Blog Assignment #5: Brave New World

First edition cover, from Wikipedia.

First edition cover, from Wikipedia.

Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) is similar to Mrs. Dalloway in that it attempts to portray the society as well as the people who inhabit it. One very big difference, however, is that Brave New World projects a future utopian England in which humanity has become subordinated to technology, among other things. In what ways is the portrayal of self and society in Brave New World like or unlike some of the previous works we’ve read this term? Please provide a quote that illustrates your meaning.

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August 8, 2008. Uncategorized. 10 comments.

Blog Assignment #4: Mrs. Dalloway

 

A map of London showing the paths walked by the characters in Mrs. Dalloway

A map of London showing the paths walked by the characters in Mrs. Dalloway

Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway (1925) attempts to portray the lives of Clarissa Dalloway and several other characters in the state of post-war England. One significant section in the early part of the novel describes the passing of a mysterious automobile and then the spectacle of a skywriting airplane spelling out an advertisement, perhaps for toffee. In the process of describing these events, the narrative incorporates the private reactions of several different people. The mixture of these private reactions with descriptions of the exterior events often has a poetic effect that seems to say a lot about what this novel is exploring.

 

Something so trifling in single instances that no mathematical instrument, though capable of transmitting shocks in China, could register the vibration; yet in its fulness rather formidable and in its common appeal emotional; for in all the hat shops and tailors’ shops strangers looked at each other and thought of the dead; of the flag; of Empire. In a public house in a back street a Colonial insulted the House of Windsor which led to words, broken beer glasses, and a general shindy, which echoed strangely across the way in the ears of girls buying white underlinen threaded with pure white ribbon for their weddings. For the surface agitation of the passing car as it sunk grazed something very profound. [17-18]

How would you describe the novel’s narrative technique? What is this passage about? And how do the two relate to each other?

August 1, 2008. Uncategorized. 11 comments.