YMMV: Brave New World

The novel:

  • False Dichotomy: Mustapha Mond's experiment on equality fails to be an argument against free will because the experiment seems to have been engineered to fail. The people involved in the experiment were Alphas. They not only had a high intelligence that made them efficient at intellectual work, they were conditioned all their prior life to be happy only with specific jobs. This ensured civil war, because they were literally brainwashed into being incapable of accepting the menial jobs they were shown. Yet no character points this out. If the experiment involved members of all castes, except without the caste system being enforced (allowing castes to interbreed, and take different jobs if they wanted to), or the citizens selected for the experiment were adults who were spared conditioning as children, the experiment could probably have succeeded. The "brilliant minds" who became disillusioned with society and were banished to the world's many islands to do as they please (alluded to at the book's end and explored in Huxley's Island) certainly created what could very well be a viable alternative to "civilization" (with its brainwashing and enforced caste system) and "savage" (poverty- and conflict-ridden) reservations. Thus the presented dilemma between pointless hedonism, civil war, and low-technology reservations, is a false one.
  • Harsher in Hindsight
    • The viewpoint of the Freud Was Right perspective is scarily accurate considering today's viewpoint. Look no further than the Freud Was Right page and realize we had to make that page a YMMV page when it was originally considered a standard trope. Even look at the All Psychology Is Freudian page.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The worship of Henry Ford looks even sillier given the direction of his namesake company and the U.S. car industry as a whole.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The painful conditioning of Delta babies against books and flowers.
  • Squick: In the casually promiscuous society in which the book takes place, it is considered healthy - even endearing - for young children to sexually experiment with each other. There is also a memorable passage pointing out the more Freudian aspects of breastfeeding, and the descriptions of John's mother.
  • Values Resonance: One of the newer printings says this on the back cover.
    • If you want further proof, just look at this (illustrated version of part of the introduction to Amusing Ourselves To Death by Neil Postman, which can be read here in full).
  • The Woobie: Poor, poor John "The Savage". As if growing up bullied and ostracized by everyone was bad enough, he ends up despising the very world he thought would be his one salvation. And after being ostracized there too and paraded around like a circus animal, he chooses exile. After the curiosity seekers chase him even there, and after betraying his beliefs in a drug-induced stupor, he is finally Driven to Suicide.