Citizens of the World State are cremated at death. Their bodies are not considered sacred in any way, and there are no ceremonies to mark their passage from this life. There is no mourning or grieving for the dead. Corpses are recycled after cremation into plant fertilizer in a pragmatic...
Citizens of the World State are cremated at death. Their bodies are not considered sacred in any way, and there are no ceremonies to mark their passage from this life. There is no mourning or grieving for the dead. Corpses are recycled after cremation into plant fertilizer in a pragmatic and matter-of-fact way.
Children are conditioned from a very early age not to fear death. In fact, they are trained to associate it with positive experiences. They are given candy and desirable toys when they visit the Hospital for the Dying twice a week. We learn that:
" . . . Death conditioning begins at eighteen months. Every tot spends two mornings a week in a Hospital for the Dying. All the best toys are kept there, and they get chocolate cream on death days. They learn to take dying as a matter of course.”
“Like any other physiological process,” put in the Head Mistress professionally.
Likewise, the Slough Crematorium is lit up with floodlights as a prominent landmark. It is not hidden or treated as fearful:
Following its southeasterly course across the dark plain their eyes were drawn to the majestic buildings of the Slough Crematorium. For the safety of night-flying planes, its four tall chimneys were flood-lighted and tipped with crimson danger signals. It was a landmark.
When John the Savage registers grief and anguish at the death of Linda, his mother, the nurse in the Hospital for the Dying thinks this is outrageous and abnormal behavior. She is especially worried that John will disrupt the conditioning of the visiting children. She thinks the following as she witnesses his behavior:
Undoing all their wholesome death-conditioning with this disgusting outcry—as though death were something terrible, as though any one mattered as much as all that!
The last part of her thought sums up the mindset of the World State. No relationship goes more than skin deep. No one person really matters much to anyone else or is remembered. Individuality is subordinated to the collective.