After reading about how a Seattle school just removed Aldus Huxley’s Brave New World from their curriculum at a parent’s behest, I dug through my old archives and tracked down my high school book report on it to see how my understanding of the book stood up to my “grown up” self. I am endlessly grateful for the opportunity to have read this book in my youth; it shaped my world-view in ways that few other books did. The layers of irony involved in banning this particular book (and the context in which it was banned) are endless.
The student missed the point. But she is the student, and she has been failed by her parent and the system.
The parent missed the point. But she is only modeling a pattern of ignorance for her child, not only ignorance, but willful ignorance. This purposeful and intentional avoidance of critical thinking is a horrible example to set for a child.
The teacher (and the system) did not likely miss the point. But they missed the opportunity to take a stand for the timeless principles that Huxley was really conveying. Principles that we should all keep near and dear as Huxley’s Brave New World becomes less speculative and more prescient.