernard! (I.E. Sending him to that really that bad? I've heard Iceland has little "Ice" and is quite more hospitable than the apparent "Greenland"...:) I think it to be ironic that the director condemns Bernard for his apparent "heretical" behavior, Bernard's resistance to being merely a mindless ambling child-like husk, yet ultimately it is the director's own proclivities and past turpitudes that threatens the tenets of stability, of the world state. When John and Linda confront the director head on it is a sight to behold as the director flees in terror from his own past, the ironic drama here is executed flawlessly! I suspect some future consequences for not only the director's "heretical" past but so to Bernard's present actions, like the director notes, Bernard is becoming rebellious, gradually becoming more and more inquisitive to the "utopia"of the world, slowly but surely questioning whether he is one of the many or an individual unable to exist in a uniform society.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Seeing as though we are already deeply involved in Aldous Huxley's futuristic utopian-dystopia of Brave New World I selected this as my march literature analysis as well. I am genuinely enjoying the novel thus far and it's many thematical undercurrents are both compelling, personally intellectually stimulating but are also relevant to our contemporary era( in like a few works we've read previously that will remain unnamed). I believe, no, I know that my subsequent literature analysis of this novel will yield high quality, authentically contemplated, responses and quite possibly may be my best work in the class thus far. If I keep telling myself, performing my utterances, condition my self it must come true correct?....Right?.....

Until next time,


Brave New World (8)

"O brave new world that has such people in it.” John's quotation of shakespeare's tempest characterizes the tone of this chapter whilst brilliantly connoting and connecting the thematically elements of Huxley's novel and our own past. In this chapter John is both directly and in characterized as surprisingly precocious, self-educated as compared to other savage children. In fact I would argue John is much more intelligent or at least has a more diverse process of critical thinking unimpeded by the selective hypnopaedic learnings of the world state populace. ( I mean John reads and quotes Shakespeare for crying out loud! Even most of us ap students don't/ can't do that according to the beginning of the semester soliloquy. Maybe it's because we been conditioned to despise Shakespeare? Food for thought.) Anywho chapter 8 ends with Bernard getting some gumption as he desires to bring the naive John to London not for the good of the boy but to spite the director by bringing him his hidden naturally conceived son. Looks like Bernard is finally being characterized as more than a jaded introvert, he's truly becoming a rebel the blow that will inevitably be inflicted to the director after the realization of the existence of John can so yo be perceived as a direct blow to the tenets of world state society. Lets just hope John is harmed on this trip to the " brave new world". ( isn't it ironic this parallelism that the savage Is the one quoting Shakespeare and is interested in learning more about thirt culture out of genuine curiosity unlike the haughty hubris of the apparently "civilized, advanced" world state culture?.... Another helping on the plate of food for thought).

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

BNW Chapter 7

Whoa!....So the guy named "Tomakin" is actually the director (Thomas) and is revealed (or at least inferred to) as the Indian boy's father from natural conception?! Scandalous! kill me now. But in all sardonic sincerity this chapter is following up on the ante raised by chapter six as we learn not only more about the lives of Savages on the reservations but so to are given more insight into the characters. Lenina, for example, is directly characterized as a verifiable, stuck up, B**** for lack of a euphemism as she comments on the "abhorrent" appearance of the Indian youth's mother, Linda,  due to her natural physical maturity/age overtime (the woman is, as the Indian boy's mother obviously, inferred to also be the women lost 20 years ago in the sentimental tale recounted in chapter six previously. The story is getting only more interesting, no?) Another notable facet of this chapter is the sacrificial immolation of the boy in a "pit of serpents (snakes)". The icons of Christianity (the "man hanging on a cross") and what I presume, with the "soaring eagle", a reference to the fictionally fallen United States (which symbolizes freedom and individuality combating the uniform World State), speak to the relentless inquisition of anything deemed unsuitable to the tenets of Community, Identity, Stability. The punishment the Savages endure if practicing or even researching the civilizations/societies of the past is a cruel means of neo-pavlovian conditioning as the savages are trained to despise what the world state identifies as "Paganism" not unlike the Columbus missionaries invading the Americas and forcing upon their beliefs, punishing the indigenous for practicing their own native culture. The parallelism is evident. Cant wait to see whats next.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Bill Moyer's interview of Isaac Asimov: World of Ideas (Questions and Responses)

QUESTION: Summarize Asimov's perspective on learning.

1. Asimov believed as I still do that genuine interest breeds genuine results, learning. If I am excited by , say, my passions in creative writing I will easily adapt and seek such knowledge relevant to my personal interests and passions for the subject(s). On the other hand subjects like that of mathematics bore me to concentrated mental oblivion thus any mathematical knowledge barely pregnates and persists beyond my barriers, self-erected interests. He believes in pursuing creative, personally compelling passions as not just hobbies or means of vocational learning but authentically supports an individual needs to pursue their own interests and not some archaic curriculum thrust by a presiding board for test scores and balanced graphs. He believes a learning revolution can occur and so do I but only thru true dedication to personal interests, passions. If only the board could learn this...

QUESTION: If all future organizations and endeavors begin as visions [i.e. imagined possibilities, a.k.a. the DNA of fiction] how can anyone ever create anything new without indulging science fiction?

2. Genres are a means of oversimplification gross generalizations mainly propped for marketing jingoism in all forms, mediums not exclusive to say literature or films but so to encompass ideas. Why can't dreams and visions for our future flirt with the classification of science fiction, fantasy or any other mode of fiction? Is it because society deems dreams and impassioned pursuits as childish just like learning as Asimov expands? I believe so. I believe that it is impossible to separate dreams from science fiction, fiction in general not because our dreams are implausible fanciful products of romanticism, no on the contrary all things once began as an idea, a vision, all endeavors that have existed and ever will began as an intangible "thing" all they needed was a inception point. All things beginning born as a dream. It is up to us act upon them.

  QUESTION: How do you explain the process that leads to this?

3. Not necessarily sure how to explain the exact scientific process but I can surmise the experiments significance/ relevancy to this subject in particular. Imagine a world wherein the computational power of an entire classroom, brains wired and interconnected to transfer knowledge ? Imagine a neural network with the power of an entire school, block, town, city, why stop there?! The brain wiring technique exhibited in the mice of the article seems straight of scifi but exists, functioning in reality. The natural compatibility and connectivity, inherent cooperation between the individual mice brains is exemplary to the innate desire for cooperation in living things, not some Darwinian contest. Indeed imagine a world globally connected exchanging thoughts, deliberating ideas, solving global dilemmas, connected, united as one from many. Funny thing is we don't need direct brain wiring or techno jumbo to accomplish this, with the tools right on your desktop, computer room well... We are just one vision away. It doesn't take the mind of Asimov to think of that.

BNW CH 6 (Reaction/response)

The introversion/ seeming  definite depression (if not timidity) of Bernard's character IMHO is foreshadowing a shake-up not to far in the future. He speaks of feeling like an "individual" when in quiet solitude as he departs the (to him) UN-stimulating wrestling match with Lenina in complete contrast with the pillars of the world state (Community, Identity, Stability) wherein individual identity is snuffed out, submerged and swallowed in a sea of human noise so loud any and all individuality is drowned. Indeed the lack of compulsion to consume Soma, Bernard's resistance to the apparent euphoria of the agent only characterizes him as one who does not see pleasure as a doped-up ambling husk, rather experience/observe reality without the numbing stupor, comatose from the concoction. Unfortunately he succumbs to Lenina's harassing and ultimately takes the drug, engaging in behavior this blog would blush to push but, least to say I predict some conflict with Bernard and the ideals of this utopian-dystopia soon to come.  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013



  • Allegory: a tale in prose or verse in which characters, actions, or settings represent abstract ideas or moral qualities; a story that uses symbols to make a point

  • Alliteration: the repetition of similar initial sounds, usually consonants, in a group of words

  • Allusion: a reference to a person, a place, an event, or a literary work that a writer expects a reader to recognize

  • Ambiguity: something uncertain as to interpretation

  • Anachronism: something that shows up in the wrong place or the wrong time

  • Analogy: a comparison made between two things to show the similarities between them

  • Analysis: a method in which a work or idea is separated into its parts, and those parts given rigorous and detailed scrutiny

  • Anaphora: a device or repetition in which a word or words are repeated at the beginning of two or more lines, phrases, clauses, or sentences

  • Anecdote: a very short story used to illustrate a point

  • Antagonist: a person or force opposing the protagonist in a drama or narrative

  • Antithesis: a balancing of one term against another for emphasis or stylistic effectiveness

  • Aphorism: a terse, pointed statement expressing some wise or clever observation about life

  • Apologia: a defense or justification for some doctrine, piece of writing, cause, or action; also apology

  • Apostrophe: a figure of speech in which an absent or dead person, an abstract quality, or something inanimate or nonhuman is addressed directly

  • Argument(ation): the process of convincing a reader by proving either the truth or the falsity of an idea or proposition; also, the thesis or proposition itself

  • Assumption: the act of supposing, or taking for granted that a thing is true

  • Audience: the intended listener or listeners

  • Characterization: the means by which a writer reveals a character’s personality

  • Chiasmus: a reversal in the order off words so that the second half of a statement balances the first half in inverted word order

  • Circumlocution: a roundabout or evasive speech or writing, in which many words are used but a few would have served

  • Classicism: art, literature, and music reflecting the principles of ancient Greece and Rome: tradition, reason, clarity, order, and balance

  • Cliché: a phrase or situation overused within society

  • Climax: the decisive point in a narrative or drama; the pint of greatest intensity or interest at which plot question is answered or resolved

  • Colloquialism: folksy speech, slang words or phrases usually used in informal conversation

  • Comedy: originally a nondramatic literary piece of work that was marked by a happy ending; now a term to describe a ludicrous, farcical, or amusing event designed provide enjoyment or produce smiles and laughter

  • Conflict: struggle or problem in a story causing tension

  • Connotation: implicit meaning, going beyond dictionary definition

  • Contrast: a rhetorical device by which one element (idea or object) is thrown into opposition to another for the sake of emphasis or clarity

  • Denotation: plain dictionary definition

  • Denouement (pronounced day-new-mahn): loose ends tied up in a story after the climax, closure, conclusion

  • Dialect: the language of a particular district, class or group of persons; the sounds, grammar, and diction employed by people distinguished from others.

  • Dialectics: formal debates usually over the nature of truth.

  • Dichotomy: split or break between two opposing things.

  • Diction: the style of speaking or writing as reflected in the choice and use of words.

  • Didactic: having to do with the transmission of information; education.

  • Dogmatic: rigid in beliefs and principles.

  • Elegy: a mournful, melancholy poem, especially a funeral song or lament for the dead, sometimes contains general reflections on death, often with a rural or pastoral setting.

  • Epic: a long narrative poem unified by a hero who reflects the customs, mores, and aspirations of his nation of race as he makes his way through legendary and historic exploits, usually over a long period of time (definition bordering on circumlocution).

  • Epigram: witty aphorism.

  • Epitaph: any brief inscription in prose or verse on a tombstone; a short formal poem of commemoration often a credo written by the person who wishes it to be on his tombstone.

  • Epithet: a short, descriptive name or phrase that  may insult someone’s character, characteristics

  • Euphemism: the use of an indirect, mild or vague word or expression for one thought to be coarse, offensive, or blunt.

  • Evocative (evocation): a calling forth of memories and sensations; the suggestion or production through artistry and imagination of a sense of reality.

  • Exposition: beginning of a story that sets forth facts, ideas, and/or characters, in a detailed explanation.

  • Expressionism: movement in art, literature, and music consisting of unrealistic   representation of an inner idea or feeling(s).

  • Fable: a short, simple story, usually with animals as characters, designed to teach a moral truth.

  • Fallacy: from Latin word “to deceive”, a false or misleading notion, belief, or argument; any kind of erroneous reasoning that makes arguments unsound.

  • Falling Action: part of the narrative or drama after the climax.

  • Farce: a boisterous comedy involving ludicrous action and dialogue.

  • Figurative Language: apt and imaginative language characterized by figures of speech (such as metaphor and simile).

  • Flashback: a narrative device that flashes back to prior events.

  • Foil: a person or thing that, by contrast, makes another seem better or more prominent.

  • Folk Tale: story passed on by word of mouth.

  • Foreshadowing: in fiction and drama, a device to prepare the reader for the outcome of the action; “planning” to make the outcome convincing, though not to give it away.

  • Free Verse: verse without conventional metrical pattern, with irregular pattern or no rhyme.

  • Genre: a category or class of artistic endeavor having a particular form, technique, or content.

  • Gothic Tale: a style in literature characterized by gloomy settings, violent or grotesque action, and a mood of decay, degeneration, and decadence.

  • Hyperbole: an exaggerated statement often used as a figure of speech or to prove a point.

  • Imagery: figures of speech or vivid description, conveying images through any of the senses.

  • Implication: a meaning or understanding that is to be arrive at by the reader but that is not fully and explicitly stated by the author.

  • Incongruity: the deliberate joining of opposites or of elements that are not appropriate to each other.

  • Inference: a judgement or conclusion based on evidence presented; the forming of an opinion which possesses some degree of probability according to facts already available.

  • Irony: a contrast or incongruity between what is said and what is meant, or what is expected to happen and what actually happens, or what is thought to be happening and what is actually happening.

  • Interior Monologue: a form of writing which represents the inner thoughts of a character; the recording of the internal, emotional experience(s) of an individual; generally the reader is given the impression of overhearing the interior monologue.

  • Inversion: words out of order for emphasis.

  • Juxtaposition: the intentional placement of a word, phrase, sentences of paragraph to contrast with another nearby.

  • Lyric: a poem having musical form and quality; a short outburst of the author’s innermost thoughts and feelings.

  • Magic(al) Realism:  a genre developed in Latin America which juxtaposes the everyday  with the marvelous or magical.

  • Metaphor(extended, controlling, and mixed): an analogy that compare two different
  • things imaginatively.
  • Extended: a metaphor that is extended or developed as far as the writer
  • wants to take it.
  • Controlling: a metaphor that runs throughout the piece of work.
  • Mixed: a metaphor that ineffectively blends two or more analogies.

  • Metonymy:  literally “name changing” a device of figurative language in which the name of an attribute or associated thing is substituted for the usual name of a thing.

  • Mode of Discourse:  argument (persuasion), narration, description, and exposition.

  • Modernism:  literary movement characterized by stylistic experimentation, rejection of tradition, interest in symbolism and psychology

  • Monologue:  an extended speech by a character in a play, short story, novel, or narrative poem.

  • Mood:  the predominating atmosphere evoked by a literary piece.

  • Motif:  a recurring feature (name, image, or phrase) in a piece of literature.

  • Myth:  a story, often about immortals, and sometimes connected with religious rituals, that attempts to give meaning to the mysteries of the world.

  • Narrative:  a story or description of events.

  • Narrator:  one who narrates, or tells, a story.

  • Naturalism: extreme form of realism.

  • Novelette/Novella: short story; short prose narrative, often satirical.

  • Omniscient Point of View:  knowing all things, usually the third person.

  • Onomatopoeia: use of a word whose sound in some degree imitates or suggests its
  • meaning.
  • Oxymoron: a figure of speech in which two contradicting words or phrases are combined to produce a rhetorical effect by means of a concise paradox.

  • Pacing:  rate of movement; tempo.

  • Parable:  a story designed to convey some religious principle, moral lesson, or general truth.

  • Paradox:  a statement apparently self-contradictory or absurd but really containing a possible truth; an opinion contrary to generally accepted ideas.

  • Parallelism: the principle in sentence structure that states elements of equal function should have equal form.

  • Parody:  an imitation of mimicking of a composition or of the style of a well-known artist.

  • Pathos:  the ability in literature to call forth feelings of pity, compassion, and/or sadness.

  • Pedantry: a display of learning for its own sake.

  • Personification: a figure of speech attributing human qualities to inanimate objects or  abstract ideas.

  • Plot: a plan or scheme to accomplish a purpose.

  • Poignant:  eliciting sorrow or sentiment.

  • Point of View: the attitude unifying any oral or written argumentation; in description, the physical point from which the observer views what he is describing.

  • Postmodernism: literature characterized by experimentation, irony, nontraditional forms, multiple meanings, playfulness and a blurred boundary between real and imaginary.

  • Prose:  the ordinary form of spoken and written language; language that does not have a regular rhyme pattern.

  • Protagonist: the central character in a work of fiction; opposes antagonist.

  • Pun:  play on words; the humorous use of a word emphasizing different meanings or applications.

  • Purpose: the intended result wished by an author.

  • Realism:  writing about the ordinary aspects of life in a straightfoward manner to reflect life as it actually is.

  • Refrain:  a phrase or verse recurring at intervals in a poem or song; chorus.

  • Requiem:  any chant, dirge, hymn, or musical service for the dead.

  • Resolution: point in a literary work at which the chief dramatic complication is worked out; denouement.

  • Restatement: idea repeated for emphasis.

  • Rhetoric: use of language, both written and verbal in order to persuade.

  • Rhetorical Question: question suggesting its own answer or not requiring an answer; used in argument or persuasion.

  • Rising Action: plot build up, caused by conflict and complications, advancement towards climax.

  • Romanticism:  movement in western culture beginning in the eighteenth and peaking in the nineteenth century as a revolt against Classicism; imagination was valued over reason and fact.

  • Satire:  ridicules or condemns the weakness and wrong doings of individuals, groups, institutions, or humanity in general.

  • Scansion: the analysis of verse in terms of meter.

  • Setting: the time and place in which events in a short story, novel, play, or narrative poem occur.

  • Simile:  a figure of speech comparing two essentially unlike things through the use of a specific word of comparison.

  • Soliloquy: an extended speech, usually in a drama, delivered by a character alone on stage.

  • Spiritual: a folk song, usually on a religious theme.

  • Speaker: a narrator, the one speaking.

  • Stereotype: cliché; a simplified, standardized conception with a special meaning and appeal for members of a group; a formula story.

  • Stream of Consciousness: the style of writing that attempts to imitate the natural flow of a character’s thoughts, feelings, reflections, memories, and mental images, as the character experiences them.

  • Structure: the planned framework of a literary selection; its apparent organization.

  • Style:  the manner of putting thoughts into words; a characteristic way of writing or speaking.

  • Subordination: the couching of less important ideas in less important  structures of language.

  • Surrealism: a style in literature and painting that stresses the subconscious or the nonrational aspects of man’s existence characterized by the juxtaposition of the bizarre and the banal.

  • Suspension of Disbelief: suspend not believing in order to enjoy it.

  • Symbol: something which stands for something else, yet has a meaning of its own.

  • Synesthesia: the use of one sense to convey the experience of another sense.

  • Synecdoche: another form of name changing, in which a part stands for the whole.

  • Syntax: the arrangement and grammatical relations of words in a sentence.

  • Theme:  main idea of the story; its message(s).

  • Thesis: a proposition for consideration, especially one to be discussed and proved
  • or disproved; the main idea.

  • Tone: the devices used to create the mood and atmosphere of a literary work; the        
  • author’s perceived point of view.

  • Tongue in Cheek: a type of humor in which the speaker feigns seriousness; a.k.a. “dry” or “dead pan”

  • Tragedy: in literature: any composition with a somber theme carried to a disastrous conclusion; a fatal event; protagonist usually is heroic but tragically (fatally) flawed

  • Understatement: opposite of hyperbole; saying less than you mean for emphasis

  • Vernacular: everyday speech

  • Voice:  The textual features, such as diction and sentence structures, that convey a writer’s or speaker’s pesona.

  • Zeitgeist: the feeling of a particular era in history