What is the significance of choosing Henry Ford as God in Brave New World?

Expert Answers

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

Henry Ford perfected the assembly line in the manufacture of automobiles, a concept which changed a nation as efficient mass production made ownership of things possible for the average person. Along with the assembly line, then came the advancement of materialism as more and more things became affordable to the average consumer.

It is, therefore, a fitting way for Aldous Huxley to convey the consumership and materialism that dominate the society of the New World by having time measured in terms of Ford. In addition, with time measured by the name of a man associated with the efficient assembly line, the importance of this type of production is underscored as people are made in mass with the Bokanovsky Process which standardizes humans and generates them in massive multiples by machines: "Ninety-six identical twins working ninety-six identical machines!" the enthusiastic voice of the tour guide describes the production of human beings in Chapter 1 of Brave New World, in a satiric mimicking of tours that people actually would take in Huxley's day through manufacturing buildings. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Near the end of the book, the Savage and Mustapha Mond, one of the few controllers of the world, have a discussion about God. It is at this point that many of the peculiarities of Huxley's world are exposed. Mond shows the Savage the Bible and other old texts that are not used anymore because they are old and have nothing to do with science, machinery, and the State's view of how man achieves happiness. To the State, Ford is a God because he is modern and has applied the principles of science and machinery to life which adds to the happiness of humankind. The God of the Bible, on the other hand, "manifests himself as an absence; as though he weren't there at all," says Mond; therefore, God is useless to them and Ford i useful (281).

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial