Search Menu

Contents

Chapter 1

page 2 of 2

Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Chapter 1

The almost religious regard in which the World State holds technology is apparent from the start. The starting date for the calendar is Henry Ford’s introduction of the Model T, an automobile cheaply and efficiently produced by the assembly line system. All dates are preceded by “a.f.,” “After Ford,” just as today’s calendar system begins with the birth of Jesus, a.d. (Anno Domini, meaning “in the year of the lord”). Other satirical hints of a warped religion are scattered throughout the text. The Predestinators, for example, are a farcical secular manifestation of the Calvinist religious belief that God predestines individuals for heaven or hell before birth. The World State’s religious adherence to technology is far from innocent. In fact it becomes one of the pillars of stability for the totalitarian World State. As the Director says, “social stability” is the highest social goal, and through predestination and rigorous conditioning, individuals accept their given roles in society without question. The caste structure is created and maintained using specific tools, and it is technology that allows the most powerful members of the World State’s ruling Alpha caste to solidify and justify the unequal distribution of power and status.

Conditioning individuals genetically, physically, and psychologically for their “inescapable social destinies” stabilizes the caste system by creating servants who love and fully accept their servility. Moreover, conditioning makes them virtually incapable of performing any other function than that to which they are assigned. The satirical tone of the text makes it clear that, though social stability may sound like an admirable goal, it can be used for the wrong reasons toward the wrong ends.

One theme emphasized repeatedly in this first chapter is the similarity between the production of humans in the Hatchery and the production of consumer goods on an assembly line. Everything about human reproduction is technologically managed to maximize efficiency and profit. Following the rule of supply and demand, the Predestinators project how many members of each caste will be needed, and the Hatchery produces human beings according to those figures. One of the keys of mass production is that every part is identical and interchangeable; a steering wheel from one Model T fits neatly onto the steering column of any other Ford. Similarly, in the Hatchery, human beings are standardized by the production of thousands of brothers and sisters in multiple groups of identical twins using the Bokanovsky and Podsnap Processes.

The lower castes are more subject to these forces of anonymity and mechanization. Members of the higher castes are decanted one by one, without any artificial intervention. Thus the higher castes retain at least some level of the individuality and creativity that is denied completely to the lower castes.

Test Your Understanding with the Chapter 1 Quiz

Take a quiz on this section
Test Your Understanding with the Chapter 1 Quiz

TAKE THE QUIZ
+
#

CHAPTER 1 QUIZ

What does “A.F.” stand for in the calendar that the World State uses?
After Fitzgerald
After Ford
Test Your Understanding with the Chapter 1 Quiz
TAKE THE QUIZ

Chapter 1 QUIZ

+
Test Your Understanding with the Chapter 1 Quiz
TAKE THE QUIZ

More Help

Previous Next
Our Ford

by AP-ness, July 29, 2012

Replacing the concept of a belief-based, non-verifiable being with Ford, a man who existed, eliminates all the wonder and mystery related to traditional religions.
Also eliminating all other belief systems with a single, inarguable "godhead" rids the World State citizens of anxiety and conflicts based on religious beliefs and orthodoxies.

17 Comments

143 out of 194 people found this helpful

Nowy wspaniały świat czytałem z wypiekami na twarzy

by sylwek9990, August 17, 2015

Czytałem to w trakcie studiów, absolutnie fantastyczna, choć bardzo przerażająca powieść. Kocham za trzeźwość spojrzenia i wizje, które mam nadzieję, że nie spełnią się. Piękna całość. Bardzo przyjemnie się czyta, wciąga. Polecam.

0 Comments

3 out of 5 people found this helpful

brave new world

by wings01, November 28, 2015

One might say that the novels Animal Farm and Brave New
World could give useful lessons on democracy to younger teenagers. Give your
opinion on the matter. Support your opinion with evidence from the two novels.

1 Comments

2 out of 12 people found this helpful

See all 8 readers' notes   →

Buy on BN.com and save!

Brave New World

Brave New World (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series)

Got it?
Take a quiz on this section →