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A STUDY OF ALDOUS HUXLEY HIS EARLY WORKS AND LAURENTIAN TRENDS
- A STUDY OF ALDOUS HUXLEY HIS EARLY WORKS AND LAURENTIAN TRENDS
- CHO, KYUNG GOO
- Issue Date
- 대학원 영어영문학과
- Graduate School of Ewha Womans University
- The characteristic of Huxley's early works is that they are novels written with a purpose. The purpose to criticize and satirize the social problem of his days, especially the life of intellectual bourgeois. Huxley was a writer who had an inborn hatred for humanity and this tendency becomes more and more apparent in his later works. We can compare such habit of Huxley to that of Jonathan Swift, but there is a difference between them. While Swift enjoyed his cynicism, Huxley incessantly tried to find the valuable things in humanity.
The life-worship idea was an important discovery Huxley made in Lawrence's creed of life. The motto to live integrally as a wholesome man was most convincing to him. Huxley believed in the superiority of flesh to spirit and he also admired the primitive world. It was a revolt against the intellectual and scientific civilization which brings atrophy to the genuine numan life. Out the life-worship idea Huxley devoted to in his early works did not last long. Lawrence died in 1930 and Huxley's assertion for the restoration of innocence in humanity became less and less noticeable in his works. After the travel to Caribbea and Mexico in 1934, his inclination toward the primitive life was changed completely into the conclusion that the civilized people can never be the primitive men. He realized that between primitivism and harmonious life there is a great distance never to be covered. After he traveled the Macique Bye and read Lawrence's The Plumed Serpent, Huxley wrote as follows in his beyond the Mexique Bay;
In some cases the price or progress is fixed and cannot by any means be diminished. In others, Destiny is prepared to grant a substantial rebate to the intelligent. The advance from primitivism to civilization, from mere blood to mind and spirit, is a progress whose price is fixed; there are no discounts even for the most highly talented purchasers. I thought once that the payment could be evaded, or at least very greatly reduced; that it was possible to make very nearly the best or both worlds. But this, I believe, was a delusion. The price that has to be paid for intellect and spirit is never reduced to any significant extent. To Lawrence it seemed too high, and he proposed that we should return the goods and ask for our money back. When man became an intellectua and spiritual being, he paid for his new privileges with a treasure of intuitions, of emotional spontaneity, of sensuality still innocent of all self-consciousness. Lawrence thought that we should abandon the new privileges in return for the old treasure. But he was reckoning without himself and, since each one of us created and large is his own fate, without Destiny. In practice, he found that it was psychologically impossible to return the new privileges or be content with the primitivism that had been paid away for them. It was even impossible for him to make a fictitious personage do so, at any rate convincingly.
The artistic failure of The Plumed Serpent and the confessi that Huxley could never feel attraction in the real primitive people proved that Lawrence's idea was nothing but an illusion. The realization or it brought a great change in huxley's faith. He came to consider that men must work for every mental and material progress and enjoy the results. At the last part of his Beyond the Mexique Bay, he says that, "We most be content to pay, and indefinitely to go on paying, the irreducible price of the goods we have chosen." It means that it is impossible and also foolish for men to give up the life of intellect and spirit, as civilization is the fruit men have chosen and brought up. It is a new repulsion against Laurentian philosophy he had believed in. From this time on Huxley's idea gradually alienated form Laurentian creed and developed into the Oriental mysticism and non-attachment. The philosophica outlook implied in Eyeless in Gaza is already progressing toward the world of non-attachment.
Although the Laurentian trace is diminished in this way in his later works, its influence remained and helped Huxley to found the firm philosophy of his own. From Lawrence Huxley was taught that there are both spirit and body, knowledge and instinct to be linked together to make up a complete man. It was the most important step that helped Huxley make a higher progress, and it became the heart of the idea in The Perennial Philosophy, the collection of his later essays, as well as the early works.
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