What are the six steps of the Bokanovsky Process in Brave New World?

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In chapter 1, the students are told that:

"bokanovskification consists of a series of arrests of development. We check the normal growth and, paradoxically enough, the egg responds by budding."

In other words, bokanovskification is a process of repeatedly dividing a human egg. In nature, a human egg sometimes divides into identical twins; in bokanovskification an egg is repeatedly forced to divide (or "bud"). The process can safely yield up to 96 completely identical embryos. The six steps used are as follows:

Test tubes of eggs that have been extracted from women are x-rayed for eight minutes.

Eggs that divide into two, four, six, or eight "buds" are incubated.

After two days, they are "suddenly" chilled.

This chilling causes another two, four, six, or eight buds to appear.

These buds are doused almost "to death" with alcohol.

This causes more division to occur. The entire process can yield as many as 96 divisions.

This process is used for lower caste gammas, deltas, and epsilons and also causes them to be smaller and of lower intelligence than alpha and betas.

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In Brave New World, human beings are cloned using the Bokanovsky Process, thereby eliminating the need for men and women to reproduce through sexual intercourse.

According to chapter one, this process of cloning is broken down into six steps.

Firstly, the eggs are put under an x-ray for eight minutes. Note that not all eggs survive this process.

Secondly, the surviving eggs are returned to the incubators. This enables the buds to develop.

Thirdly, after two days in the incubator, the eggs are "suddenly chilled" by being exposed to a much cooler temperature.

Fourthly, the buds are checked to see how they coped with the chilling. They are then chilled for a second time.

Fifthly, the buds are covered in alcohol. By this point, the buds have undergone significant transformation, with each having budded as many as eight times.

Finally, the buds are left alone to continue with their development.

This process is, therefore, very different from the natural process of reproduction, but it is vital to maintaining the social order and cohesion that this society has created.

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The fertilized ova were taken to the incubators where the Alphas and Betas were separated from the Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons. The Alphas and Betas were bottled, while the Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons were taken through the Bokanovsky process. The Bokanovsky process was carried out to ensure that the Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons adapted to their life roles in the society. The process prevented normal developments in the fertilized ova.

  1. The first stage in the Bokanovsky process was exposing the ova to eight minutes of hard X-rays and allowing the ova to bud into four or eight buds.
  2. The buds were returned to the incubators and allowed to continue with normal growth in the second stage.
  3. Two days later, the buds were chilled and checked.
  4. In the fourth stage, the buds were given room to continue budding.
  5. In the fifth stage, the buds were doused in alcohol and allowed to continue budding.
  6. In the sixth stage, the buds were allowed to grow normally having reached their optimum budding point.

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