Brave New World is by far my favorite experimental/satirical novel, next to Clockwork Orange. The second time I've been reading it has been the best time. The question our class quickly debated on today was the subject of whether or not the characters' absence of individualism means loss of morality, or if their actions of taking excessive amounts of drugs and having excessive amounts of sex is immoral or just a social standard. I believe that it is just a social standard because, like today's culture, it is socially "acceptable" to be permiscuous and use drugs (to an extent), but these actions can sometimes not line up with one's moral standards. There is a possible guilt involved. The characters have no boundaries or limitations, which means no morality in my opinion.
The savage regards to Shakespeare sonnets as "magic", something ethereal and powerful, and in many ways this is true. Language, written language, can cause emotional response, making it an effective piece of art whether or not the reader completely understands the given material. By reading the assigned poems this past week, I have rediscovered that feeling. It makes me feel more whole as an individual, it allows me to be more in tune with my spirit and my feelings. Even the smallest of details, such as in "At Grass" by Larkin, excite me.
At Grass by Philip Larkin
The eye can hardly pick them out
From the cold shade they shelter in,
Till wind distresses tail and main;
Then one crops grass, and moves about
- The other seeming to look on -
And stands anonymous again
Yet fifteen years ago, perhaps
Two dozen distances surficed
To fable them: faint afternoons
Of Cups and Stakes and Handicaps,
Whereby their names were artificed
To inlay faded, classic Junes -
Silks at the start: against the sky
Numbers and parasols: outside,
Squadrons of empty cars, and heat,
And littered grass : then the long cry
Hanging unhushed till it subside
To stop-press columns on the street.
Do memories plague their ears like flies?
They shake their heads. Dusk brims the shadows.
Summer by summer all stole away,
The starting-gates, the crowd and cries -
All but the unmolesting meadows.
Almanacked, their names live; they
Have slipped their names, and stand at ease,
Or gallop for what must be joy,
And not a fieldglass sees them home,
Or curious stop-watch prophesies:
Only the grooms, and the grooms boy,
With bridles in the evening come.
The lines, "Do memories plague their ears like flies? They shake their heads," gives me chills. Poems that present a new way of looking at things, such as the way flies buzz and buzz around the horses' heads, and their head shrugs.
But I'm still trying to figure out what Huxley is trying to say as he killed off the Savage in the end. His feet were described to have dangled and point in all directions as he hung himself.
In regards to how Huxley advised to handle the 20th century, I believe he was saying to remain the individual amongst the masses. Seek the true individual, seek the truth of an individual. And this makes sense, Huxley lived true to his message, because later on he tried to further deepen his perception in Doors of Perception (which he was on a powerful psychotic drug).
But, alas, these thoughts just ran wildly through my head, and I felt the need to write them down. So, these thoughts might be concluded next time, or new ones may arise.