Misreading Brave New World

Curtis D. Carbonell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Biocritics argue that science and technology may present devastating political problems for humans in the coming century. They bolster their claims by misreading Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel, Brave New World, to present an essentialist's notion of human nature. This article challenges these misreadings via the embodiment theory of N. Katherine Hayles to argue that Huxley critiques the scientifically organized World State, so feared by biocritics, but also critiques the primitive world of John the Savage. Thus, Huxley reminds us that both unappealing possibilities are problems and that any use of Brave New World as a warning against untrammeled biotech should admit this contradiction. It solves the novel's inescapable dilemma of Cartesian subjectivity by valorizing embodied action and living.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)287-309
    Number of pages23
    JournalExtrapolation
    Volume56
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2015

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