Much of Huxley’s novel was directly inspired by places and things that really existed.

Huxley visited San Francisco in 1920s and was struck by what he saw as rampant consumerism and unrestricted promiscuity in American youth culture. He saw this type of mass behavior as indicative of the world to come, a world driven entirely by physically and fleetingly gratifying culture that is devoid of any substance or real humanity.

Huxley also drew inspiration from a factory closer to his home in England. The Billingham Manufacturing Plant in Stockton-on-Tees, North East England was a chemical plant that Huxley saw as a bastion of absolute order and conformity. The plant was founded by Sir Alfred Mond, a name we easily recognize from the novel.

Brave New World has been attacked on numerous fronts as being pornographic. It was banned in Ireland and Australia. It is listed in the top 10 most frequently challenged books by The American Library Association. Though it has been attacked for its depiction of sexuality and drugs, students may want to ask if this is the real reason for the relentless censorship of the novel. Huxley portrayed blind consumer society in the most extreme and ugly ways. Consumerism has only grown more vast in the years since the book was first published.

The book was adapted into a television movie twice – in 1980 and in 1998, the last adaptation featuring Leonard Nimoy and Peter Gallagher. The adaptations include some deviations from the book and have never had a major success.

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