College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Arts in English (MA)
Carl C. Curtis
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Freedom, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from a Dead House, The Brothers Karamazov
English Language and Literature | Russian Literature
Hylton, Evelyn J., "The Centrality of Human Freedom in Dostoevsky and Huxley" (2018). Masters Theses. 497.
Fyodor Dostoevsky learned the hard way that human beings need to be free. In a Siberian prison camp, a four-year period which would later inspire his semi-autobiographical prison memoir Notes from a Dead House, he was forced to come to terms with the realities of life under severe constraint and without the freedom for self-actualization, which convicted him of the dangers of the Westernized liberalism he once embraced. Dostoevsky’s transformed understanding of humanity and its need for individual freedom eventually matured to form the moral and philosophical foundations of his final novel, The Brothers Karamazov, whose support of the centrality of human freedom influenced Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel Brave New World decades later. This thesis examines the aforementioned works of these two authors for their shared support for the necessity of freedom from constraint, the freedom to strive towards an ideal, and the refining process of suffering as an inextricable reality of exercising one’s freedom.