The novel begins in the Department of Hatcheries and Conditioning, where the Director is showing some students around the building. He explains that humans are now all genetically engineered, not born. The world has transformed over the last 600 years into a single, super-society. People are born into classes, with different intelligence levels and jobs assigned before they actuall ever gain conciousness. Families are obsolete and taboo. It is then that we are introduced to Bernard Marx, an individual who does not fit into society. He feels alienated and alone. And so he confides in his only friend Helmholtz, whom also feels alone. Bernard begins dating Lenina Crowne, a young woman who works at the D.H.C. Lenina fits well into society, taking part in many activities and taking her soma: a drug that makes the user happy and that is a hinge upon which society operates. Before the date, Bernard is summoned by the Directr, and he's informed that a long time ago he lost a date in the savage reservation: Bernard and Lenina's destination. The savages are people who rejected the World State's control and kept practices like religion and marriage. When Bernard and Lenina arrive at the reservation, they meet John. John is an intelligent man and travels with Bernard and Lenina a way so as to take them to meet his mother. Linda is an older woman and talks only about her old home: the World State. Bernard fits the pieces together and discovers that Linda was the Directors lost date and that John is his son. Seeing the opporitunity to gain revenge on the society that outcasted him, Bernard arranges for John and Linda to be taken back to the World State.
When Bernard returns with the group, he unveils that the Director is a father. This scandal causes him to resign, and John and Bernard become celebrities. Bernard accepts society now that it appreciates him. Linda admits herself to a hospital and lives on constant soma dosage. John tries to adjust to society while it mocks him. Lenina and John even start to fall in love. But then John learns more and more about society. By the time Lenina finally wors up the courage to admit to John her affection, John shoves her away and begins to outcast himself from society once again. He visits his mother in the hospital, and when she dies he nearly snaps. He flees to the outskirts of the city and begins living in solitude and practicing his old ways. Bernard loses his popularity and he and Helmholtz are exiled to an island. John becomes a sightseeing exhibit to the people once again, and as a last resort of escape he hangs himself.