Celina's Blog

Brave New World: First Chapters


Currently, I have read five chapters of Brave New World, which mainly set the scene for the rest of the story. The first chapters start out with the Directors of Hatcheries and Conditioning giving a group of young students a tour around the Centre of Hatching and Conditioning. They explain various things about how humans of the different caste levels are made and how they are conditioned to like and dislike certain things. The book also explains the general setting of the story, along with a few details as to how humanity got to where it is. While this is taking place, we are also introduced to some of seemingly important characters: Mustapha Mond(One of ten World Controllers, his Fordship), Lenina Crowne(A nurse working at the Centre), Henry Foster(A scientist working at the Centre), Bernard Marx(A physically weak Alpha who doesn’t fit in), and Helmholtz Watson (A lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering). Bernard seems to be the protagonist so far, but it’s a bit early to tell for sure.

Some of the passages stood out to me more than others. For example, there was a scene in the first chapter where the DHC and Henry Foster were showing the students the Social predestination room.

“Eighty-eight cubic metres of card-index,” said Mr. Foster with relish, as they entered.

“Containing all the relevant information,” added the Director.

“Brought up to date every morning.”

“And co-ordinated every afternoon.”

“On the basis of which they make their calculations.”

“So many individuals, of such and such quality,” said Mr. Foster.

“Distributed in such and such quantities.”

“The optimum Decanting Rate at any given moment.”

“Unforeseen wastages promptly made good.”

“Promptly,” repeated Mr. Foster.

I doubt the content of the dialogue itself is very relevant to the story, but I really liked how the two played off each other, how the phrases were split up amongst them like that. If it was just one character explaining the whole process, the scene wouldn’t have flowed as well as it did.

The only questions I had that weren’t answered as I kept reading AND that stuck with me throughout all five chapters is why is ‘his Fordship’ called Ford? Why did the author choose that name, rather than anything else? Is there any significant meaning behind it? Also, there’s a scene, in a room with red lighting, that described the workers as having “purple eyes and all the symptoms of lupus”. The purple eyes make sense, obviously all of their eyes are blue, but the ‘symptoms of lupus’ part? He seems to be implying that their skin has a reddish tint, because I seriously doubt that they haven’t wiped out the disease, but why describe it in that particular way?

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