Aldous Huxley Island
Science fiction research papers are common in college literature courses, especially with the current popularity of the genre among young adults.
Island (1962) is the final novel written by Aldous Huxley, a utopian answer to his bleaker Brave New World. Island explores many of the same themes as Brave New World, but Huxley uses the same ideals for good in Island, the following are 2 examples:
- In the earlier work drugs are used for pacification, but in Island they are used for enlightenment, reflecting Huxley’s experimentation with LSD.
- Similarly, in Brave New World, contraception is mandatory, but is freely available on Pala as means of expression through sex.
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The Story of the Island
Island tells the story of Will Farnaby, a journalist who becomes shipwrecked on the island of Pala. The society he finds is a combination of a Scottish secular humanist physician, Dr. Andrew MacPhail who worked with the native Raja to combine elements of east and west in a new society. Much of this also stems from Huxley’s own study of Buddhism and eastern mysticism. Palanese society is restrained in its use of industrialization, selectively choosing which elements of technology can better their lives.
The Palanese People from the Island
The Palanese people also use a moksha mushroom, a psychedelic drug in their rites of passage and in order to gain mystical insight into the universe. This is called the banquet of enlightenment. One of the characters in Island, Dr. Robert MacPhail, is said to have inspired the Beatles’ song “Dr. Robert”, as John Lennon was both widely read and an advocate of hallucinogenic drugs at the time.