Getting into the actual novel, I want to highlight some of the themes in Brave New World while explaining parts of the plot in passing.
First of all, the political setting is that of a World State with the world being divided into ten regions.
The fictional utopia described by Huxley is a mixture of consumer “capitalism” and communism. Last names include “Marx” and “Engels”, but the years are dated from A.F. (“After Ford”), which refers to Henry Ford.
With respect to the combination of capitalism and communism, please watch this interview with Norman Dodd of the Reece Committee and his description of the plan by the big Foundations to merge the American and Soviet systems. This was eventually accomplished when the Berlin Wall came down and “communism” supposedly came to an end.
A Bank of Europe (p. 149) is mentioned.
There is a new type of religion, along with religious leaders (p. 149).
Artificial reproduction: Babies are produced in Hatchery and Conditioning Centres (p. 1) through a process called ectogenesis (p. 41). There is no family or parenting. Children are raised in conditioning centres (p.21) or nurseries with no concept of parents. This is very similar to Plato’s Republic. A mother`s attachment to her child is seen as madness (p. 36).
The novel describes a rigid class or caste system. Epsilons, Deltas and Gammas are the brain-damaged lower classes who are cloned in mass numbers. These groups are assigned menial tasks. The upper classes are Betas and Alphas. The Alphas are like the Guardian class in Plato’s Republic. The plot is mostly about a Beta who attempts to rebel.
Conditioning before artificial “birth” includes poisoning and oxygen deprivation to stunt growth and intelligence. An example of conditioning is mentioned in which babies are conditioned to prefer hot and cold climates.
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