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.
Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is one of those books that has the power to really captivate readers. Even if you don’t like the promiscuity or John’s undoing, you have to admit that there’s something really enthralling about the whole thing.
Unfortunately, being enthralled in a story doesn’t make you prepared to write an essay about it. But that’s what I’m here for: to help with your Brave New World essay.
With my help, you’ll have gotten sucked into an exciting book and will be able to share your thoughts about it in a clear, concise, and interesting way.
First, Here Are a Few Pointers
When you’re writing your Brave New World essay, or any literary essay, it’s important to remember the goal of your writing. You want to analyze, not summarize. This means going beyond stating what happened in the story and explaining its significance.
This also means that you don’t have to focus on the broad view of the story. Rather, you can focus on a character, literary device, theme, or anything else you think is important.
One way to ensure you stick to an analysis instead of a summary is to write a strong thesis statement. While it’s true that the thesis statement tells the reader what your Brave New World essay is about, it also reminds you what your essay is about.
As long as you relate your arguments to a strong thesis statement, you won’t have to worry about straying away from an analysis.
(Don’t worry, I’ll show you some thesis statement examples in the different sections below.)
Go Big Picture: Talk About Themes
One of the biggest themes in Brave New World is the cost of happiness at the expense of truth. The whole society operates on what the reader sees as a very strange—and very wrong—premise because they are covering up truth for the sake of happiness.
Brave New World makes readers question what constitutes happiness, and this might be an interesting angle to explore in your essay.
Here are some questions you can tackle in your Brave New World essay:
- Is happiness the elimination of worries and doubts (even if that’s conditioned and soma-fueled), or is it the exploration and fulfillment of your individual identity?
- Can you truly be happy without free will, or is it an illusion of happiness?
Here’s what a sample thesis statement about the theme of happiness at the expense of truth looks like:
Brave New World focuses on the theme of happiness at the price of truth. This theme is prevalent throughout the novel and presents itself through the widespread use of soma and the exploration of the Savage Reservation.
Here are a few other themes you could discuss:
- Promiscuity in the absence of family or personal attachments
- The limits and risks of total governmental control of the population
- The use of technology as a means of oppression
Essays About Characters
There are so many interesting characters in Brave New World that it might be hard to pick just one.
But if you’re going to concentrate on characters in your Brave New World essay, focusing on one character and his or her development will make for a much clearer essay.
Of course, no character exists in a vacuum. You can mention other characters and how they affected the one you’re writing about, but they shouldn’t be your main focus.
My particular favorite character is Helmholtz. While he didn’t get a starring role, he was critical to the overall story. He felt held back in his caste, unable to realize his full potential because of the culture he was raised in.
However, it’s this culture that prevents him from relating fully to John. Despite their mutual love of all things literary, Helmholtz’s culturally instilled values curb his understanding of love and relationships (the very things many of the stories and poems he enjoys are about).
Writing about a character you connect with, love, or love to hate will make your essay more fun to write and more enthralling for your reader as well.
My Helmholtz-inspired thesis statement would read something like this:
Helmholtz Watson is an important character in Brave New World because he helps other characters realize truths about themselves, lives as a symbol of the limitations a caste system places on people, and represents the clash of ideas between the old world and the new.
What Was Up with William Shakespeare, Anyway?
Speaking of Helmholtz’s love of literature and poetry, there’s an awful lot in Brave New World that has to do with Shakespeare. There’s so much there, in fact, that it’s not difficult to write your entire essay about this motif.
The works of William Shakespeare in Brave New World appeal to two characters: John and Helmholtz.
For John, Shakespeare was one of his main foundations for learning to read and thus an important element in how he interprets language and the world around him. It’s how he expresses himself, especially when experiencing extreme emotions like anger.
For Helmholtz, Shakespeare represents something different: a contrast to the society he resents so much. The plays touch on emotions such as love, jealousy, anger, and elation—extreme emotions that are frowned upon by the people in the World State.
Shakespeare allows Helmholtz to explore these emotions from a distance without risking being ostracized by showing them.
Finally, Shakespeare’s works provide a link between worlds by serving as a common interest for John and Helmholtz. Because of the plays, John has the language and Helmholtz can tap into his emotions—both are needed for effective communication and understanding between two people or two groups of people.
My thesis statement about the Shakespeare motif in Brave New World would look like this:
The works of William Shakespearein Brave New World play a critical role in the novel, serving as a form of communication, self-understanding, and a connection between the World State and the Savage nation.
Find Ways to Make Your Brave New World Essay Interesting
No matter what you write, you should always keep your reader in mind. This goes for your Brave New World essay too. Most likely, your instructor has many essays on roughly the same topics to read. So make sure yours is memorable—and memorable for the right reasons.
Here are a couple of ways to accomplish this:
- Pick an interesting topic. Choosing a character that’s not John or Bernard can go a long way in making your essay stand out. The same goes for non-typical themes and motifs. The important thing is that you have enough evidence to back up your argument. You don’t want a topic so obscure that there are only a few references in the whole book. So choose something with more substance.
- Write in an unorthodox format. Whether or not you choose an unconventional topic, you can have a lot of fun playing with formatting. Clear this with your instructor first. If it doesn’t have to be in basic essay style, feel free to get creative. Write your essay as a letter from a citizen of the World State. Or you can write an interview transcript between you and one of the characters.
Don’t let the fact that you have to write a Brave New World essay keep you from having fun with it.
Hopefully now you have some different angles from which to look at your essay. This is by no means a complete list, and I encourage you to use this post as a jumping-off point into a topic all your own.
Brave New World is full of information and meaning. The purpose of your essay is to explain part of this meaning to your reader (explaining everything may take a dissertation… or several dissertations).
In the process, you may also be able to clear up your thoughts on the work and understand it better.
Want to see how other students have tackled their Brave New World essays? Check out these great examples:
If you’re not sure about your approach to your Brave New World essay, send it to one of the Kibin editors for review. They can help you ensure it’s interesting and accurate.
Get free, weekly essay writing tips.
Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays.