By Harold Bloom
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Extra resources for Aldous Huxley, New Edition (Bloom's Modern Critical Views)
As Huxley observes in Point Counter Point, instruments meant for harmony emit cacophony: The parts [of the orchestra] live their separate lives: they touch, their paths cross, they combine for a moment to create a seemingly final and perfected harmony, only to break apart again. Each is always alone and separate and individual. ” “Round me,” calls the cello. “Round me,” the flute insists. 5 Aldous Huxley: Satire and Structure 33 Each member of the human orchestra is trying to drown out all the others, to establish himself and his private world as the focal point of the universe by sheer quantity of sound.
A typical Jonson play begins with the author conceiving a set of humour characters and then simply setting one off against another. Huxley’s characters, each with his self-engrossing preoccupation, resemble Jonson’s. And Huxley continually sets them off against one another. 15 The typical Peacock novel, such as Nightmare Abbey or Crotchet Castle, is a curiosity shop of characters gathered at someone’s country estate. Mr. Chainmail (Crotchet Castle) wishes to live in the twelfth century. Mr. Asterias (Nightmare Abbey) searches for mermaids.
Well, they look like they were having a pretty good time. I mean in their own way of course. In Huxley’s system, an identification with the temporal world is considered evil because once the individual has grounded his identity in an object which is impermanent, the personality of the individual begins to decay. We have seen that in Huxley’s world man will destroy himself by placing ultimate value on his own identity. On the other hand the identity cannot find stability in material objects because these objects are subordinate to time and will therefore decay.
Aldous Huxley, New Edition (Bloom's Modern Critical Views) by Harold Bloom