Are we the pre-moderns to which Mond refers in Brave New World?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

We are the pre-moderns, living in the time of Henry Ford.

The community we see in the novel is considered modern because they have complete control of the population.  Everything is on an assembly line, including people.  When the world of the pre-moderns is described, it sounds pretty much like...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

We are the pre-moderns, living in the time of Henry Ford.

The community we see in the novel is considered modern because they have complete control of the population.  Everything is on an assembly line, including people.  When the world of the pre-moderns is described, it sounds pretty much like ours.

Mother, monogamy, romance. High spurts the fountain; fierce and foamy the wild jet. The urge has but a single outlet. My love, my baby.  No wonder these poor pre-moderns were mad and wicked and miserable. (Ch. 3)

The biggest clue that we are talking about the same populace is the reference to Henry Ford, who invented the assembly line.  The moderns worship Henry Ford and industrialism just as we worship God.  They revere Ford, and have incorporated him into their date system and religious imagery.

"The case of Little Reuben occurred only twenty-three years after Our Ford's first T-Model was put on the market." (Here the Director made a sign of the T on his stomach and all the students reverently followed suit.) (Ch. 2)

We are considered pre-moderns because we still have babies the old-fashioned way, through birthmothers instead of cloning.  The concept of the assembly line society has not yet taken us over.  In the modern age, there is no such thing as love—only sex.  People live off of drugs and partying.

Huxley’s message is clear.  People are happy in this modern society because they are kept numb.  They are drugged and able to seek pleasure wherever they want.  Everything is about control.  The caste system keeps them in line, and the multiple outlets for pleasure keep them happy and unintellectual.  They never question the ways things are.  Anything remotely unpleasant has been removed from their society.  Our way of life, with love and mothers looking after their children, is actually considered blasphemy by these "modern" people.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team