After reading Brave New World, a few questions come to mind as to how much of Huxley’s dystopian novel is a commentary of the social structure of our society. In the realm of Brave New World, where natural reproduction has been done away with and children are created, “decanted”, and raised in “hatcheries and conditioning centres,” the citizens have been divided into a five class system in order to fulfill predetermined positions within the social and economic status of the World State. The highest castes, “Alpha” and “Beta”, are allowed to develop naturally while fetuses chosen to become members of the lower castes (“Gamma”, “Delta”, “Epsilon”) are chemically altered in intelligence and growth. Though our society does not literally alter genetic material in order to set up its hierarchical system, does not our socioeconomic status destined who we are to be? Studies reveal that a child born to a lower class family in our society is less likely to be educated, to have a career, and to rise to higher income bracket than that of a child born to a higher class. Additionally, the total income of the top 1% is makes up more than the total 99% combined, and the income gap is only widening. Though in Brave New World, the dividing system is literal and tangible, it feels that the nontangible, invisible hierarchical system of our system is commented upon in that of the World State.
Additionally, in Brave New World, in order to maintain the world state’s command economy, all citizens are conditioned from birth to value consumption. This very well could be a commentary on our society as well, and not just with consumer goods, but with the divorce rates. In our society, when something is broken, be that a TV, a kitchen stove, or a marriage, we are told to throw it out and find a new one. Marriage is not embraced in the World State and sexually promiscuity and sexual freedom are very pronounced. It is an interesting thought to compare this to our society. How far away are we getting when something is broken and instead of fixing it, we decide to end it.