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Point Counter Point- Aldous Huxley



Posted August 15, 2016 by

Point Counter Point – Aldous Huxley – 1928


Reviewed by: Chris Green          Date: 19-July-2001

PointHuxley’s Point Counter-Point is a poignant social satire centering around a group of London intellectuals in the 1920’s. In true satirical form, each of them represents a particular viewpoint concerning the nature, meaning, and purpose of existence. Yet Huxley’s characters, mercifully, do not embroil themselves in existentialist arguments (truth with a capital T) as much as they debate the way one ought to live – in essence what it means to truly live.

The range of characters and perspectives is immense. Landed aristocracy, spiritualists, social climbers, artists, ardent Christians, communists, working poor, and many others are present; each giving their particular take on how, and for what, people are truly meant to live. Huxley’s primary achievement with this work is his ability to give each character’s argument merit – in essence making them all seem equally valid and inadequate – and convey the notion that there is no one method or philosophy that fits all of life’s situations.

Most the characters are based on actual personalities, and part of the fun is discovering who they are. While some, like Huxley’s friend D.H. Lawrence and Huxley’s alter-ego, are easily discernable, the others have unfortunately not survived the test of intellectual time.

Point Counter-Point isn’t a work I recommend over and above all other books, but it’s worth reading for its exposition of the unspoken attitudes which are still held by most individuals in the Western world. Times may change, but attitudes rarely do.

ReadLit Team


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