Brave New World Caste System: Roles & Analysis

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: 5 Caste Colors in Brave New World

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 The Society of Brave New World
  • 0:38 At The Top: Alphas and Betas
  • 2:04 Gammas
  • 2:53 At The Bottom: Deltas…
  • 3:39 What Does It All Mean?
  • 4:28 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kaitlin Oglesby

Kaitlin has a BA in political science and experience teaching.

When Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World, he was providing a commentary about the state of society as he saw it. One of the aspects he paid the most attention to was caste, and in Brave New World, your caste determines your destiny.

The Society of Brave New World

A central part of the American dream is that people can rise above their status at birth and become something more. However, this ethos does not exist in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. In the quest for an ever more stable society, not only are the bonds of family obliterated, but people are also predestined from conception for their role in life. The very top castes receive extra attention, while those at the bottom find their growth stunted. In this lesson, we'll look at the several castes that make up society in Brave New World.

At the Top: Alphas and Betas

Ruling over the society of the World State are the two top castes in society, and unlike lower castes, they are not clones, but unique individuals. At the very top are Alphas. Alphas have it all. They are highly intelligent, extremely refined, and very good looking. Life for Alphas is not bad at all. Of course, they do have the demanding job of running society, but even that's not so bad, as it's literally what they've trained for their entire lives. They undergo intense conditioning from birth to prepare them for their roles in society and to make them feel superior to all other castes.

Despite this conditioning, sometimes citizens of the World State do not fit seamlessly into their castes. For example, Bernard Marx, one of the major characters of the book, finds himself feeling left out because he doesn't look the part of an Alpha. He's much shorter than the generally tall-statured Alphas.

Just below the Alphas are the Betas. If the Alphas were the valedictorians and sports team captains, the Betas would be merely graduating with honors and warming the bench. They mix freely with the Alphas, even though there is an unmentioned hierarchy between the two. While Alphas work high-concept jobs such as inventing new conditioning processes, Betas work as their assistants, making sure that everything works well once such processes have been established.

Gammas

The Gammas, on the other hand, feel much more disconnected from the higher castes. This is because they go through the Bokanovsky Process, a method of cloning. As a result, while Alphas and Betas are genetically unique individuals, Gammas lack that individuality. Additionally, Gammas have their growth stunted from birth through chemical interference to limit their intelligence.

They are assigned rather low-level work, but still the sort of jobs that require some mental aptitude. For example, Gammas might work as machine technicians, a manual labor job that still requires thinking. Despite being clones of each other, they are still allowed to develop throughout their lives largely without interruption. In general, Gammas are the Average Joe's of Brave New World.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support