Brave New World: Plot
The story starts in A.F (Annon Ford) 632, the year of Our Ford 632 ( or , in our system of dating, in A.D 2540). The civilization of the future dates all history from the birth of Henry Ford I, regarded as the inventor of the modern factory system and its essential organizational principle, the assembly line. It is set in an Utopian London, and presents an imaginary future world as it might develop from what the present world is like. In this future world, society is based on stability thanks to a strictly scientific caste hierarchy.
People are hatched from test-tubes according to a precise proportion of number and quality , and then carefully selected through artificial processes which produce a race of human beings ranging from intellectuals and administrators (Alphas and betas) to the lowest manual workers (Gammas , Deltas and Epsilon) , all of them fitted, in their precise roles, for the requirements of industrial production . The motto of this society is "Community" , Identity, Stability", and its aim is happiness, reached , if necessary, also through the administration of a drug called "soma" , a sort of hallucinogen which allows an escape from solitude and boredom and obviates thinking. All aspects of human life are systematically conditioned and organized by ten Word Controllers. Their task is to smooth out tension and anxiety , together with all the sources of unhappiness which, in the old world, were connected with human passions. So literature , art and philosophy are suppressed, marriage band the family have been abolished, sexual promiscuity is encouraged , children are brought up in communal nurseries and are taught to be satisfied with their social condition as the best possible one.
But in this consumer society, based on conformism, hedonism, and self-indulgence, there is some dissatisfaction embodied in two slightly anomalous characters, Verbal Marx , from the Psychology Bureau, and his friend Helmholtz Watson, both Alpha-Plus. One day Bernard and Lenina Crowns , a pretty young girl and very popular as a sex partner, ask the Director to allow them visit a Reservation , the so-called Savage Reservation, at Malpais, in New Mexico. The Reservations are places where the rules of the technological World States are unknown, and life goes on according to the old natural order.
The Director tells them that he himself , twenty years before, had gone to visit the Reservation with a woman ; during a storm, the woman was lost and, notwithstanding all efforts to find her, she was never recovered. Finally, he gives Bernard permission to go, although he is getting tired of his friend Helmhotlz, which does not correspond to the programmed way of living in this purely technological State.
They visit the Reservation, anyway, and meet a woman, Linda , and her son, John, a fair-skinned young man; Bernard brings them back from the Reservation to the "perfectly happy" London life. By a trick of destiny, Linda is the woman who had been lost on the Reservation twenty years before, and John idms therefore the Director's son.
Consequently , the Director, who administers the London center and is an enthusiast of the "New World", is unconsciously vulnerable as he fathered a child, an action considered obscene in the very World State he so much admires .
At first John is fascinated by the new world , but then revolts against its mass conformity and lack of passion, defending the right of man to disease, poverty, suffering and death in the name of higher spiritual values like beauty and truth.
His attitude eventually drives Bernard and Helmhotz to question their long accepted artificial values; as a consequence the three men are summons before Mustapha Mind, the Resident World Comtroller for Western Europe.
The result of this summons is tragic: since individuality and free will are abolished, the two rebels, Bernard and his friend , are exiled for their unorthodox conduct , while John is retained as the subject of scientific experiments. Torn between the physical attraction he feels for Lenina and his inability to accept her code of free love, John seeks refuge in a deserted lighthouse , and finally hangs himself.