Brave New World – Personal Response

“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley is a dystopian novel that was written in 1932. As the story takes place in 632 AF, (After Ford), some parts of the novel reflect on not only the intended future but also Huxley’s society. (1932). As time has passed, and where we are heading towards the future, a lot of things have been altered in society from the one back in 1932. I believe this book can be a good reference point for comparing the intended future people nearly a hundred years ago predicted and the one we live in now. 

The story takes place in London, U.K. In this “Brave New World”, humans are rather artificially manufactured than done biologically through natural reproduction. People are born in a hatchery, where multiple gametes are put into one egg, creating multiple sets of identical twins. This process is called Bokanovsky’s Process, and the fewer times an egg is divided and multiplied, the higher social rank is given to the “offspring”. The society runs on a hierarchy, with the Alphas being at the top and the Epsilons at the other end. The Alphas are responsible for doing the important work, whereas the Epsilons are responsible for doing the unimportant, dirty work. The people in this society go through a process called hypnopedia, (aka. Sleep-learning), which teaches people about their social rankings and is commonly used as a method for brainwashing. The Alphas are taught prejudice; whereas the Epsilons are taught to be thankful for what they already have. This is closely related to our society we live in – as these topics – such as prejudice, are taught by parents and kids tend to be “brainwashed” by them. The following proves to the readers that Huxley has intended to criticize the problems in parenting.

As the story proceeds and more and more details are revealed, the true main character of the story, John “the savage” gets introduced, who is from the isolated society in what the brave new world calls the “savage reservation”. When he has been brought to the Brave New World, he is shocked by how the society functions; he eventually leaves the Society with despair and agony, by ending his own life. 

The novel Brave New World closely reflects and is related to the society we live in now – and criticizes the flaws in our world, such as parenting, drug abuse and social/racial prejudices. This novel was a good stop-point for me to step back and view the society I live in from a different perspective and aspect.

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Recently, these days (for some reason), I have been getting incredibly stressed. Life does not go as planned and school is strenuous as it gets. I try not to care, but most of the time – it does not work. Even at this moment when I am writing this blog post about my life, I am having an existential crisis. What am I to the world? How do people see me in their eyes? If god exists, why did he create me? I am nothing but a small dot in the vast universe. These ideas whisper in my ears as I try my best to fall asleep – I find myself lost, in an empty and cold place – with no one to support me. No friends, no family, no mental support. I start crying. No tears were to be felt. Social pressure holds onto me – almost like an invisible hand. They hold me back as I try to reach out for my mental stability. The tragedy continues. along and along, I fail to hold on to my happiness. I fail to hold on to my friends. I fail to hold onto my brain. I fail to hold onto myself. What if this world is mine and everyone around me is just an illusion? What if this world – on the whole, is an illusion?

Most of you who are reading my personal writing would be confused – is this a story about Jeongmin? or is this a made-up story of a fictional person?

It is in fact, in the title.

A Brave New World – The Reality of a “Perfect World”

In the dystopian novel “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, the setting of the story takes place in a futuristic society; where everything is to be “perfect” – keeping everyone “happy” and eliminating the problems of society such as poverty, the increase in suicide rates, underpopulation and overpopulation. All of these factors are to be controlled and monitored by the government – which controls all of the nations in the world. People are being “manufactured” out of assembly lines, and they take soma, a type of drug to keep themselves happy. At the beginning of the book, the Director of the hatchery explains Bokanovsky’s process, in which many embryos fit into a single egg:

‘Bokenovsky’s Process is one of the major instruments of social stability! 

Major instruments of social stability.

Standard men and women; in uniform batches. The whole of a small factory staffed with the products of a single Bokanovskified egg. 

‘Ninety-six identical twins working ninety-six identical machines! The voice was almost tremulous with enthusiasm. ‘You really know where you are. For the first time in history.’ He quoted the planetary motto. ‘Community, Identity, Stability.” Grand words. ‘If we could bokanovskify indefinitely the whole problem would be solved.’ (p. 5) 

This quote shows the intended purpose of the process of bokanovsky, which is to promote “social stability”. The social stability explained in this book is where everyone is happy with their social position – whether you are a worker at a factory or a general who takes care of the society. They brainwash and educate the epsilons – those who are at a lower social hierarchy into thinking that they are “lucky enough to not to hard work”, and the same is done to the higher positioned people – promoting prejudice against the lower ones. This book shows the brutal reality of a “perfect society” – and it reflects on the society we live in to a certain extent. This further proves that a “perfect society” cannot exist, as nothing can be “perfect.”

IRJE # 6 – Pachinko

I have recently started a new book named “Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee, a Korean-American author who publishes books regarding Korean history and the lifestyles in the 1900s during the Japanese occupation. At the beginning of the book, the author introduces the character Hoonie, who is the main character of the book. He was considered “healthy” during the times, although he had a crooked leg and a serious illness. soon enough, a matchmaker comes to the house to match Hoonie with a new bride.

The matchmaker brought it up first. So there was that unfortunate matter of his foot and broken lip, but Hoonie was clearly a good boy – educated and strong as a pair of oxen! She was blessed to have such a fine son, the matchmaker said. She deprecated her own children: neither of her boys was dedicated to books or commerce, but they were not terrible boys. Her daughter married too early and lived too far away from good marriages, the matchmaker supposed, but her sons were lazy. (p.6)

This quote characterizes Hoonie, the main character of the first chapter, very well, describing his outstanding personality regardless of his disabilities. The author has described Hoonie very well, which also gives detail of his characteristics to the readers.

Outsmart Your Brain – Daniel T. Willingham

By reading a part of the book “Outsmart Your Brain” By Daniel T. Willingham, I have learned a lot of things – How to read a “difficult” book, to be specific.  In the first two pages of the book, the author, Daniel, introduces the idea of reading a “hard” book and acknowledges the struggle and the level of effort that would have to be put in to accomplish such a thing. He then introduces the readers to a text, which is most likely a part of a “hard” book the author claims to be. He then asks if anyone notices a contradiction between the former and latter claims. Through this, I have learned that I have not been reading a text to its utmost detail for all this time, although I thought I did.  Reading this part of the book gave me the curiosity to continue reading.

As the book progresses and moves onto the next topic of how to read a “hard” book, The author now gives the readers tips on how to do so. He mentions the act of highlighting, which is widely practiced as a method of close reading. However, the author Daniel opposes this idea, claiming that it is inefficient and that there is no point in doing such. He claims that people reading for the first time; are most likely to highlight a text they believe to be predominant, even if it doesn’t have any relevance to the main topic it is discussing. He states that first-time readers are not to judge whether part of the text is relevant. He adds to the argument and suggests a new method, taking notes. When we listen to lectures and classes, we are bound to naturally think and assume its content to be not amusing, boring or difficult. It is the same for books. When we read a hard book, we tend to assume its content, even before reading the actual text; we tend to skim through the book, not knowing the hidden details and important information.  Daniel states that by taking notes, our brain can process more content simultaneously by organizing them and making them easier to understand.

Books are not always fun, especially if you are reading a book that you assume is hard. However, when you force yourself to read more, you tend to get into a habit of reading, and you get more content in a shorter time, which makes your reading skills more efficient. From personal experience, I have never really enjoyed reading, until I forced myself to read over and over again and explore more books at the bookshop. By doing this, I have found a book I enjoy reading – and I tend to read it – regardless of the duty of reading every day, for 15 minutes. This reminder has become a habit, and I find myself reading – for more than 15 minutes before I even realize the independent reading task. In my background of being raised bilingually, It has been such a struggle to master both languages, with pretty good fluency. My parent would speak in Korean on one day, and English on the other. I did the same with books. Korean on the first day, English on the second. By doing this, I was able to improve both my Korean and English skills, and I believe I can speak both languages fluently. However, I have a lot to learn, and this book has shown me how to read more confidently and efficiently.


When I Ever Was Jeongmin (Pw #5)

Sometimes when I think about my life, I think that I am very unlucky. Most of the things that I wanted to happen never does, and all of the unfortunate events tend to happen on a daily basis. Most of the time I would get sick at the wrong times, such as the first day of school or before a long trip back home. I would get the worst grades and reports for the tests I studied the most, and I would get the best for the ones I didn’t even care about. I would get the worst headaches before the final exams, and I would be in my best mood on a useless weekend.

I don’t know why luck exists; other people look like they are having the best moment of their lives when my life has never been positive, and Other people look like they don’t have any problems in their lives when mine is full of them 24/7. I tend to compare myself with other people around me. When I talk to them and try to understand how their lives were, I always fail to do so. I am always jealous of how some people can stay happy and excited for most of their lives, if not the entirety of it.

My last memory of freedom was when I was a small child; when I didn’t have all the drama to deal with and the responsibility to take care of. I didn’t have a lot of homework and tasks to do like I do now, and I didn’t have to create multiple versions of myself to keep myself functioning. I always wish I could go back to when I was a baby so that I won’t make the same mistakes I made today. I wish I could be doing all of the things I wanted so that I won’t be dwelling around them.

I am very thankful to the people around me. From my family who provides me with a good environment and care – to my friends who provide me with joy in life when living in a foreign place that I have never lived in before. Being away from home and culture is not an easy thing to do, and so is skipping a grade and being younger than everyone else. However, these people help me get through these without any problems and if it weren’t for them, I would have been struggling with unanswered questions and curiosity about life.

I wish a very happy new year to everyone!

Reflection on Unit 1 Final

For the Unit Final I have done at the end of term one, I received comments that reflect on my weaknesses as well as strengths. One of my main strengths was that I used quotations from the text relevantly, and I have taken attention to the language of each passage. On the other hand, I have received feedback on how I could improve my overall organization of the body paragraphs. I have stated the use of imagery in the introduction paragraph, however, it was not explained further in the body paragraphs. This was an excellent opportunity for me to learn more about the topic itself as well as write a good comparison essay. I will take all the commentary into consideration when writing future writing assignments.

IRJE – Libertarianism

Continuing with the book “Justice” by Michael J. Sandel, the author further expands the topic into the idea of libertarianism. He gives the readers an example that reflects on our current society; people like Bill Gates and Elon Musk have a lot of money – an amount of money that a “normal” person cannot earn by working for their entire lives. However, they tend to separate the social economic classes, starting from the “lower” class up to the “higher” class. If we would have taken a percentage of Bill Gates’s money and evenly distribute it amongst 100 people, they would be happy and delighted. There are people who think this unfairness should be fixed (Utilitarian thinking), while other states that it is the wealthy people’s right to protect and use their money, regardless of whether it causes any inequalities in society. (Liberal thinking).

The second objection regards these calculations beside the point, It argues that taxing the rich to hel the poor is unjust because it violates a fundamental right. According to this objection, taking money from Gates and Winfrey without their consent, even for a good cause, is coercive. It violates their liberty to do with their money whateverthey please. Those who object to redistribution on these grounds are often called “libertarians”. 

The libertarians in the context above state that taking money from the rich, even for a good cause is not the right thing to do and is a violation of their rights to do whatever they would want to do with their money (liberty). This discussion on the two sides reflects how capitalist our society is and how it is divided into “social classes”. I belive arguments from both sides are reasonable and it is hard to tell which is right or wrong.


A Perfect Society – Utopia

A utopia, in the most inclusive definition, is where everything is perfectly positioned and is perfectly running without any struggles or conflicts. However, the following concept of a “perfect society” remains to be fiction and does not exist. Our current society tends to go back and forth from an ideal society to sometimes a malfunctioning one. A utopia would be a place where society remains to be “perfect” and never changes from such a position. It is where everything is running as it should be, with no flaws or a single negative side. As the concept of Utopia is “perfect”, it is shown to people that it cannot be reached regardless of the effort that may be put in to change society. As society gets better and better over time, the standards for an ideal “Utopia” would become higher, and thus is never achievable. Viewing from the following aspect gives me the idea that a Utopia is not a set concept, but rather an evolving goal. Many countries and societies around the world are making their attempt toward an ideal society, however, has never reached the modern standards and understanding of a perfect world – Utopia. Utopias are never achievable and that is what makes them an imaginary concept. However, it is interesting to investigate and learn more about the following concept of a flawless society.

Justice and Utilitarianism (IRJE #4)

In Justice, by Michael J. Sandel, a professor of philosophy at Harvard, the author introduces the meaning of justice, and what it is. He further describes justice as something that is meant to be done; the right thing to do. As the book continues into chapter 2, the author moves the topic onto utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is a concept, in general, which promotes happiness and pleasure, but on the other hand, opposes things that can cause unhappiness or damage. The author uses an example to describe the following:

We all like pleasure and dislike pain. The utilitarian philosophy recognizes this fact and makes it the basis of moral and political life. Maximizing utility is a principle not only for individuals but also for legislators. In deciding what laws or policies to enact, a government should do whatever will maximize the happiness of the community as a whole. (pg. 34)

In the following quote, the author Michel J. Sandel describes the concept and philosophy of utilitarianism, with detailed examples. He further states that the following concept not only benefits an individual but also a community. The author additionally states that this should be promoted amongst governments,  “to ensure and maximize the happiness of the community as a whole.” I am yet to fully understand this heavy concept and is out of three ranges I could fathom. However, this book has influenced me and was memorable enough for me to trace back to the following book I read not a long time ago.

– Jm.Y



Personal Writing #3 – A Friday Night

This long weekend was very hectic and many things were going on in my life. I had a lot of work to do, and personal problems to solve, but I also had to go through them with all the errands I had to run during that time. On Thursday night, I tried to improve my social skills and make more friends and I decided to go bowling. It did not go very well, leaving me with more anxiety and panic attacks. I tried my best to quickly end the game and escape the place. After that, I went back to my room and tried my best to gain relief. That is how my long weekend started off. While I believed that my time was wasted and the weekend was hopeless, I finally got to have a time of relief the next day. I stayed in my room and spent time truly for mental and physical recovery. Every day in my life seems very miserable; everything feels meaningless and exhausting. Things that shouldn’t be happening in my life tend to happen on a daily basis, and these sometimes make me anxious. However, I try to motivate myself by committing to my hobbies, such as reading and listening to music, or just by staying in my room protected from the brutal world and reality. These work very well, and I belive it is just a part of life – growing up.

IRJE #3 – Arsené Lupin

By continuing with the novel “The Tales of Arséne Lupin”, the main character, Arśene Lupin’s identity and information have been fully revealed, and he has turned out to be a thief. As he further on continued his thievery, he is, later on, finds himself arrested by the police, with his details being leaked to the public:

“Arsène Lupin is on your vessel, first cabin, blonde hair, wound right fore-arm, traveling alone under name of R……..”

At that moment, a terrible flash of lightning rent the stormy skies. The electric waves were interrupted. The remainder of the dispatch never reached us. Of the name under which Arsène Lupin was concealing himself, we knew only the initial.

If the news had been of some other character, I have no doubt that the secret would have been carefully guarded by the telegraphic operator as well as by the officers of the vessel. But it was one of those events calculated to escape from the most rigorous discretion. The same day, no one knew how, the incident became a matter of current gossip and every passenger was aware that the famous Arsène Lupin was hiding in our midst. (170)

By this, the author gives the reader further details of the mysterious Arséne Lupin and paves the way for his future actions. The book is yet to have an ending, with about four chapters left. I am curious about what would happen next and am looking forward to reading further into the book.

Hollow: Part #1

The morning sun beams at my eyes. The cautious wind from the open window sails along my body. The breeze left behind the scent of a lively orange tree from the backyard. The world spins as I sit up on my bed. I screamed into the vast emptiness of the house. No sounds were to be heard; a few seconds later, I found my voice echoing off the walls of the building. I step out of the bed. The cold wooden floor haunts the warmness of my foot; leaving again, nothing but emptiness behind. 

I step downstairs and out the door. I am once again greeted by the wind. I feel the wind piercing through my body, leaving the cold inside. I make my way to my backyard. It is very weird that I feel everything; including the grass touching the surface of my foot and the dirt rubbing onto the soles. I can feel the temperature and humidity of the air, as it passes through my head and stomach. I have never felt this free and refreshing as if my body is hollow. I stand in the middle of my yard, staring at the vigorous sunlight; with the warmth absorbed into my body. How peculiar. 



How Full is Your Bucket?

In the non-fiction novel “How Full is Your Bucker” by Tom Rath, the author explains a simple theory regarding the emotions and feelings of an individual. He uses the object bucket to represent a person’s emotion; ranging from happiness to sadness. Additionally, he adds on the concept of “dipping” a bucket, which means taking away the contents of it – by causing a person to have a bad emotion towards an individual – which includes dipping the bucket themselves. These factors come together and create a society as a whole – with people “filling” and “dipping” their buckets every day. In the first section of the book, the author gives the reader an explanation of the concept: 

So we face a choice every moment of every day: We can fill one another’s buckets, or we can dip from them. It’s an important choice – one that profoundly influences our relationships, productivity, health, and happiness.”

This quote has come up to me, as I found the concepts the author used to represent our social lives to be an effective way of creating awareness of one’s words or actions toward another individual. This book has also made me rethink my social skills – and encouraged me to do good deeds rather than things that can negatively influence another person’s social life. 

– November 2, 2022

Page 5113


Page “5113”  – Jm.Y

       I wonder. What keeps me alive? What motivates me to go on with my life? What makes me try my best although nothing is really rewarded? Every day, I start a new part of my life. I start off with a blank page. I start filling up the page with every hour, every minute, and every second I spend in the day. Sometimes these stories end up being fortunate, and sometimes they are not. Sometimes they come up with a good ending, while some do not. This cycle continues; the pages stack on top of each other; creating a long story – life. Everyone’s stories are unique to one. They all have different settings, plots, conflicts, and resolutions. My story of life is very hectic. There are unexpected things going on in my life as well as weird happenings. However, good things tend to happen unexpectedly, as do bad things. This keeps me motivated to live life and continue my story – with every page added every day. The story isn’t over yet – there are more things that are waiting for me – whether that is positive or negative. I still have a lot to go on with my adventure. In fact, I am on Pg. 5113. 

– Jeongmin Yoon

Comparison of “All quiet on the Western Front”,”Soldier’s Home”, and “They shall not grow old”

             After reading the novel “All quiet on the Western Front”, the short story “Soldier’s home” and the movie “They shall not grow old”, I have observed several similarities as well as differences in these media discussing the topic of World War One. All three stories have different perspectives from different sides of the war. In “All Quiet on the Western Front”, the main character Paul Baumer tells the readers the experience of the war from a german perspective, while “soldier’s home” and “They shall not grow old” both show a different experience (British, American). 

While all three media discuss the same war, that happened at the same time period, the experiences and perspectives of the soldiers vary from which side they fight for. “All quiet on the western front” and “Soldier’s Home” both mainly show the experience of being in the war, rather than the combat itself. On the other hand, the video “They Shall Not Grow Old”, mainly discusses the consequences and results of the war; such as the deaths and suffering of the soldiers – showing how inhumane and cruel the war was. 

These stories have made me rethink what the war was actually like – the experience and life of the soldiers during combat. I believe these 3 pieces of media are very suitable for raising awareness regarding World War One. 

IRJE 1: Arséne Lupin

          In the stories of Arséne Lupin by Maurice Leblanc, the main character/narrator, Arsene Lupin is introduced as a mysterious and shadowy figure; with the book not providing the details of who he actually is. The impression of “Shadowy” and “Mysterious” is meant to be a part of Arsene Lupin’s characteristics. As the story proceeds, Arsene Lupin locates a mysterious card under his carpet: the seven of hearts. 

“Inch by inch, I made a careful examination of the room. It was in vain. Unless I could consider this a discovery: Under a small Persian rug, I found a card – an ordinary playing card. It was the seven of hearts; it was like any other seven of hearts in French playing cards, with this slight but curious exception: The extreme point of each of the seven red spots or hearts was pierced by a hole, round and regular as if made with the point of an owl” (pg.5) 

This quote came to my mind particularly, as it is the first quote that sets a clear point of the book – a mystery novel. While still unsure of the identity of Arsene Lupin, it points out some of his characteristics and personalities; such as his act of being cautionary and quick. The card seven of hearts was first introduced to the novel; which will now be the main mystery for the readers to solve. As the story continues, more and more evidence will hopefully reveal the hidden identity of the veiled Arséne Lupin. 

 –   Jm. E . Yoon 

Comparison of “All quiet on the Western Front” and “Soldier’s Home’

The stories of Paul Baumer (All quiet on the Western Front) and Krebs (Soldier’s Home) have various similarities and differences that compare and contrast with each other. The two stories both share the same genre and setting – a historical fiction based on World War One. Both of the characters have been put in the same situation, regardless of their position and the side of the war. They both experience the same conflicts and problems resulting from this major conflict.  In “all quiet on the Western Front”, the main character (Paul Baumer) while fighting for Germany, goes through the experience of fighting in the war, suffering both physically and mentally. He has put all of his past life behind him and was forced to join the war. He has lost his past identity – a normal teenager well on his way to adulthood.

We are forlorn like children and experienced like old men, we are crude and sorrowful and superficial—I believe we are lost.”

This shows that he did not feel comfortable about it and further shows the transition of his identity – from being a young man to a soldier that fights for the country. He has gone through this for years – ending it with a peaceful death. 

On the other hand, in the short story “Soldier’s home”, the main character (Krebs) is introduced as an American soldier that has participated in World War One. He has suffered through the same conflicts as any other soldier did; however, he ended up being more comfortable on the battlefield compared to his lonely past life. of the lies, he had told.

“All of the times that had been able to make him feel cool and clear inside himself when he thought of them; the times so long back when he had done the one thing, the only thing for a man to do, easily and naturally, when he might have done something else, now lost their cool, valuable quality and then were lost themselves.”

This shows that Kreb’s past life was rather miserable – up to the point where the experience of war was comparably better. He felt the actual “use” of himself – something that he did not feel before the war. This contrasts with the perspective of Paul Baumer, who did not like being in the war at all. 

Both Paul and Krebs went through the same war at the same time. They both had similarities as well as differences in perspective and point of view. Nonetheless, they have suffered through the war – something that we would not be able to completely understand and experience throughout our lives.  

Jm. Y- 2022/10/11

My Response On The Novel “All Quiet On the Western Front”

Overall, I have enjoyed reading the book “All quiet on the Western Front” as I find it informative and poetic in many aspects of literature and language. Eric Maria Remarque has used a variety of imagery and poetry to visualize the viciousness and brutality of the Great World War One. This book also gives the reader the perspective of an actual soldier that participated in the war and not just an overview of what happened, providing detail of what the experience was in the war. The book also shows the main character Paul Baümer’s friendship and life outside the war, which takes up a huge portion of the book.

 The horrors of war depicted throughout the novel, especially the atrocities committed on the soldiers were beyond what I could fathom. I particularly was shocked by the gruesome image of buried corpses emerging from the graveyard and groups of living men falling dead, due to the force of shelling when Paul and his friends were pounded by artillery where they were hiding to lay barbed wire. The soldiers were living on the edges of life with every step they took and knew that death could happen any day.

“Let the months and years come, they can take nothing from me, they can take nothing more. I am so alone, and so without home that I can confront them without fear. The life that has borne through these years is still in my hands and my eyes.” (pg.295)

Paul’s last words made me realize how hopeless and miserable he must have been after the war took everything and his friends. Through his emotions, I sympathize with soldiers and the horrors they go through. Paul’s friendship with Kemmerich, Müller, Kropp, Kat, and Bentinck also resonates with me in that I value my friendship highly.

I found multiple connections between the content of this book and my life such as my value in friendship and anxiety. The main character in the book (Paul Baumer) goes through various struggles and dilemmas while still fighting in the war. I believe these links with my current lifestyle and mental state, as I face these conflicts every day while living in a modern world and society. The world we live in and the battlefield in World War One have lots of things in common, and thus reflect how brutal and vicious life can be. However, we humans tend to move on with our lives, leaving all the struggles and conflicts behind. This book has given me the opportunity to reflect not only on my personal life but on the world, we currently live in. In my opinion, historical Fiction; fiction in general is a good way of discussing such topics, as there are no limits on expression and interpretation. This book was a good example of doing so, and I am willing to read more books on similar topics in the future.

Jm. Y

Class Intro

Hi! My name is Jeongmin. 

I am from Seoul, South Korea and It is my second year here at Brookes. I enjoy listening to music as well as spending time alone without having to encounter social interference. 

I am delighted to be in this class, and my goal would be to improve my writing and reading skills, as they are not up to my expectations. I would try my best to fulfill those expectations I have set for myself in this class. 

I look forward to meeting more people and learning more as I progress through the academic year. 

jmyoon –