Lenina is a beta. People in the novel are divided into five castes, based primarily on intelligence. The alphas are the most intelligent caste, and as the Greek letters indicate, each caste descends in intelligence from alpha to beta to gamma to delta. Epsilons, who perform the simplest tasks in society, are at the bottom. Each caste is conditioned to accept its position in the hierarchy.
As a beta, Lenina has been taught to conform, to dislike being alone, and to consume. These messages have been reinforced through years of conditioning. Lenina has been conditioned to enjoy being a beta. Betas are expected to shop and buy new things constantly in order to keep factory production high and employment levels stable. Lenina, as beta, represents a typical shallow product of a materialist culture and becomes a comic foil to the Savage, John, who falls in love with her. Their two cultures clash: neither can understand the other and Lenina lacks the critical thinking skills needed to bridge the gap.