Utopia has existed for 632 years.
It is a world where human beings are born artificially, and family life is
All children are created, and molded by the state so that they will have a
specific function when they mature.
A group of students are being given a conducted tour of the Central London
Hatchery and Conditioning Center. Henry Foster is a keen scientist and he explains in detail the technological wonders of the Brave New World.
Although he is conducting the tour, he does not pass up on the opportunity of arranging a date with Lenina Crowne, a co-worker.
Huxley obtains the title for this book from a statement in Shakespeare’s
The Tempest “O brave new world that has such people in it.”
The people in this world are specifically designed by the state in order to
carry out clearly defined roles.
At the top of the caste system we have the Alpha people who are the most
intelligent. It is a pyramid system and descends down through Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta to Epsilon, the Epsilon cast being the most populous, and their lives the most mundane.
The world is divided into 10 zones, each having its own Controller. It
is a police state and the planetary motto is “Community, Identity, Stability”.
In this one-state world, only the English language is used.
We see here Huxley’s concerns about the present world of the 1930’s, and his
belief that the world population will outgrow the available natural resources.
He can see no way of controlling this problem without the introduction of a global police state. Only through strict birth control, and adapting children to a specific niche in society, can the human race continue to survive. The effect of this system is to reduce human beings to android-like creatures existing in a stifling world. In fact, people have ceased to become individuals in this state, and are merely cogs in a huge machine. The people live in a perpetual cycle where they work to produce products that they themselves consume at a great rate.
One of the first characters we meet is Henry Foster, who arranges a date
whilst giving a conducted tour to students. In this society, specific relationships are discouraged, and so a promiscuous society has been created.
We soon appreciate that the ordinary inhabitants of Utopia have little or no emotions at all.
The actual year of the story is A.F.632, which means After Ford - the
industrialist Henry Ford who is an icon of this society.
There is no such thing as childbirth in the Utopian society.
Babies in the Brave New World are developed like a product, and they are decanted into a membrane lining which is the abdomen of a female pig, which replaces the natural mother’s womb.