Brave New World is a dystopian novel by English author Aldous Huxley, written in 1931 and published in 1932.
Brave New World Summary
The novel opens in the Central London Hatching and Conditioning Centre, where the Director of the Hatchery and one of his assistants, Henry Foster, are giving a tour to a group of boys.
The boys learn about the Bokanovsky and Podsnap Processes that allow the Hatchery to produce thousands of nearly identical human embryos. Brave New World!
During the gestation period the embryos travel in bottles along a conveyor belt through a factorylike building, and are conditioned to belong to one of five castes: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, or Epsilon.
The Alpha embryos are destined to become the leaders and thinkers of the World State. Each of the succeeding castes is conditioned to be slightly less physically and intellectually impressive.
The Epsilons, stunted and stupefied by oxygen deprivation and chemical treatments, are destined to perform menial labor. Lenina Crowne, an employee at the factory, describes to the boys how she vaccinates embryos destined for tropical climates. Brave New World!
The Director then leads the boys to the Nursery, where they observe a group of Delta infants being reprogrammed to dislike books and flowers. The Director explains that this conditioning helps to make Deltas docile and eager consumers.
He then tells the boys about the “hypnopaedic” (sleep-teaching) methods used to teach children the morals of the World State. In a room where older children are napping, a whispering voice is heard repeating a lesson in “Elementary Class Consciousness.”
Outside, the Director shows the boys hundreds of naked children engaged in sexual play and games like “Centrifugal Bumble-puppy.” Mustapha Mond, one of the ten World Controllers, introduces himself to the boys and begins to explain the history of the World State, focusing on the State’s successful efforts to remove strong emotions, desires, and human relationships from society.
Meanwhile, inside the Hatchery, Lenina chats in the bathroom with Fanny Crowne about her relationship with Henry Foster. Fanny chides Lenina for going out with Henry almost exclusively for four months, and Lenina admits she is attracted to the strange, somewhat funny-looking Bernard Marx.
In another part of the Hatchery, Bernard is enraged when he overhears a conversation between Henry and the Assistant Predestinator about “having” Lenina.
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About the Author
Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and philosopher. He wrote nearly 50 books, both novels and non-fiction works, as well as wide-ranging essays, narratives, and poems. Born into the prominent Huxley family, he graduated from Balliol College, Oxford, with an undergraduate degree in English literature.