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 20th century, his paintings immune to passing fads in literature. This severe biography explores Huxley's life-long quest for self-actualization by way of interfacing the occasions of his lifestyles with information of the artistic interval that produced every one e-book. The textual content weaves Huxley's letters, essays and interviews with the thematic content material of every novel, delivering a distinct investigate the man's lifestyles and paintings. of extreme significance is the depiction of someone striving for the highbrow development that will yield a legitimate philosophical and non secular view of lifestyles, one he infused into his paintings.

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The striking disparity, however, between the terrible conditions of the less fortunate and Gumbril’s circle of purposeless and privileged companions discreetly drives home the point. Huxley masterfully juxtaposes the frivolous talk of several upper-class characters as they walk through a poverty-stricken area. The deep misery expressed by one slum dweller contrasts to the foolish chatter of the rich visitors. A poor cart driver argues with a policeman who insists that his old horse must be put to sleep because it is lame.

As a matter of fact, Mary heard the gong of the lunch bell and left Denis in mid-sentence, neither apologetic nor at all concerned about his need to communicate. Moments earlier, she related, in all seriousness, how Ivor, after taking away her virginity — one she freely abandoned — left Crome and sometime later sent her a postcard with a four-line poem of passion. The note made a request: Could she ask one of the housemaids to send the razor blades he had left behind. While giving up her repressions had not provided the peace she sought, she realizes that she could never do without Ivor, but he certainly could do without her.

Gumbril is a solitary voice when he empathizes with these wretched souls. His well-born companion, however, responds with abhorrence and repeats the refrain of a song that he learned as a child, a refrain that curses the lower classes. His friends are not shocked but rather concur with his sentiments, and one concludes that the song expressed what they all were feeling but lacked the courage to articulate. The class prejudice that long dominated English life is seen by a socialist companion of Gumbril as the real cause of popular discontent.

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