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Daycares in Literature
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Title

Summary

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1932
A Classic Science Fiction Novel
The portrait of the dehumanism implicit to non-family care--and its linkage to other forms of human engineering--was most vivid in Aldous Huxley's 1932 dystopia*, Brave New World. The novelist begins by describing a tour in the distant future of the Central London Hatchery, where its director reminds the citizens "that in those [old] days of gross viviparous** reproduction, children were always brought up by their parents and not in State Conditioning Centers (daycares).
But the industrial organization of ... child rearing, the director states, had liberated humankind...
In the nursery, "eighteen hundred bottles" simultaneously fed "eighteen hundred carefully labeled infants" with "their pint of pasteurized external secretion."
*dystopia = an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives
** viviparous = producing living young instead of eggs
 
-- "The Fractured Dream of Social Parenting" by Allan C. Carlson, page 5, Family Policy Review, Volume 1, Number 2, Fall 2003 (The Child-Care 'Crisis' and Its Remedies)
Anthem by Ayn Rand, 1937
p20 A dystopian novella describing a world of absolute collectivization, where language contains no singular pronouns...
We remember the Home of Infants where we lived till we were five years old, together with all the children of the City who had been born in the same year. The sleeping halls were clean and bare of all things save one hundred beds.
Anthem by Ayn Rand, 1937, p41 Children are born each winter, but women never see their children and children never know their parents.
Walden Two by B.F. Skinner ©1948, Chapter 12, P86-87 & Chapter 13, p91
This novel describes a fictional utopian community designed around behaviorist principles. One of its most controversial aspects is the communal raising of children (daycare)…
 
"I hope Mr. Frazier has warned you," she said with a smile, "that we're going to be rather impolite and give you only a glimpse of our babies. We try to protect them from infection during the first year. It's especially important when they are cared for as a group."

"What about the parents?" said Castle at once. "Don't parents see their babies?"
“Oh, yes, so long as they are in good health. Some parents…come around every day or so, for at least a few minutes. They take the baby out for some sunshine, or play with it in a play room."

She opened a door and allowed us to look into a small room, three walls of which were lined with cubicles, each with a large glass window. Behind the windows we could see babies of various ages…
"Looks like an aquarium," said Castle.
"And very precious fish they are," said Mrs. Nash, as if the comparison were not unfamiliar.

THE QUARTERS for children from one to three (the “Upper Nursery”) consisted of several small playrooms with Lilliputian* furniture, a child's lavatory, and a dressing and locker room. Several small sleeping rooms were operated on the same principle as the baby-cubicles.
*Lilliputian = small or miniature, from the imaginary country of Lilliput in Jonathan Swift's Book, Gulliver's Travels

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Last updated:  09/07/2008

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