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King Lear by William Shakespeare and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - Essay Example

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At first glance, the literary works of A Brave New World, written by Aldous Huxley in 1932, and King Lear, written by Shakespeare over four centuries past, look and even feel absolutely different from one another. One introduces readers to a futuristic “utopian” society, a society where being alone or being an individual is generally inconceivable…
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King Lear by William Shakespeare and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Download file to see previous pages...  Some citizens have made the choice not to live this way; others are considered “savages”. Both groups are made to live separately from society, either on islands or on far-off, restricted “reservations” (Huxley 101). In contrast, the story of King Lear, set in England in the 17th century, gives the story of King Lear, a king whose thoughts of dividing his kingdom and then living out his days with one of his loving daughters are rudely interrupted, as he begins a long, slow slide into a world of madness, while plots against him swirl as others attempt to gain power through their own devices and interests. King Lear and his family are not the only victims in this story, as bitterness and greed cause characters around him to vie for power. Both A Brave New World and King Lear, while being on the whole very different stories, share many tragedies, including parental abandonment, madness, and exile of characters, while the tragedy and suffering of characters ultimately leads readers to catharsis, as those tragedies play out to their respective conclusions.  Both A Brave New World and King Lear share parental abandonment, as both stories have parents that abandon their children willingly, but for different reasons. Linda, a woman who became pregnant in the “civilized world” and eventually gave birth to John the Savage, is forced to live on the “savage reservation” due to having committed what is known in this world as an atrocity, as babies are not born, they are “decanted” (Huxley 18). She has thus become the mother of the John the Savage, but cannot deal with this reality and abandons him for drugs, wishing nothing more than the "mescal" that a man named Pope brings to her (Huxley 125).  When she is returned to what she calls the “Other Place”, she only wants the drug “soma” that is freely dispensed to the people, ravishing herself in the wonders of taking “holiday after holiday” (Huxley 154). John the Savage, her only child, is left to make his own way, both on the reservation and after. On the reservation, he suffers as a little boy from the remarks that the other children make about his mother, and from witnessing her being beaten by women whose husbands have slept with Linda (Huxley 165). He grows up in a solitary, lonely and bewildered existence, wondering why Linda does not love him (Huxley 167). King Lear also contains parental abandonment. Cordelia, the youngest daughter of King Lear, is asked by her father to tell him how much she loves him. Cordelia, who has been contemplating whether to tell him the truth or not, refuses to lie, telling him “That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry, half my love with him, half my care and duty; sure I shall never marry like my sisters, to love my father all” (I.i.103-107). King Lear is at first shocked, but then tells everyone present: “Here I disclaim all my paternal care, Propinquity and property of blood.” (I.i 115-118). Like Linda, King Lear has abandoned his child, though Lear does so not for drugs but because he does not believe that Cordelia loves him. Lear comes to regret his mistakes later, but is completely hard-hearted towards his daughter, as Linda was towards John. Fortunately, Lear finds forgiveness from Cordelia before things are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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