is a work of fiction, it is the vehicle Huxley used to communicate his
ideas about how people in a good society would interact with each other
and their environment. These web pages are not offering a literary critique
of the novel, analyzing any symbolism, or even summarizing the novel. The
plot is a wonderful story in its own right, and it's best to read the book,
not a synopsis, to fully enjoy it. The goal here is to simply present Huxley's
underlying ideas and philosophies upon which the novel is built.
as many science-oriented movies start off with a child being taught something,
or a news program, or some other educational device which is really for
the benefit of the viewer, Huxley has his own "news reel" in Island
so that the setting and events in the story are understood in context.
The people of Pala (which is the island the title refers to) live their
lives based on ideas representing the best that Eastern and Western philosophies
have to offer. Neither philosophy is quite enough on its own, or maybe
is too much, to live a full, balanced life. And it so happens that Pala's
philosophies result from the hard work and combined ideas of two founding
fathers, one a Buddhist and one an analytical medical doctor. Together
they developed principles which the then-leader (the Raja) of Pala wrote
down and entitled, "Notes on What's What, and What It Might be Reasonable
to do about What's What." This is the tool Huxley provides so that we,
the readers, can be educated in the principles underlying society on Pala.
In the novel, the Notes are excerpted here and there and spread throughout.
They've been gathered together here into one page which you can read by
following the corresponding link below.