Make a list of technical details given in the story and discuss the effect on the storyBrave New World by Aldous Huxley

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the New World of Huxley's novel, technology has submerged humanity.

1. The Bokanovsky Process, or genetic engineering, is probably the most controlling of the technological advances as it predetermines the makeup of each person. No longer is an individual's personality developed; identity comes from a oneness with a certain caste, no longer from a sense of self.  The Bokanovsky Process also eliminates the need for family; no one has a father or mother.  Instead the young are under the tutelage of the male Director; in addition all the Alpha-Pluses are male.

2.  Hypnopoedia, or sleep-teaching and conditioning, is used to progam individual members of the futuristic society to think and behave in a controlled manner.  For instance, they are taught prejudices of their castes; Lenina says she is glad as a Beta-Plus that she is not a Gamma.  Further, people are also conditioned to think that the idea of mothers and fathers is sordid.  Delta infants, for instance, are taught to hate the non-productive beauty of the country; however, they still want to go to the country for games and sports such as Consumer Golf.  Children play erotic games so that they will think that everyone belongs to everyone else and be appropriately promiscuous. In this way, no one will have any emotional involvements.  But, this process of conditioning does not work completely as sometimes characters such as Bernard bemoan that they are not free, but are instead enslaved by this conditioning.

3. People are kept young so that they can continue to work, thus eliminating time to reflect upon society or life, generating thoughts that would disturb the involvement in consumption and a feeling of contentment.  When they die, people become a part of the scientific process of Phosphorus Recovery.  During their lives, the people of the New World have had illnesses eradicated so they do not suffer.

4.  Since there is no need for human reproduction, most women are made infertile; however some are "freemartins," who have the potential of reproduction.  Keeping some people in this condition insures that there will be fresh reproductive material. But, freemartins are conditioned to use contraception. Lenina's Malthusian belt provides her with a supply of contraceptives whenever she needs them since normal pregnancy would bring with it terrible shame and disgrace.

5. Soma has been developed to produce happiness.  So, if someone is discontent, he/she can just take soma. This substance can also be sprayed into the air as it is used to keep people content with their present situation.

6. Transportation is by rocket, quickly and efficiently taking people to partake in consumerism

7. Religion has been replaced by the Solidarity Service in which communion is soma.  In a parodic form of a religious revival, this service provides people with controlled excited states.  Another artificial form of stimulation comes from the feelies as people sit in chairs that create a type of virtual reality for them so that they can vicariously participate in the action without breaking any rules.


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Brave New World

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