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The 267 days are approximately equal to the nine months it takes a baby to develop inside its mother in the real world, but neither Director nor students mention that kind of birth. "Mother" is an unmentionable and obscene word in this brave new world, as you'll see in the next chapter. Although Huxley doesn't state it yet, if you think about it you'll see that bokanovskifying and bottling mean that nobody becomes pregnant. This gives you a hint of what will be said concerning sex and family life.
In this world, a person's class status is biologically and chemically engineered. The genes that determine brains and brawn are carefully selected. Then, a bottled embryo undergoes the initial conditioning that will determine its skills and strength, in keeping with its destiny as an Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, or Epsilon.
These names are letters in the Greek alphabet, familiar to Huxley's original English readers because in English schools they are used as grades-like our As, Bs, etc.- with Alpha plus the best and Epsilon minus the worst. In Brave New World, each names a class or caste. Alphas and Betas remain individuals; only Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons are bokanovskified. Alpha embryos receive the most oxygen in order to develop the best brains; Epsilons receive the least because they won't need intelligence for the work they'll do, like shoveling sewage.
Embryos predestined to be tropical workers are inoculated against typhoid and sleeping sickness. Bottles containing future astronauts are kept constantly in rotation to improve their sense of balance. There's a conditioning routine for every function in this society. Nobody complains about having to do hard, dirty, or boring work; everyone is conditioned to do their job well and to like it.
In this chapter you meet two people besides the Director, though you hardly notice them in the barrage of scientific information, and you don't get to know them very well until later. One is Henry Foster, a Hatchery scientist, one of the cardboard characters that Huxley pushes to keep the plot moving. The other is Lenina Crowne, one of only two women who are important in the story. She is as close as Brave New World comes to having a heroine, but she is so completely a creature of the system that she barely has any personality. She is a technician in the embryo room, which like a photographic darkroom can be lit only with red light. Because of this light, everybody who works in this room appears to have purple eyes and the appearance of someone that has lupus, a disease that causes large red or brown patches to appear on the skin.
Brave New World is a novel about a Utopia, an ideal state in which everything is done for the good of humanity, and evils like poverty and war cannot exist.
Perhaps you, too, have created stories about imaginary countries in which everything happens the way you think it should, countries that could be called ideal states if you looked at them closely. Or you may have seen the television program, "Fantasy Island," which is a modern, mass-audience twist on the theme of Utopia, a place that grants you your fondest wishes.
Some aspects of Brave New World may seem attractive to you. Everybody is happy, hygienic, and economically secure. There is little sickness and no old age, poverty, crime, or war. But notice how the Director emphasizes that bokanovskifying is "one of the major instruments of social stability," and how he reminds his students that the motto of the World State is "Community, Identity, Stability."
The most important events in this novel all center around conflicts between people like the Director, who want to maintain stability, and people whose actions might threaten this stability, even unintentionally. The Director never questions what people have to give up to achieve the World State's goals. Later in the book, other characters do ask this question, and they provide some answers. As you read Brave New World, keep asking yourself this question. What price would we have to pay to live in this Utopia?