Brave New World Additional Summary

Aldous Huxley


(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Brave New World continues the presentation of human psychological and other imbalances of Point Counter Point, but in a more creative and unified way. It is set in a future society in which control over individuals is nearly absolute and in which there is virtually no possibility of maintaining a sane, balanced, and fully human existence. Through the future setting of a scientifically created and controlled technological society, operating in artificial harmony by virtue of nearly deadened human emotional and intellectual attributes, Huxley focuses on the danger of what twentieth century society could become if the values of order, profit, and power continue to prevail over spontaneous creativity, mutual respect and pleasure, and cooperative idealism.

The citizens in this “brave new world” are controlled and conditioned from birth, in fact before birth, by means of genetic engineering, or mechanical childbirth processes. Humans are then subjected to a variety of operant conditioning techniques, including hypnopaedia, or sleep-teaching, which fit them for their carefully planned roles in the society. This role preparation is involved even in the genetic engineering, too, as the embryonic rocket engineers’ birth tubes are kept in constant motion to prepare the engineers to work in weightless environments in which right-side-up and upside-down positions alternate constantly. In the words of the director of the genetics institute,...

(The entire section is 593 words.)


(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

One day in the year 632 After Ford (a.f.), as time is reckoned in the brave new world, the director of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre takes a group of new students on a tour of the plant where human beings are turned out by mass production. The entire process, from the fertilization of the egg to the birth of the baby, is carried out by trained workers and machines. Each fertilized egg is placed in solution in a large bottle for scientific development into whatever class in society the human is intended. The students are told that scientists of the period developed the Bokanovsky Process, by means of which a fertilized egg is arrested in its growth. The egg responds by budding, and instead of one human being resulting, there will be from eight to ninety-six identical humans.

These Bokanovsky Groups are employed whenever large numbers of people are needed to perform identical tasks. Individuality is a thing of the past. The new society makes every effort to fulfill its motto—Community, Identity, Stability. After birth, the babies are further conditioned during their childhood for their predestined class in society. Alpha Plus Intellectuals and Epsilon Minus Morons are the two extremes of the scientific utopia.

Mustapha Mond, one of the World Controllers, joins the inspection party and lectures to the new students on the horrors and disgusting features of old-fashioned family life. To the great embarrassment of the students, he, in his position of authority, dares to use the forbidden words “mother” and “father”; he reminds the students that in 632 a.f., everyone belongs to everyone else.

Lenina Crowne, one of the workers in the Hatchery, takes an interest in Bernard Marx. Bernard is different—too much alcohol was put into his blood surrogate during his period in the prenatal bottle, and he has sensibilities similar to those possessed by people in the time of Henry Ford.

Lenina and Bernard go by rocket ship to New Mexico and visit the Savage Reservation, a wild tract where primitive forms of human life are preserved for scientific...

(The entire section is 888 words.)


(Novels for Students)

Brave New World opens in the year 2495 at the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, a research facility and factory that...

(The entire section is 1263 words.)