Brave New World: Key Terms English 9 ~ Mr. Manser



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Brave New World: Key Terms

English 9 ~ Mr. Manser


  1. A.F.: Annum Ford, the year of our Ford ~ the new era begins in 1908, the year in which the American industrialist Henry Ford (1863-1943) produced his first Model-T car. It is currently A.F. 632 (A.D. 2540).

  2. Alpha: The highest caste within the Utopian society; they wear gray.

  3. anthrax bomb: A biological weapon used in the pre-Utopian society

  4. asafetida: A gummy resin having an obnoxious odor

  5. Beta: The second highest caste; they wear mulberry (purple).

  6. Big Henry: a reference to Big Ben, renamed in this society after Henry Ford.

  7. Bokanovsky Group: A group of identical twins created by dividing a single egg many times. This process is only used on Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons.

  8. boskage: A mass of trees or shrubs, a thicket

  9. Bottling: The embryos and babies are grown in bottles for nine months rather than in a womb.

  10. Brave New World: The title is taken from Shakespeare's The Tempest and the phrase is spoken by Miranda.

  11. Caste System: The society exists as a five-tiered caste system consisting of Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons. Alpha caste members are the ruling elite, with each respective caste getting progressively less intelligent and smaller in stature. See the individual caste names for more information.

  12. Centrifugal Bummble-puppy: A game in which children fling a ball onto a platform. The ball then rolls down the interior and lands on a rotating disk which flings the ball in a random direction, at which point the ball must be caught.

  13. Community, Identity, Stability: Motto of the Brave New World. It emphasizes sameness and monotony. It is in ironic contrast with the battle cry of the French Revolution: Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.

  14. Corpus luteum: Hormone substance produced by the ovary of pregnant women. This syrup and the other drugs mentioned here are part of Fanny's “pregnancy substitute.”

  15. Crash: Word used to replace the curse word “mother” or “father.”

  16. D.H.C. for Central London: The Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning, the man who leads the students on a tour in the first few chapters.

  17. Decanting: Removal from the bottle, the equivalent of birth in our society.

  18. Decanting Room: The room in which the babies are removed from the bottles.

  19. Delta: The third highest caste; they wear khaki.

  20. Economic Collapse: Part of the period following the Nine Years' War is called the Economic Collapse.

  21. ectogenesis: growing something outside of the body rather than inside; in this case growing embryos in bottles rather than in a mother's womb.

  22. Epsilons: The lowest caste of the Utopian society. They are malformed and quite stupid; they wear black.

  23. father: A dirty word in the Utopian society, but usually more humorous.

  24. Feelies: These picture shows which offer the audience not only visual and auditory images but also tactual sensations (affecting the sense of touch).

  25. flivver: slang for small car

  26. Ford: The man who created the ideological underpinnings of the Utopian society and who is substituted in phrases where God is usually used.

  27. Ford's in his flivver: All's right with the world: A parody of Robert Browning's poem called “Pippa's Song,” which ends with the lines: “god's in his heaven; All's right with the world.”

  28. Freemartin: Sexually imperfect female, in this case, sterile.

  29. fretsawyer: someone who creates ornamental works.

  30. Freud: Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was an Austrian psychiatrist and the founder of modern psychoanalysis. He wrote about the bad effects of sexual frustration and maintained that “the family” was responsible for a great deal of human unhappiness. The Utopian society believes that Ford and Freud are the same man, but that Freud is the name Ford used when writing about psychology.

  31. Gamma: The forth highest caste; they wear green.

  32. George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950): British socialist author and critic.

  33. Hypnopaedia: Sleep learning, which is part of the conditioning process. Huxley pretends that it was discovered that people could learn ethics while sleeping and so this is used extensively to help teach lessons which ensure the social stability.

  34. Island: The islands are where social outcasts are sent; the Falkland Islands are where Bernard Marx and Helmholtz Watson are sent.

  35. Kiva: Underground temple

  36. Lupus: Disease causing redness of the skin.

  37. Malthusian Belt: Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) is famous for showing that the world population grows more rapidly than the supply of food. Huxley uses the word to mean a contraceptive, hence limiting the growth in population.

  38. Mescal: Alcoholic drink made from the juice of the agave, a desert plant. A usually colorless liquor distilled from the leaves of an agave.

  39. mother: A dirty word in the Utopian society.

  40. Neo-Pavlovian Conditioning: Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was a Russian physiologist (1849-1936) who is famous for showing that animals can be trained to do something through a system of rewards and punishments. This is used on all babies to condition them to like or dislike certain objects. It is one of the main conditioning techniques that help ensure social stability.

  41. Nine Years' War: A war which led to almost total destruction. After a severe economic crisis the world submitted to the World Controllers who took over and redefined the social order.

  42. Obstacle Golf: One of the adult games.

  43. Octoroon: Person with one black and seven white grandparents.

  44. Orgy-porgy: A Solidarity Service hymn and dance that is used to signify the coming together of many people into a unified sexual oneness. It is used during Bernard's Solidarity Service and later when the Savage confronts the crowd.

  45. Phosphorous Recovery: The cremation factories are able to recovery 99% of the phosphorous contained in each body. This is used as a raw material or in fertilizer.

  46. pneumatic: Containing air; Huxley uses the term to mean buxom.

  47. Podsnap's Technique: A way of ripening all the eggs of the ovary at once so that thousands of siblings can be made within a two year period.

  48. Pregnancy Substitute: It has been found that women are healthier if they have been pregnant. Since pregnancy no longer occurs in the Brave New World, an intravenous injection is given that tricks the body into thinking it is pregnant in order to balance the hormones.

  49. Red Rocket: The transatlantic jetliner.

  50. Reimann-surface tennis: One the adult games.

  51. Savage Reservation: One of the only places left on earth where people remain in a state of nature. The Savages were not considered worth civilizing and were therefore placed in fenced off area that contained some of the worst land.

  52. sibilant: hissing

  53. Solidarity Service: A take off on a religious service but with strong sexual elements.

  54. soma: A narcotic used to create pleasant sensations without any after-effects. The word is actually taken from a drug that exists in India.

  55. viviparous: Bringing forth live young rather than eggs.

  56. wink and snigger: words used to replace the curse words “mother” and “father.”

  57. Y.W.F.A.: Young Women's Fordian Association, corresponding to the Young Women's Christian Association.



Character List


  1. Arch-Community-Songster of Canterbury (Introduced in Chapter 11): The Songster is a powerful man who first meets with Lenina. At her request Bernard invites him to a party to meet John. When John refuses to come, the Songster gets upset and leaves. He drags Lenina with him, although she appears to be unhappy and slightly unwilling.

  2. Benito Hoover (Introduced in Chapter 4): Hoover is a former lover of Lenina, described by her as being too hairy. He is stereotypical of the Alpha caste in obeying all the social norms and quoting his hypnopaedic learning.

  3. Bernard Marx (Introduced in Chapter 3): Bernard Marx is in love with Lenina Crowne, contrary to all of the social conditioning. He is short and physically inadequate for the status of Alpha-Plus, and therefore has an inferiority complex. Other characters believe that he may have accidentally received a dose of alcohol while in the fetal stages. He is more independent thinking as a result of feeling separate. Bernard Marx is close friends with Helmholtz Watson.

  4. Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning (D.H.C.) (Introduced in Chapter 1): The Director of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, also called Tomakin, leads a group of students on a tour. He introduces them to the techniques of fertilization and segregation into classes. Tomakin is later humiliated by the arrival of Linda and John the Savage and resigns in disgrace.

  5. Dr. Shaw (Introduced in Chapter 11): Shaw is the doctor who looks after Linda and gives her soma so she can be happy.

  6. Helmholtz Watson (Introduced in Chapter 4): Watson is an Alpha-Plus with slightly too much intelligence. He is friends with Bernard Marx because both he and Marx have become outsiders within the society. Watson eventually writes a poem which gets him in trouble. He quickly becomes enamoured by John's Shakespearean verse before being sentenced to live in the Faukland Islands.

  7. Henry Foster (Introduced in Chapter 1): Foster is an expert on statistics within the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. He joins the student tour at the Director's behest and quotes facts about the processes of the hatchery. He is also in charge of maximizing the number of embryos each ovary can produce. Foster is one of LeninaÕs most frequent dates.

  8. His Fordship Mustapha Mond (Introduced in Chapter 3): Mustapha Mond is the Resident Controller for Western Europe and one of the Ten World Controllers. He alone makes the rules for society and decides what may be published. Mustapha has read Shakespeare and other forbidden books, making him one of the most independent thinkers within the society. He is the man who gives Bernard permission to bring the Savage and his mother back to London.

  9. Lenina Crowne (Introduced in Chapter 1): Lenina is a beautiful woman who is introduced to the group of students while inoculating the infants against yellow fever. She is dating Henry Foster in the beginning, but agrees to go out with Bernard Marx to the Savage Reservations. After the Reservations Lenina becomes popular by her association with the Savage. She continually tries to sleep with the Savage, but becomes frustrated by his unwillingness. After she strips in front of John, he tries to beat her. Lenina visits John at his lighthouse at the end of the novel and he starts to whip her. It is unclear whether she is killed or not.

  10. Linda (Introduced in Chapter 7): Linda is the mother of the Savage and the woman whom the Director brought to the reservation. She is an alcoholic and rather obese. After her return to the Utopian society she consumes too much soma and dies soon thereafter.

  11. Mitsima (Introduced in Chapter 8): One of the older Indians who takes John (the Savage) and teaches him to make clay pots.

  12. Morgana Rothschild (Introduced in Chapter 5): The member of Bernard's Solidarity groups whose unified eyebrows distract him so much.

  13. Pope (Introduced in Chapter 7): Pope is the alcoholic lover of Linda, and is the man that John tries to kill after he discovers Pope sleeping with his mother one night.

  14. John Savage (Introduced in Chapter 7): The Savage, also known as John, is the son of the Director and Linda. He was born on the reservation in a city called Malpais (translated to mean "bad city"). He grew up as a hybrid of the Indian and Utopian cultures, with a volume of Shakespeare serving as his guide to life. As a result, he was often excluded from Indian rituals. He and his mother Linda accompany Bernard Marx back to London where he soon becomes a celebrity. John falls in love with Lenina and imagines his love for her is similar to that of Romeo and Juliet. He soon has trouble conforming to the ideals of the Utopian world and strikes out in an effort to assert his individuality. John Savage finally runs away from the society but is hunted down by a mob of sightseers. In the end he is forced to commit suicide.


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