In the novel, Brave New World, the concept of class in society was basically predetermined by the government. Generally, every of aspect of the people’s lives, such as birth, growth, and death is controlled by government-manipulated technology. The government controls life by cloning thousands of human embryos in a facility called the Central London Hatching and Conditioning Center. After the cloning process, the embryos are manipulated to become fully-grown humans and divided into the different classes of the society’s caste system, namely, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon.
The humans belonging to the Alpha class are the most intellectually and physically-developed ones and are conditioned to become the leaders of the World State while the others are less developed and have minor roles in the society. The Beta class are also conditioned to be intellectual human beings but do not posses the same skills and intelligence as the humans in the Alpha class. On the other hand, the humans belonging to the Delta and Gamma classes are mainly workers for the higher classes.
Lastly, humans in the Epsilon class possess little or no intelligence and only perform menial labor. Furthermore, in the novel, there is also another class which is comprised of “exiles” of the society. This class is basically isolated from the rest of the world as it is located in an area called “The Savage Reservation,” which is a place where all the things that are not present in prevailing society, such as marriage, natural childbirth, and religion, still exist.
Basically, these various concepts of class in the novel can be related to the different classes of society and the general ideas of success and failure in modern America. In America’s contemporary setting, the different classes of society can be divided into three: the upper class, the middle class, and the lower class or the rich, the average, and the poor. When compared to the caste system in the novel, the upper class is the Alpha class, the middle class is the Beta class, and the Delta, Gamma, and Epsilon class are the lower classes.
For example, in the modern setting, people who do menial labor like the human beings who belong to the Epsilon class in the novel, are the ones who usually did not finish school due to various reasons such as poverty. This condition is basically considered a “failure” in contemporary America as the person is unable to go up the ranks in society. Moreover, the condition of this type of person will be passed on to future generations unless his or her children are able to overcome their main obstacle, which is poverty, and get a good education.
The same applies to the Epsilon class. As portrayed in the novel, the Epsilon class is the lowest class in the caste system who have little or no intelligence, which can be translated in modern America as lack or inability to get a good education. In contrast, people who were able to get a decent education and have a modest lifestyle is similar to the Beta class in the novel as both generally enjoy a sustainable amount of success. However, there is little to no chance that people belonging to both classes would further go up society’s ranks.
On the other hand, people who are rich and influential like the humans who belong to the Alpha class as portrayed in the novel usually end up owning multi-million businesses or winning top government posts. In other words, these are the people who control a large part of society. However, the main difference between the caste system in the novel and the modern concept of class in America is that the former was forced upon by other people while the latter was not. In short, the people who belong to different classes in today’s society always have the freedom to direct their own lives while the humans who are divided according to the