What role does genetic engineering and conditioning play in the manipulation of people’s emotions and relationships in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World?

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Genetic engineering and conditioning play a pivotal role in maintaining a stable society, where individuals are content to remain in their predestined castes without destabilizing the World State by attempting to climb the social ladder or allowing their emotions to impact their decisions. Each person in the Wold State is...

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Genetic engineering and conditioning play a pivotal role in maintaining a stable society, where individuals are content to remain in their predestined castes without destabilizing the World State by attempting to climb the social ladder or allowing their emotions to impact their decisions. Each person in the Wold State is divided into five castes, where embryos of the lower three castes (Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon) are cloned during the Bokanovsky Process. The Bokanovsky Process facilitates social stability because the embryos of the lower three castes are weaker and less intelligent than the Alpha and Beta embryos. Since every person is scientifically manufactured in the World State, family units do not exist, which helps prevent genuine emotional attachments and family loyalties.

In the Neo-Pavlovian Conditioning Room, infants are conditioned to hate nature and literature by receiving mild electrical shocks when nurses present them with flowers and books. The scientists of the World State also develop sleep teaching known as hypnopaedia, where a voice recorder whispers into each infant's ear influential messages promoting social stability by accepting one's specific caste. Infants are also conditioned to accept the concept of free love by playing with other infants in the nude. Overall, the World State creates a manufactured society, where every citizen is conditioned to accept their predestined caste and discouraged from forming strong emotional bonds with other citizens in order to maintain a stable, functioning society.

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The world Huxley describes values stability and conformity above all else. Genetic engineering and conditioning are the crucial elements that ensure stability and conformity will occur. Genetic engineering allows the growth of multiple sets of completely identical humans, which aids conformity. Further, embryos are manipulated in the test tube (all babies are grown in test tubes) to ensure they have the proper attributes of whatever caste to which they have been designated. For example, the brains of low-caste groups, such as Epsilons, are deprived of oxygen at crucial times so they will lack intelligence. This makes them more likely to be satisfied with their manual jobs. Genetic engineering also ensures Epsilons are smaller than the "superior" castes so it seems natural to take orders from the superior groups. Finally, all castes are conditioned from birth to prefer the group to which they were born and happily do what they are expected to do to ensure social harmony. Betas, for example, are constantly conditioned through tapes that play at night to be consumers.

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