first chapter begins with a chilling laboratory tour. Even the first paragraph seems a bit
overpowering with the nonchalant reference to the "World State." Obviously the
setting is in the future (A.F. 632); all of earth is dominated by a one-world government.
The Hatchery Directors opening remarks should by
themselves leave the reader a little perplexed. He lectures his students on the evil of
generalities, saying "Not philosophers but fretsawyers and stamp collectors compose
the backbone of society." Obviously public sentiment has changed from todays
common beliefs that philosophy is a very important undertaking.
The Director proceeds to lead the obedient
students through the lab, pointing out incubators and other technological apparatus
designed to fertilize and grow human fetuses. As the students furiously jot down what he
says, "straight from the horses mouth," the Director tells them about how
sperm and ova are removed from the human body. He points out casually, "the operation
undergone voluntarily for the good of Society, not to mention the fact that it carries a
bonus amounting to six months salary." Soon he begins to outline the Bokanovsky
Process the process by which many multiples of babies are genetically generated from
one original cell. While the Alphas and Betas, the higher castes, are kept from this
process, the lower castes of Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons are further multiplied, thereby
diluting their intelligence. This system, he brags, "is one of the major instruments
of social stability." He and another man even seem to joke about having a friendly
competition with other regions of the world for the most organisms hatched from a single
ovary. Obviously there is strict population control through the centralized government.
Even the "specimens" gender is predetermined.
There is also a caste system. Some of the
embryos are purposefully given oxygen shortages to deliver them mental birth defects.
These specimens, the Deltas and Epsilons, will do manual labor while the Alphas and Betas
have leadership positions. "In Epsilons," Mr. Foster points out, "we
dont need human intelligence."
Next there is conditioning. Many of the
embryos are made to like the heat by conditioning them with cold temperatures. Its
evident that the people have no freedom, but must submit to the will of the World
Controllers. The Director adds, "All conditioning aims at that: making people like
their unescapable social destiny." Obviously this system has far surpassed communism
and any other totalitarian-like societies for ultimate power. The government has used
technology and science, not threats and bribes, to control its population.