Shawn L.

First Place Winner

It's hard to choose my favorite novel as so many have struck me with awe, but if I had to choose a novel that really inspired me, it would have to be Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. What I particularly love about this book is that it accomplishes two things that are seldom accomplished together.

The first thing Huxley did was tell a story so intriguing, that it was difficult to ignore. Writing a novel about a futuristic, dystopian society in England is no simple task. It requires a good deal of thought and creativity, and, after reading this book, it is apparent that Huxley is overflowing with both. In addition, his characters are very well-developed, and the ideals they stand for are incredibly fascinating. Through their interactions with each other, we are able to see their different points of view and how they reflect the stark contrast between our society and theirs.

The next thing he did, which is never an easy feat to accomplish, was leave such an enormous impact on his society. When the book was first published in 1932, his readers were completely shocked by it. What worried them the most was the novel's haunting message about the impending loss of identity that seemed inevitable in the future. This book had such a horrific effect on his audience that, in some areas, it was banned from the local libraries. Nevertheless, it has made a place for itself in the realm of classic literature, which is something I hope to accomplish one day.

Ever since I was a young boy, I have loved to read. Sometimes, it's the only thing that keeps me from becoming completely bored out of my mind. What I love even more than reading, believe it or not, is writing. When I first read this novel, it amazed me. Never before had I read something this moving and powerful. I knew that when I grew older, I wanted to write a novel just like it, one that had the power to absolutely stun its reader.

What is interesting is that upon finishing Brave New World, I found that I was left with a strong, brooding feeling. I soon realized this feeling was ambition. I desperately wanted to go out into the world and find my inner writer. I always said that the best way to become a good writer is to live and observe your surroundings. That's exactly what Aldous Huxley did. He lived, and, whatever he observed, he wrote about. He saw the changes in his society, and he carefully wove a story about how, if unchecked, technology could render our lives virtually devoid of emotion. Once I start college, perhaps I can write a story as well, one that chronicles the subtle changes I notice in my surroundings, the minute differences between myself and the other college students who see life differently than I do. Maybe I can even use my novel to bring about a few changes in our society.