The World State’s motto is “Community, Identity, Stability,” and a cast of characters find themselves grappling with these principles in Huxley’s famous critical dystopian novel set in AD 2540.
Below are some reading passages that we have hand picked to supplement this book. Be sure to read the passage summaries and our suggestions for instructional use.
In the informational text “Someone Might Be Watching — An Introduction to Dystopian Fiction,” Shelby Ostergaard discusses the characteristics of dystopian fiction and how the genre comments on society.
This article describes life in North Korea under totalitarian government rule. In North Korea, the government has total control over the economy, the military, education, and people’s access to information—and it punishes those who try to change the status quo.
In this article from National Public Radio, a new genetic treatment that removes unwanted DNA from an embryo raises controversy.
In his essay "Fear of Change," Henry Ford, the inventor of the Model T and the assembly line discusses why he believes some resist innovation and change.
The drive to conform to group norms is a powerful force in most people’s lives. This informational text about conformity helps explain why people tend to match their beliefs and behaviors to those around them.
“Sonnet 18” is one of Shakespeare’s best-known love sonnets, known for its opening line: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”
In the informational text “The New Painkiller Epidemic,” Shelby Ostergaard discusses the spike in painkiller use, as well as the causes for this epidemic.
In Grace Chua’s poem, “(love song, with two goldfish),” the speaker describes a love story between two goldfish in a fish bowl.
Dylan Thomas' most famous poem, written for his dying father, in which he urges him to "rage, rage against the dying of the light."
“Herd Behavior” describes how individuals change when they are part of a crowd.
In "The Machine Stops," E.M. Forster offers a chilling warning about becoming overly dependent on technology.
In “Capitalism Will Eat Democracy — Unless We Speak Up,” Yanis Varoufakis discusses the state of democracy today and how it relates to the political sphere and the economic sphere.
We is a work of dystopian fiction set in a future police state by Russian writer Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin (1884-1937). In 1921, We became the first work banned by the Soviet Union’s censorship board; Zamyatin managed to have his work smuggled to the West and later lived out the rest of his life in exile. This novel is thought to have inspired Brave New World and 1984.