Brave New World opens in the Central London Hatching and Conditioning Center, where the Director of the Hatchery and Henry Foster are giving a tour to a group of boys. The boys learn about the Bokanovsky Process, which allows the Hatchery to produce thousands of nearly identical human embryos. During the gestation period the embryos travel in bottles along a conveyor belt through a large factory building, and are conditioned to belong to one of five castes: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, or Epsilon. The Alpha embryos are destined to become the leaders and thinkers of the World State. Each of the succeeding castes is conditioned to be slightly less physically and intellectually impressive. The Epsilons are destined to perform menial labor.
The Director then leads the boys to the Nursery, where they observe a group of Delta infants being reprogrammed to dislike books and flowers. The Director explains that this conditioning helps to make Deltas docile and eager consumers. He then tells the boys about the "hypnopaedic" (sleep-teaching) methods used to teach children the morals of the World State. In a room where older children are napping, a whispering voice is heard repeating a lesson in "Elementary Class Consciousness."
Outside, the Director shows the boys hundreds of naked children engaged in sexual play and games like "Centrifugal Bumble-puppy." Mustapha Mond, one of the ten World Controllers, introduces himself to the boys and begins to explain the history of the World State. Meanwhile, inside the Hatchery, Lenina Crowne chats in the bathroom with Fanny Crowne about her relationship with Henry Foster. Fanny chastises Lenina for going out with Henry almost exclusively for four months, and Lenina admits she is attracted to the strange, somewhat funny-looking Bernard Marx. In another part of the Hatchery, Bernard is enraged when he overhears a conversation between Henry and the Assistant Predestinator about "having" Lenina.
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