Aldous Huxley and the Search for Meaning: A Study of the by Ronald T. Sion

By Ronald T. Sion

Aldous Huxley, writer of 11 novels, is still one of many towering figures of the 20 th century, his paintings proof against passing fads in literature. This severe biography explores Huxley's life-long quest for self-actualization by means of interfacing the occasions of his lifestyles with information of the inventive interval that produced each one booklet. The textual content weaves Huxley's letters, essays and interviews with the thematic content material of every novel, delivering a different check out the man's existence and paintings. of extreme significance is the depiction of a person striving for the highbrow progress that may yield a valid philosophical and non secular view of lifestyles, one he infused into his paintings.

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One of the earliest critics to observe that Huxley’s novel exploited the cynical possibilities of science and technology was Joseph Wood Krutch. In his 1923 review of Antic Hay, he cited the remark of the Restoration playwright Congreve that he could not look on a cage of monkeys without experiencing some vague embarrassment. There is something of this sense of discomfort on the part of the reader as he accompanies Gumbril and his friends on their journey to nowhere. The war exacted its toll in the form of continued human deficiencies, and these are painfully examined in the narrative.

The opening scene finds him sitting at a chapel service in his school, bored by a sermon that he believes to be nonsense. In his reverie, he is struck by the inspiration of a novel invention by which he could make his fortune. In short order, he resigns his post and joins an aimless band of his London friends in their meaningless pursuit of sensate pleasures on the road to nowhere. Gumbril’s father is an architect engaged in visionary social planning to whom his son reveals his distaste for teaching and his plans to amass a great fortune.

TWO. The Four Social Satires In harsh contrast to the worldly delights of the assembly is Mr. Bodiham, the local vicar who is described as having features of iron — he rigidly sits in his rectory after delivering his Sunday sermon with fury. ”7 “Disgusting” is his wife’s comment as they view the swimmers in the pond at the Crome fair, and Mr. ” The presence of this character, the contents of his sermon, and his reaction to the escapades of Crome’s residents are placed within the context of the players at Crome to provide an ironic and satiric contrast between the ways of the flesh and the rigid fundamentalism of a Christian creed.

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