Brave New World Reading Response

Factory is a term describing a building, structure, or a place that mass produces a product or good. This is usually done by way of a conveyor belt or assembly line. Historically it was one of the most popular methods of production during the industrial revolution. You can take a handful of unskilled workers and produce a line of complex machines or other products that used to require a skilled craftsman or artisan to create. Who wouldn’t want to make complex products with unskilled workers? The question then is what if the products were human beings.

The story Brave New World is a science fiction novel. The book opens up with a factory that produces humans. I’ll be honest here, I’m having a rough time following all this but I think I get the important bits. Humans are incapable of sexual reproduction, for whatever reason. and must be produced by surgically removing ovaries and then using the egg cells inside to mass produce human infants.  A called the Bokanovsky process is a method of splitting an embryo that could produce ninety-six identical clones. These products would then be separated into categories called Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon. These designations are assigned on birth or during the Bokanovsky process. The Alpha and Beta products seem to be the higher echelon of people and Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon are lower class or even sub-human. After their “birth” they are then raised with a number of beliefs and values. The story shows us a number of Delta infants who were presented with books and flowers. When they approached the books and flowers they were shocked. This was done hundreds of times to instill a fear or distaste for books and nature.

Mass production of humans is a scary thought. But the truth is that we already came out of a human production facility. And no I don’t mean the hospital, I’m talking about school. Its more accurate to say that school is a training facility for humans but it has its own kind of human production. Theoretically a school is meant to train humans to become more efficient and productive. Its like taking your car or computer to the shop for upgrades, changes, or repairs. But in comparison to a factory it is a facility that takes the raw materials of an uneducated human and produces a refined educated adult. I of course know that this doesn’t work out as well as some would hope for but we live in a system that takes tax dollars and puts us in a facility that mass produces educated tax payers. I’m not sure how you feel about school, but it felt like a factory to me. I’m sure we all had our ups and downs in school but it has always been for a single goal. Under this thought process one could say that graduation is our approval as a complete product.

One thought on “Brave New World Reading Response

  1. Ryan, I like the way you opening this blog post, by showing how the book deals with the important (and controversial!) issue of mass-producing human beings, much like goods are mass-produced in a factory. Your connection to our educational institutions in the third paragraph is really interesting too, but you need to put these ideas in dialogue with the novel (using specific textual evidence/analysis): you only discuss the novel specifically in the second paragraph, which is all just summary of the book. Also, the World State citizens can babies, right? So they are not “incapable of sexual reproduction,” but it is forbidden in favor of having babies artificially?

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