Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was not only my introduction to dystopian novels, but one of the first required books in high school I actually loved reading. The first time I read Brave New World, I was an angsty teenager who hadn’t been deflowered. Admittedly, part of my fascination with with the novel came from three (of the many) questions it tackled:
Would people want to live in a world where they could only feel happiness?
Would being happy all the time be just as bad as being sad all the time?
How do orgies happen and what are they like?
Constant angst to the point of depression naturally makes a person feel like an outsider, so I really latched on to John. I’d read one too many books where the main character gets a happy ending. As thus, when John gave in to an orgy and committed suicide, I could only feel total surprise and sadness. I really thought he would find his ‘happily ever after.’ I’m not sure if this was the best or worst surprise ending, but I’m leaning closer to best. No book ending has ever impacted me so much.
-Tiffany T. Cole