Where does the term "bokanovsky" come from?

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ms-mcgregor's profile pic

ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Bokanovsky appears to be a name that Huxley created. The name sounds like it is Russian. In the novel, Huxley is satirizing totalitarian societies and Russia was a major example of totalitarianism when the novel was written. Many of the other characters have Russian names, also. The character of Lenina sounds much like Lenin, the first Communist leader of the Soviet Union. Bernard Marx gets his last name from Karl Marx, co-writer of the communist manifesto. Giving the process- which is really an early description of cloning- such a name seems especially appropriate because the Soviet Union tried to export its version of Communism and made many satellite nations around the world. Huxley was obviously satirizing this aspect of the Soviet Union as it existed during his time.

krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

The name "Bokanovsky" used by Huxley to describe a process of cloning, like the process itself, is totally fictional. There no real  person or process being referred to by the name Bokanovsky.

It is important to realize that in the novel Brave New World the truth of what are presented as scientific possibilities is not important. For example, the cloning process presented in the novel is a means to present in an exaggerated form the tendencies of modern economic system and totalitarian governments to promote uniformity among its population, rather than present a scientific possibility of how human beings can be cloned and conditioned.

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