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What is the location and appearance of the Hatchery?

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pbmx | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 1, 2009 at 12:36 PM via web

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What is the location and appearance of the Hatchery?

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MaudlinStreet | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted August 1, 2010 at 12:56 PM (Answer #1)

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This can be found on the very first page of the novel. The Hatchery is located in London, and the description of the appearance is as follows:

A SQUAT grey building of only thirty-four stories. Over the main entrance the words, CENTRAL LONDON HATCHERY AND CONDITIONING CENTRE, and, in a shield, the World State's motto, COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY.

The enormous room on the ground floor faced towards the north. Cold for all the summer beyond the panes, for all the tropical heat of the room itself, a harsh thin light glared through the windows, hungrily seeking some draped lay figure, some pallid shape of academic goose-flesh, but finding only the glass and nickel and bleakly shining porcelain of a laboratory. Wintriness responded to wintriness. The overalls of the workers were white, their hands gloved with a pale corpse-coloured rubber. The light was frozen, dead, a ghost. Only from the yellow barrels of the microscopes did it borrow a certain rich and living substance, lying along the polished tubes like butter, streak after luscious streak in long recession down the work tables.
Notice the dreary connotation of the diction associated with the building itself. It's a "squat grey building" on the outside: intimidating even from the street. Once you move inside the building, it becomes even worse. Words like "wintriness", "pallid", "corpse-coloured", and "frozen, dead, a ghost" imply coldness, decay, and absence of life. It lacks the essential qualities of humanity....much like the citizens of the World State themselves.

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