How are the castes distinguished from each other? What is their purpose?  

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The castes are distinguished from each other by size, intelligence, appearance, the color of clothing they wear and the jobs they are assigned to as adults.

Alphas = tall, beautiful, intelligent an wear grey clothing

Betas = Not as tall, but still pretty good looking and intelligent.  They wear white clothing.

Deltas = average height and looks, not as intelligent and wear khakis.

Gammas = "Gammas are stupid. They all wear green. . ." (31).

Epsilons = "They're too stupid to be able to read or write.  Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly coulour" (30).

The purpose of this class system is to keep everyone under control mentally and physically. People at the bottom of the classes are brain-washed to believe they are at the bottom for a good reason and to accept it. This keeps everyone in his or her own place in society in order for everyone to be happy; therefore, if everyone is happy, then no one will fight and be unhappy (thereby averting things like war).

Read the study guide:
Brave New World

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