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In "Brave New World," what is ward 81 like?

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cheekybgirl | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 29, 2009 at 12:11 PM via web

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In "Brave New World," what is ward 81 like?

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 29, 2009 at 12:53 PM (Answer #1)

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Ward 81 is where anyone who is going to die is sent to die in happy, blissful peace.  As their entire society is based on entertainment and happiness at its utmost pleasure, the people who go to ward 81 to die in the same style.  While the people are there, they are kept constantly hopped up on drugs, entertained with television, and pleased with pleasant smells and sensory experiences.  As one worker in the ward explains,

"We try to creat a thoroughly pleasant atmosphere here--something between a first-class hotel and a feely-palace, if you take my meaning."

The patients are kept in a state of constant bliss through their soma pills, and die in that other-world of fantasies come true.  Ward 81 is not a sad place, as many hospitals, hospices, or nursing homes are, but a place that even small children can visit on field trips. In fact, while John is there visiting his mother, he is swarmed by a herd of children on an excursion of sorts, there to see the sights.  John finds this repugnant, and realizes that these kids have no fear of death, nor no real concept of its tragedy, since family ties are not a part of their society.  One is only sad when someone dies if you loved them deeply, like family members do, and people in their society form no lasting ties.

Ward 81 is an interesting place, one that reflects all of the values of the society that is presented in the book.  I hope that those thoughts helped; good luck!

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