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Island by Aldous Huxley

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Synopsis of Island by Aldous Huxley


Aldous Huxley's last novel, "Island," takes us to this amazing Pacific island where people have been living in a perfect society for over a century. Of course, nothing good lasts forever, and the outside world gets jealous of their little paradise. There's a plot to take over the island, and things get kicked into high gear when a journalist named Faranby gets shipwrecked there. He's actually part of the conspiracy, but his time on the island totally changes his views and, surprisingly, gives him hope for humanity.


A Brief Review of Island by Aldous Huxley


Island by Aldous Huxley is not your typical novel. It's more like a blueprint for an ideal society, but it's still a pretty interesting read. Huxley imagines this peaceful, spiritual community on a South Asian island called Pala, where people are happy and healthy, and the environment is top priority. 


The characters talk a lot, like a lot, about their philosophy, and most of it is stuff I agree with. It's kind of like a structured anarchy where everyone looks out for each other, and it's all based on Buddhist ideas of interconnectedness. 


One thing that really struck me was how the Palanese reject the idea of "us vs. them." They embrace the good and bad in life, and they see compassion, pain, joy, and death as all part of the cycle. They're not into religious, political, or economic dogmas, because those just lead to conflict and greed. 


They also have a totally different approach to family and relationships. Kids are raised by a whole bunch of "parents" in a Mutual Adoption Club, so they always have someone to turn to. And free love is encouraged, even taught to children, as a way to foster joy and compassion. 


Huxley also talks about the importance of balancing mind and body. The Palanese do community service from a young age, and they learn to deal with anger in healthy ways. They also use this hallucinogenic medicine called moksha to connect with their spiritual side, which is the opposite of the drug soma in "Brave New World." 


Now, even though "Island" paints a pretty rosy picture of Pala, there's always this threat of invasion from a neighboring country. And, spoiler alert, the island does get invaded at the end. It's kind of a bummer, but Huxley's message is that even though destruction is inevitable, we should still strive for a better life. 


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