In the morning, my eyelids feel glued together, the weight of some pressing spell pushing back down as I struggle to open them, fighting the tug of the mattress that pulls back down into darkness as panic rises in half formed horrors that are part dreamt, terror that I am missing something vital right now, and yet it is fifteen minutes before my heavy eyes stay open and let the light in.

I quickly sit up, turn to the window to force light into my eyes, and fumble at the bedside stand for any device to tell me if I have really missed something life changing. My mind jumps from one terrifying conclusion to another until I have read the calendar. I am not due anywhere till ten.

Still, lazing here will condemn me later to scold myself and imagine spots of laziness as fat or little leeches of genius attaching themselves to me, gluing me down tighter. So I slide my feet to the floor and press them into the wooden boards, the day’s first real sensation calming me and bringing clarity. I dig for shorts in the inevitable pile on my shelf, settle for wearing jeans that I will want to put on later anyway and pad into the living room. In the kitchen awaits tea and on my laptop the cavernous throat of the social internet and on the iPod I clip to my shirt, the lure of tunes not suitable for exercise and on the fridge the tapping toe of the shopping list and notes about chores. The glue stretches me towards them all, gelatinous tendrils pulling in all directions till I am unable to move quickly. But at least my eyes are open now and I am upright and I ignore their tug and begin my stretches.

Afterwards, I am proud of the expanded, worn feeling in my muscles and the fizzing of energy-inspiring blood flow, but almost an hour has passed and the tendrils are expanding, stretching now towards the shops and work, guilt seeding in my stomach like an ache of having gone nowhere.

At my desk, my fingers drum by the steaming teacup struggling to hold onto an ounce of my thinking as I stare at my own unfamiliar words on the screen. The glue has me cocooned tight in the chair but it clings to my mind and my thoughts run slow, what feels like a letter a minute etching onto the page as the windows of the internet behind on the screen and the window of the sunny outdoors behind the desk and the steaming tendril from the kettle on the other side of the room tug gently but insistently on my concentration.

At four thirty the sucking insistence of the shopping and cleaning and home drags me from my seat with little left behind, and I move slowly on.

When food has vanished and the cupboards are full and the television has momentarily sucked the energy from my mind with the lure of a fleeting warm place beside another body, I can barely stand to walk to bed as the mirriad gelatinous strands still clinging to me push down in a heavy web. As I roll heavily onto the mattress and allow my eyelids to flicker, the web slides from my shoulders, reabsorbed into the bed’s softness to reenergise itself as I rest. And though it is now late and I should sleep, recharge my energy to resist it again tomorrow, now suddenly I feel freedom, and energised, hassle my weary partner for attention and a place to use this energy up so I can sleep.


Review: Brave New World

Brave New World revolves around the idea of totalitarianism and is set in a futuristic world where a combination of science and pleasure form a rather feudalistic society. This idea of totalitarianism is achieved through test tube babies, and hypnotism, resulting in a pre-ordained caste system consisting of intelligent humans suited to the highest positions and conversely, serf-like beings genetically programmed to carry out menial works. In this world of Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas and the unfortunate Epsilons, exists drug-induced happiness, caused by what is known as soma. Here, “everyone belongs to everyone else” emphasising the system of forced promiscuity, brainwashed into the people from the moment of birth. At the core of this book is the horrific idea of eugenics and despite being written several decades ago, its message remains valid for our generation.

Brave New World explores the negatives of a ostensibly successful world in which everyone appears to be content and satisfied, with excessive carnal pleasures yet really, this stability is only achieved by sacrificing freedom in its true sense and the idea of personal responsibility.

I think this book is really interesting as it explores the dangers of technology and what it can do to a whole world; indeed, Huxley is trying to convey the idea that technology does not have the power to save us successfully. This theme is what makes the novel controversial – yet a classic that we can relate to, especially in today’s world, where technology is close enough to ruling our lives, what with high tech computers, music players and gaming consoles fast becoming a natural part of our lives. Additionally, Brave New World explores the idea of just how far science can go without being immoral. Would we really want to live in a world where eugenics rule and despite everyone being equal on the surface, deep underneath bubbles the idea of inequuality and unfairness? Not for me, thanks! The novel presents the contradictory idea of a Utopia, a perfect world, yet the word “utopia” is derived from two Greek words meaning “good place” and “no place”; this suggests that the perfect world is impossible.

It is true that this book is a complex read and I must confess that some parts I did not understand; however, the novel’s meaning has left a deep impression on me. It’s certainly a book I won’t forget, and I would recommend it to readers aged fourteen and over as the ideas presented are complex, and Huxley writes in a very adult-like manner, with exceedingly complicated sentences and very complex vocabulary.

Overall, Brave New World is a scary depiction of what could soon be our future. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this well written and thought provoking novel.