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The following paragraph is an example of the use of commas with essential and nonessential elements and comes from the worksheet, To Comma or Not Comma, That is the Question!

Brave New World: Recommended Reading

     Recently, I had the pleasure of rereading the literary classic, Brave New World, published in 1932 by Aldous Huxley, and it is certainly a book I highly recommend. Any person who is worried by recent developments in genetics would do well to read this novel. In it, a dystopia (the opposite of a utopia) is portrayed where babies are “engineered” to fill certain social classes. One example, though only one of many, is of the Betas, workers who do the mundane, repetitive tasks in factories, and who have had their oxygen supply restricted when they were embryos “growing” in the factory. The novel, which is full of detail about the social consequences of such genetic engineering, is chilling in its prescience. Just this week, a claim of successful human cloning was made by an Italian doctor who had (he said) cloned the son of a wealthy Saudi prince. Needless to say, the results of the genetic engineering portrayed in Huxley’s novel were, to any rational person, ghastly in the extreme, for in that “brave new world” any person who felt the slightest discomfort or displeasure would take a drug, named “soma,” and conveniently forget their pain and its origins. I won’t spoil the plot for you, except to say that there are “normal” people who react to this strange world in ways we might ourselves. The ending? Unhappy, but after 70 years in continuous publication I find that the message in the book, of the dangers inherent in practicing social and genetic engineering, are closer now than ever and thus I urge you to read and consider this book.


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