Brave New World

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Ford Symbol Icon
The World State doesn't really have a religion, but it does have a symbolic and revered father figure: Henry T. Ford. Ford is the perfect "god" for World State society because in developing his Ford Motor Company, he invented mass production by means of the assembly line and the specialization of workers, each of whom has one single and specific job. The World State takes Ford's ideas about mass production and the assembly line and applies them to biology—to people. The entire World State is an assembly line, pumping out people conditioned to fit into a single specialized caste and job.

Ford Quotes in Brave New World

The Brave New World quotes below all refer to the symbol of Ford. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Dystopia and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Harper Perennial edition of Brave New World published in 2006.
Chapter 3 Quotes
You all remember, I suppose, that beautiful and inspired saying of Our Ford's: History is bunk.
Related Characters: Mustapha Mond (speaker)
Related Symbols: Ford
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:

The Director has taken the tour group to the Hatcheries garden, where naked children are playing sex games. The group is shocked by the sudden appearance of Mustapha Mond, the Resident Controller of Western Europe.

Here, Mond has commented on the fact that, historically, children did not engage in sexual behavior until they were twenty, calling this state of affairs "terrible." He then invokes a well-known saying of Henry Ford: "History is bunk." Mond's disdainful attitude toward history reflects a widespread dismissiveness to all fields of knowledge, including science and literature. Whereas we might think of these fields as important and useful ways of determining how to live, in the world of the novel, the ideology of the World State is the only valued system of knowledge, because any other system of knowledge might cause people to think individually and, in so doing, impact the stability of the state.


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Chapter 5 Quotes
Ford, we are twelve; oh make us one,
Like drops within the Social River;
Oh, make us now together run
As swiftly as thy shining Flivver.
Come, Greater Being, Social Friend,
Annihilating Twelve-in-One!
We long to die, for when we end,
Our larger life has but begun.
Feel how the Greater Being comes!
Rejoice and, in rejoicings, die!
Melt in the music of the drums!
For I am you and you are I.
Orgy-porgy, Ford and fun,
Kiss the girls and make them One.
Boys at One with girls at peace;
Orgy-porgy gives release."
Related Symbols: Ford
Page Number: 81-84
Explanation and Analysis:

Bernard has gone to his Solidarity Meeting, an event in which the members of a twelve-person "solidarity group" drink soma and chant "Solidarity Hymns" designed to make them forget their individual identities and feel close to the "Greater Being" and, ultimately, participate in a group orgy. The words of the Solidarity Hymn convey the manner in which the loss of individuality, described in terms of individual death, are elevated in the World State to a moral and spiritual imperative. The hymn mixes the styles of religious music, folklore, commercial advertising, and nursery-rhyme, for example by pairing the phrases "Like drops within the Social River" and "As swiftly as thy shining Flivver" ("Flivver" was a slang nickname for a Model T Ford).

The blending of these different styles is bizarre and disorientating, suggesting there is something distinctly unnatural and perverse about the culture of the world depicted in the novel. By training them to worship Henry Ford and ritualistically indulge in drugs and group sex, the World State has purposely caused itscitizens to lose touch with the aspects of life that are truly meaningful: both love and loneliness, success and struggle, etc. Instead, the citizens are like children: focused only on instant gratification, with every desire, spiritual or physical, met by soma or easy meaningless sex.

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Ford Symbol Timeline in Brave New World

The timeline below shows where the symbol Ford appears in Brave New World. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Dystopia and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Technology and Control Theme Icon
The Cost of Happiness Theme Icon
...promiscuity were terrible. The director exclaims in shock and awe that this man is his fordship, Mustapha Mond, one of the ten World Controllers. (full context)
Dystopia and Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Technology and Control Theme Icon
The Cost of Happiness Theme Icon make everyone happy whenever they wanted to be. The first sale of a Model-T Ford was chosen as the beginning of the new era. (full context)