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Huxley's 'Brave New world' was set in the year 632AF. What does AF stand for?

Question #63332. Asked by jimbo9.
Last updated Apr 12 2013.

SOTHC
Answer has 8 votes
SOTHC
19 year member
772 replies

Answer has 8 votes.
632 AF means 632 years after Henry Ford mass-produced the motor car.

Mar 10 2006, 5:13 PM
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TabbyTom
Answer has 6 votes
TabbyTom
21 year member
1233 replies avatar

Answer has 6 votes.
I don’t think the full form of the abbreviation is ever spelled out, but it would be something like Anno Fordi (i.e. in the year of Ford).

In Brave New World Henry Ford, the inventor or at any rate the greatest early exponent of assembly-line mass production, has taken the place of God and Jesus, and his name crops up in all kinds of contexts, helped by the fact that it rhymes with “lord.” “Ford!” is used as an exclamation, as we may use “Lord!” or “God!” A World Controller like Mustapha Mond is called “His Fordship” (cf “His Lordship”), and unacceptable behaviour is castigated as “unfordly” (cf “ungodly).

So the story is set some time in the mid 26th century.

Mar 10 2006, 5:17 PM
grimertop90
Answer has 7 votes
grimertop90

Answer has 7 votes.
First: AF 632 does NOT mean 632 years after Ford mass-produced the motor car.

AF does indeed mean "Anno Ford" or something thereabouts, as a play on "Anno Domini" (AD), meaning "In the year of Our Lord".

Interestingly, in chapter 2, a definite date is implied for AF 0. Consider this quote:

"The case of Little Reuben occurred only twenty-three years after Our Ford's first T-Model was put on the market." (Here the Director made a sign of the T on his stomach and all the students reverently followed suit.) "And yet ..."
Furiously the students scribbled. "Hypnopædia, first used officially in A.F. 214. Why not before? Two reasons. (a) ..."


So we see that AF 214 was 23 years after Ford's first Model T car went on the market, which was in AD 1908. Based on this, we see that AF 214 is equivalent to AD 1908 + 23 = AD 1931. This suggests that AF 0 is AD 1931 - 214 = AD 1717.

Finally, this puts AF 632 at AD 1717 + 632 = AD 2349.

May 03 2012, 10:35 AM
msyu
Answer has 20 votes
Currently Best Answer
msyu

Answer has 20 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
In reply to grimertop90, AF 632 actually DOES mean 632 years after Ford mass-produced the motor car.
AF 214 does not refer to 23 years after Ford's first T-Model was put on the market.

23 years after Ford's first T-model only refers to the case of Little Reuben--when hypnopædia was first DISCOVERED.

When they say "Hypnopædia, first used officially in A.F. 214. Why not before? Two reasons. (a) ...", 'used' is not the same as 'discovered'.
In that quote and the text following they suggest that it a very long time between the time the technique was discovered and the time it was successfully implemented. AF 214 does not refer to 23 years after the T-Model (the year of discovery), but rather the long time afterwards to the year hypnopædia was first used for moral education (as opposed to the intellectual education researchers were attempting before).

The timeline suggested on that page is that hypnopædia was discovered 23 years after T-Model (AD 1931). After its discovery, experimenters tried to use it for intellectual education, which failed terribly. Then after decades, in AF 214 (AD 2122), experimenters finally used it with moral education, and found it a success, which is why it is considered when it was first officially used.

Again going back to the quote. Why was hypnopædia not officially used before AF 214? The question had two answers, neither of which was because hypnopædia was not yet discovered since of course one wouldn't be able to use something that was not yet discovered, thus AF 214 cannot refer to 23 years after the T-Model.

Apr 12 2013, 9:53 PM
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