|Interest Level||Reading Level||Reading A-Z||ATOS||Word Count|
|Grades 9 - 12||Grades 4 - 12||Z||7.5||63766|
The novel opens in London in A.F. 632 (AD 2540 in the Gregorian calendar). The society described above is illuminated by the activities of two of the novel's central characters Lenina Crowne and Bernard Marx, and the other characters with whom they come into contact. Lenina, a hatchery worker, is socially accepted and contented, but Bernard, a psychologist in the Directorate of Hatcheries and Conditioning, is not. He is shorter in stature than the average of his Alpha caste — a quality shared by the lower castes, which gives him an inferiority complex. His intelligence and his work with hypnopaedia allow him to understand, and disapprove of, the methods by which society is sustained. Courting disaster, he is vocal and arrogant about his differences. Bernard is mocked by other Alphas because of his stature, as well as for his individualistic tendencies, and is threatened with exile to Iceland because of his nonconformity. His only friend is Helmholtz Watson, a lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering. The friendship is based on their feelings of being misfits (in the context of the World State), but unlike Bernard, Watson's sense of alienation stems from being exceptionally gifted, intelligent, handsome, and physically strong. Helmholtz is drawn to Bernard as a confidant.
Published on December 1, 1995 by Harpercollins