The opening of Brave New World centers on a fertilizing room in the World State. The Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning is giving students a tour of the facilities. This gives the reader a window into this "brave new world" and the differences between it and our own world.
We learn from the start that all humans are "hatched" from eggs that are fertilized in the hatchery. We find out too about Bokanovsky’s Process, a form of cloning, in which batches of 96 identical twins can be produced. We discover that this uniformity leads to "social stability," a concept introduced early on and the key value of the state.
The students then move on to the embryo room, where the director describes the factory-like efficiency with which babies are produced. We find out, too, that an individual's fate is predetermined through genetic engineering. As Mr. Foster explains, the lab works to
predestine and condition. We decant our babies as socialized human beings, as Alphas or Epsilons ...
This introduces us as readers to the rigid caste system in place in the World State.
While the director and Mr. Foster, as well as the students, are impressed by and proud of the efficiency of their operation, we as readers are expected to be simultaneously chilled and amused by the absurd idea of human beings being mass produced in a factory—and denied the freedom to self determine. From the start, Huxley sets a tone that shows the World State to be ludicrous, a parody of science and technology. At the same time, the implications are frightening in terms of the level to which human beings are controlled.