What technology has brought about the New World of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

1. Bokanovsky's Process

Perhaps the most significant technological advancement is how human life is produced in the Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. No longer is there human reproduction; now babies are manufactured from test tubes of ova and in incubators.Through the Bokanovsky process one egg is split into anywhere from eight to ninety-six embryos.

2. Podsnap's Technique

This procedure accelerates the process of ripening the eggs within two years. "Fertilize and bokanovskify" and nearly eleven thousand "brothers and sisters in a hundred and fifty batches of identical twins."

3. Social Predestination

With this mass production of human beings, there are further controls exerted upon them in the Social Predestination Room where the female embryos are altered so that they will be sterile--"freemartins." Also babies are "decanted" at various levels. That is, the oxygen is apportioned to them in such a way that different intelligence levels are produced so that people will like their stations in life:

"And that," put in the Director sententiously,"is the secret of happiness and virtue--liking what you've got to do.  All conditioning aims at that:  making people like their inescapable social destiny."

4. Neo-Pavlovian conditioning

Using electric shock, loud noises, and other means of creating negative responses to such things as books and nature, babies are conditioned to hate such things. In addition, children are all brought up in the State's Conditioning Centres where they are all programmed in the same manner. Sleep conditioning, or hypnopaedia, also furthers the uniformity by conditioning the children to think the same way about things. For instance, Betas are taught to dislike Epsilons and Deltas, lower forms.

5. Anti-aging and recycling of life 

No one appears to age in the New World until they finally die at a programmed time. By not appearing older, no people differ from others; there is no wisdom gleaned from age. When they do grow old, people are simply recycled into gases that are sent into the atmosphere in phosphorous recovery. 

6. Controlled forms of entertainment with the use of technology

In one of the latter chapters, Mustapha Mond, the World Controller, talks with the savage, John, explaining why Shakespeare and others are no longer read,

But that's the price we have to pay for stability. You've got to choose between happiness and what people used to call high art. We've sacrificed the high art. We have the feelies and the scent organ instead.

People regularly attend the "feelies" which are virtual reality type movies. The Solidarity Service is a pseudo-emotional experience induced by soma that substitutes for religion. Also, residents of the New World are conditioned to be material consumers through the love of mechanized games, such as Centrifugal Cumble-puppy and Electro-magnetic golf instead of going out into nature.

7. Soma

Named after a Hindu hallucinogenic drink, this drug has multiple purposes. It enhances harmless emotional feeling during acts of sex, or during the Solidarity Service and as an escape from anything that is stressful in reality as, for example, Lenina uses it to forget the "horrible" sights on the Reservation.

"Take a holiday from reality whenever you like, and come back without so much as a headache or a mythology."

Also it is a means of controlling people as, for instance, when John incites the Deltas and the police spray soma in order to quell the storm of excitement in this people.


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Brave New World

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