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Ideology and Anti‐Utopia

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Abstract:

A recent film adaptation of Aldous Huxley's novel, Brave New World, makes a number of seemingly minor changes in the novel's characters, setting, and plot. Together, however, these changes transform the novel's theme into its polar opposite. As a result, the dystopian novel is transmuted into an anti‐utopian film. After examining these changes in detail, I analyze the contrasting world views that lie behind the two texts and argue that they are based upon opposing views of human nature and society. I then reflect on the meaning of this transformation, arguing that it reflects a fundamental transformation in our society, one which undermines the possibility of using political action to attain social justice. Moreover, it is just this transformation which Huxley, in writing Brave New World, had hoped to warn us against.

Keywords: Aldous Huxley; Anti‐Modernism; Anti‐Utopis; Dystopia; Romanticism; Utopia

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10282580600785025

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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