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In Brave New World, what is each caste's designated color?

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kquintero91 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 9, 2009 at 12:01 PM via web

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In Brave New World, what is each caste's designated color?

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marilynn07 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted March 9, 2009 at 8:23 PM (Answer #1)

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Each cast was taught to like its own color: Alphas wore gray, Betas wore Mulberry, Deltas wore Khaki, Gammas wore green, and Epsilons wore black and to despise the other colors. Class conciousness was a very important theme in this novel.

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Julie Feng | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted January 23, 2014 at 11:32 PM (Answer #5)

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Each caste in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World is distinguished by the color of their work clothes.

From lowest caste to highest caste in order, they are: Epsilons are dressed in black, Deltas in khaki, Gammas in leaf green, Betas in mulberry, and Alphas in grey. 

The reason for the color division system to differentiate castes is in order to quickly and easily know what caste a person is in. The dystopian world described in Huxley's novel is very superficial, so of course they would use a superficial designation like color coding. It is surface-level symbolism, but also very effective psychologically. The world is also one that relies heavily on simplistic psychological conditioning, as seen with the Pavlovian type conditioning and the electric shocks. 

In such a world, it is incredibly important to know at all times who is in which caste, which the color system perpetuates and concretizes. It is vital for the continuation of the oppressive state because the caste system is the absolute most powerful tool the dystopian government, the World State, has to oppress and brainwash their citizens. Using genetic modification techniques, the World State makes the lower castes physically unable to rebel. In their fetal state, they are introduced to alcohol in their blood, deprived of oxygen, and then afterwards they must undergo extreme brainwashing and conditioning. Thus, lower class citizens are created to be servile and lesser. It is in their "nature," as manipulated as it is. This system allows for the dominance of certain people over others, and the systematic nature of the oppression makes it extremely difficult to challenge. In fact, one could argue that it's even impossible to challenge based on the way in which the oppression has taken root. So although it seems arbitrary, the color system in the World State castes is actually an incredibly systematic way of keeping the status quo. 

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cneagle2014 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 7, 2009 at 4:39 AM (Answer #2)

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Alphas=gray, Betas=Mulberry, Deltas=Khaki, Gammas=green, and Epsilons=black

Actually, they weren't taught to hate each other.  In fact, during the hypnopaedia (sp?) they were taught that each has a specific job and is useful.  However, they were taught, for example, that Alphas were better than Betas and so on and so forth.

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chucky1222 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 8, 2009 at 8:55 PM (Answer #3)

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Alphas=gray, Betas=Mulberry, Deltas=Khaki, Gammas=green, and Epsilons=black

Actually, they weren't taught to hate each other.  In fact, during the hypnopaedia (sp?) they were taught that each has a specific job and is useful.  However, they were taught, for example, that Alphas were better than Betas and so on and so forth.

Each cast was taught to like its own color: Alphas wore gray, Betas wore Mulberry, Deltas wore Khaki, Gammas wore green, and Epsilons wore black and to despise the other colors. Class conciousness was a very important theme in this novel.

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robing825 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 8, 2009 at 8:58 PM (Answer #4)

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I agree with dedo.

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