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Summary Chp. 1


The opening scene of the first chapter is at the "Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre", a sterile factory that produces human beings and prepares them for their future roles in the World State. "Community, Identity, Stability" is the World State's motto.

The Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning is in the Fertilising Room giving a tour to new Alpha students who are taking notes on the modern fertilising test tube process, from fertilisation to their 'decanting', or birth. In great detail the system that the government uses to produce and control people with technology and science is described.

In the Social Predestination Room each embryo is ordained for a particular caste in the World State, they being Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon. After thirty-six hours the lower caste Gamma, Deltas and Epsilons undergo the Bokanovsky Process whereby one original cell buds up to ninety-six times (seventy-two being the average) to form embryos thereby lowering further their intelligence for "social stability". Next Podsnap's Technique is explained to the touring students. A specimen's gender is predetermined in this strict government population control and their destiny is in the hands of the World Controllers.

Conditioning happens next--for example some embryos are exposed to cold to condition them for heat. Worker embryos can be matured in as few as six years. An employee of the Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, Mr. Henry Foster boasts that the production record is at just over 16,000 siblings.

Henry and Lenina confirm their meeting on the roof at ten to five to go golfing. The touring group must go up to the Nurseries before the children are finished their afternoon nap. The year is A.F. 632, for "after Ford".


Aldous Huxley