Below you will find five outstanding thesis statements for Brave New World by Aldous Huxley that can be used as essay starters or paper topics. All five incorporate at least one of the themes in Brave New World and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. These thesis statements offer a short summary of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley in terms of different elements that could be important in an essay. You are, of course, free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them for your essay. Using the essay topics for Brave New World below in conjunction with the list of important quotes from Brave New World at the bottom of the page, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent essay.Thesis Statement/Essay Topic #1: Truth Versus Happiness in Brave New World
One of the persistent philosophical questions that preoccupy World State citizens in Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is whether truth is more important than happiness. Mond, for example, argues that happiness is more important than truth. The World State itself clearly believes that the only truth that is permissible is the truth it proclaims and promotes, not individual truth, and not the supposedly soft truth of emotion. By casting the truth and happiness of this utopia (dystopia) into opposition, however, everyone in World State overlooks the more complex reality, which is that truth and happiness can co-exist, as can truth and sadness. Because they are not able to live with this possibility, however, they miss the opportunity to truly create a brave new world. For a longer essay on this topic, consider the ways in which the ideas of the happiness in Brave New World are associated with consumption and how this society is attempting to create a consumer utopia. In short, the theme of consumerism is intricately tied into the notion of happiness over truth. * Click here for a great article that explores this as one of the most important themes in Brave New World *Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #2: “Community, Identity, Stability" in Huxley's Brave New World
In the first line of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, the reader learns the tri-partite pillars upon which World State is allegedly built: “Community, Identity, Stability." The processes by which these three qualities are achieved and maintained, however, seem completely paradoxical in Brave New World. For the contemporary reader, “community" is understood as a group of diverse people, while in World State, people are essentially manufactured to be sorted into one of five social castes. The modern reader of Brave New World understands “identity" to be highly individual, but again, the caste system prevents anything by conformity and uniformity, and it is through these that stability is achieved. Or is it? Although World State is highly controlled, one can argue that it is anything but stable. In a society in which individual rights are non-existent and people are not permitted to develop unique identities, there can be no stability at all. John’s suicide at the end of Brave New World confirms that World State is utterly chaotic, despite all of the efforts to maintain complete social control.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: Complicity and Rebellion in Brave New World
One of the problematic elements of World State is that each person plays a role in propping up the state’s maladaptive values through their complicity with its rules and systems, and the more people conform, the fewer are likely to rebel. By analyzing specific characters in Brave New World, one can begin to see precisely how complicity functions in a domino effect. Although almost all of the major characters have some physical or personality trait that makes them unconventional, most of them do not emphasize or exercise their difference in a way that challenges the reigning order. In fact, in order to minimize their differences or divergent desires, most of the characters seek some form of avoidance or sublimation, namely, the drug soma. As a result, despite their own personal moments of dissatisfaction and despair, the citizens of World State serve to perpetuate the very conditions that cause them distress.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4 The Limits and Power of Technology in Brave New World
True to other works in its genre, Brave New World is intensely interested in the powers and the limits of technology. In its specific treatment of psychotropic drugs and genetic engineering, Brave New World was, in retrospect, ominously prescient. Huxley criticized a world in which people had to medicate themselves to avoid their true emotions, and he also criticized a social system that essentially manufactured human beings to fit certain social needs and interests. The world that Huxley predicted has come true. In this essay, the similarities and differences between the world Huxley described and our own society will be examined, and the powers and limits of technology will be discussed.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #2: Neologisms in Brave New World
One of the ways in which the authors of allegorical tales such as Brave New World create problematic future worlds and convey the difficulty of talking about those worlds is by devising a nomenclature that is specific to the futuristic environment. In Brave New World, the reader notices all sorts of neologisms, words that are comprised of familiar roots or references but which have been appropriated and given new meaning. Some examples of these words include “hypnopaedic," the “Podsnap’s Technique," and “soma." At the same time, authors take familiar words and challenge the reader to approach and interpret them differently by infusing them with new meaning. Together, the effect of these strategies is to create discomfort and even confusion in the reader, provoking him or her to question basic assumptions about the organization of society and the nature of our human relationships.
* Here is a link to a great freely-accessible essay discussing many of these aspects of Brave New World *
This list of important quotations will help you work with the essay topics and thesis statements above by allowing you to support your claims. All of the important quotes listed here correspond, at least in some way, to the paper topics above and by themselves can give you great ideas for an essay by offering quotes and explanations about other themes, symbols, imagery, and motifs than those already mentioned and explained. Aside from the thesis statements above, these quotes alone can act as essay questions or study questions as they are all relevant to the text in an important way. All quotes contain page numbers as well. Look at the bottom of the page to identify which edition of the text they are referring to.
“Over the main entrance…a shield [with] the World State’s motto: COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY." (3)
“For of course some general idea they [the medical students] must have, if they were to do their work intelligently—though as little of one, if they were to be good and happy members of society, as possible. For particulars, as everyone knows, make for virtue and happiness; generalities are intellectually necessary evils. Not philosophers…compose the backbone of society." (4)
“’Essentially,’ the DHC concluded, ‘bokanovskification consists of a series of arrests of development. We check the normal growth and, paradoxically enough, the egg responds by budding.’" (6)
“[O]ne of the students was fool enough to ask where the advantage lay. ‘My good boy!…. Can’t you see? Can’t you see?…Bokanovsky’s Process is one of the major instruments of social stability!" (7)
“It was decided to abolish the love of nature, at any rate among the lower classes…." (23)
“Their world didn’t allow them to take things easily, didn’t allow them to be sane, virtuous, happy." (41)
“I don’t know what you mean. I am free. Free to have the most wonderful time. Everybody’s happy nowadays." (91)
“Alphas are so conditioned that they do not have to be infantile in their emotional behavior. But that is all the more reason for their making a special effort to conform. It is their duty to be infantile, even against their inclination. " (98)
“[V]alue dwells not in particular will…. It holds his estimate and dignity as well wherein ‘tis precious of itself as the prizer." (236)
“If you allowed yourselves to think of God, you wouldn’t allow yourselves to be degraded by pleasant vices. You’d have a reason for bearing things patiently, for doing things with courage…." (236)
Reference: Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Perennial, 1998. <
A thesis statement is one sentence that expresses the main idea of a research paper or essay. It makes a claim, directly answering a question. A thesis statement must be very specific, indicating statements that are about to be made in your paper and supported by specific evidence. Generally, your thesis statement can be the last line of the first paragraph in your research paper or essay.
It's worth reiterating that a good thesis statement is specific. If you find yourself using general words like "good," then you're not digging deep enough. For example, "European travel is a good way to spend your summer," is not specific enough. Why is European travel good? Further examine the heart of your topic and focus on very specific areas of European travel that you can realistically cover and support with solid evidence. "Solo European travel requires independence which, in the end, bolsters personal confidence." Now, you can hone in your research on solo travel through Europe, the need for independence, and its positive effect on personal confidence.
Finding Your Point of View
A good thesis statement is developed from the point of view of the reader. Be very careful you're not developing a topic that is of interest to you alone. This is a harsh yet necessary question to ask yourself: will my readers have any reason to care about what I'm writing? In the example above, readers might be interested in European travel but will they be interested in solo travel, and greater independence and confidence? Hopefully the answer is yes; just make sure you examine all viewpoints before investing your valuable time in a well-written piece.
A thesis statement is powerful on two fronts. First, it allows the reader to get excited about what, specifically, is coming their way. Second, it stands as the point of reference for your entire paper. Think of it as a loving mother steering her children away from danger. Essay writers run the risk of getting off track and wandering into thickly-wooded forests of needless tangents. (This is also why a well-planned outline is essential.) However, a strong thesis statement will help keep you in check; have you wandered off topic?
Thesis Statement Examples: Bad vs. Good
Bad: Everyone should exercise.
Why should I? What's in it for me?
Good: Americans should add exercise to their daily morning routine because it not only keeps their bodies at a healthy weight but also reduces the risk of high blood pressure.
Here, we've made several specifications i.e. Americans (not everyone), the morning routine (not the evening), weight maintenance, and high blood pressure prevention. Your research actually becomes easier when you have very specific objectives.
Bad: High levels of alcohol consumption are bad for you.
This is too broad. What are the specific detriments of alcohol consumption that you would like to discuss?
Good: High levels of alcohol consumption have detrimental effects on your personal health, such as weight gain, heart disease, and liver complications.
Notice we got very specific in our reasons why. In your thesis statement, you don't need to state every single detriment you're going to lay out (in fact, you shouldn't as it will risk becoming a run-on sentence) but you can point to the main areas you will explore.
Bad: Reading can develop a child's analytical mind.
Words like "can," aren't strong enough. This thesis statement begs the question of how? If you're about to write several paragraphs (or pages) about a topic make sure you can confidently defend every point you make.
Good: Reading develops a child's mind by fostering comprehension skills, increasing vocabulary, and exposing them to new worlds they might not otherwise encounter.
Now, we've not just stated that reading is good, we've provided a sampling of all the benefits we're about to bring to light in our paper.
Bad: All retirees should relocate to Florida.
Your research paper or essay will need to delve into numerous supporting claims. This broad thesis statement runs the risk of allowing you to go off on several tangents.
Good: Retirees should relocate to Florida, where 75% of Americans choose to settle, because you will afford yourself the opportunity to develop a wide array of friendships.
From here, you can introduce a paragraph on the importance of friendship and then cite studies or testimonials describing how people can discover these important new relationships.
Bad: The Internet has improved the lives of many.
Again, while readers may agree with this and your statement may be true, how has the Internet improved people’s lives? Also, you should run your thesis statement past the "What's in it for me" test. Why should readers care?
Good: The Internet serves as a means of expediently connecting people all across the globe, fostering new friendships and an exchange of ideas that wouldn't have occurred prior to its inception.
While the Internet offers a plethora of benefits, we're choosing to hone in on its ability to foster new friendships and exchange ideas. We'd also have to prove how this couldn't have happened prior to the Internet's inception – and that is good. The tighter your focus, the better your paper.
Bad: Organ donors should be financially compensated.
Why? What happens to them that causes you to take this stance?
Good: Given the grueling surgery and lifelong changes they endure, kidney donors should be financially compensated for their act of self-sacrifice.
There are many forms of living organ donation. As with any good thesis, you want to get as specific as possible. Now, our stance is clear and the reader will understand that we're about to describe the grueling process of kidney donation as well as any forthcoming lifestyle changes.
Always Be Specific
When searching for a new home, realtors will tell you there are three important factors: location, location, and location. When developing your one-sentence thesis statement, it is important for you to be: specific, specific, specific. Write your thesis statement once and then rewrite it again with greater specificity. Also, make sure your audience will want to learn these new facts and possibly embrace these new opinions. Now, you have a compass for your entire paper, keeping you safely on course.