In the year 632 AF (after Ford) we are shown around the Central London Hatching and Conditioning Centre. This Utopian society values technology, and has used science to perfectly create its population, Alpha, Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons. We are introduced to a few characters - Bernard, Hemholtz, Lenina, Henry Foster and Mustapha, and we see how sex is very casual and not used for procreation at all, how soma is the drug of everyone, used to deal with anything unpleasant, and how the children are conditioned to be perfect members of the society. Bernard and Lenina go to a Reservation and bring back a Savage, who has not been exposed to this "brave new world" but to our type of life, with marriage and love and passions and Shakespeare. The Savage becomes a novelty and has trouble fitting in.
I really enjoyed this book, although it started to drag for me near the end. I have been surprised at how some aspects of these dystopian novels have predicted the way societies have evolved. This novel focused on the consumerism, DNA manipulation, and drug use that are certainly issues today, and this was originally published in 1932. As a society, we are looking for a soma, a cure-all to prevent any bad feelings or pain. Commercials teach our children that any pain ( Extra Strength) or discomfort (Tum, Ta tum tum) needs to be eliminated and we have just the thing for you!
I liked how Shakespeare is used to represent all the emotions and feelings that have been eliminated in the Fordian world, and the explanation of how all diseases, including old age and death, have been eliminated by science. This novel will give you plenty to think about.