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Caste Systems


             When you were reading Brave New World, you probably noticed that when the Hatchery created embryos, they created them to fit into a specific class, or caste system. The idea of dividing society is not new by any means. In fact, societies from around the globe have been dividing themselves into groups and classes for hundreds of years. From the caste systems of countries like India and Nepal, to the nobility of past Europe, even down to the golf courses and country clubs of the Untied States, these are all examples of how society is divided. When Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World, he must have been well aware, yet concerned of such boundaries of society.
             A caste system is a division of society based on differences of wealth, inherited rank, or occupation. What caste a person belongs to, determines such factors as his or her occupational opportunities, their relationships with members of other castes, and their access to various spiritual practices (wvnet.com). Currently, complex castes systems exist especially in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. When Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World, he must have been very interested in caste systems. There are many similarities between the system of Brave New World, and current world caste systems. Although, there are some differences, the social order of Brave New World most closely resembles the caste system of India. For example, in Brave New World, the five castes described, were Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon, where Alphas were of the highest order, and the Epsilons of the lowest. Traditional Scholarship has described this more than 2,000 year old system of India to have five separate castes as well. The Indian term for caste is jati, which generally designates a group varying in size from a handful of people to many thousands. There are thousands of such jatis, each of them having their own distinctive rules, customs, and modes of government.


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