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Daycares in Literature
by date,
page 1

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Daycare in Literature pages: 1 | 2 | 3



Book V from The Republic By Plato, (428—348? BCE) Greek philosopher; disciple of Socrates and teacher of Aristotle
Translated by B. Jowett (1817—1893)
The law, I said, which is the sequel of this and of all that has preceded, is to the following effect,--'that the wives of our guardians* are to be common**, and their children are to be common, and no parent is to know his own child, nor any child his parent.'
The proper officers will take the offspring of the good parents to the pen or fold (daycare), and there they will deposit them with certain nurses who dwell in a separate quarter
They will provide for their nurture, and will bring the mothers to the fold (day care) when they are full of milk, taking the greatest possible care that no mother recognizes her own child; and other wet-nurses may be engaged if more are required. Care will also be taken that the process of suckling shall not be protracted too long; and the mothers will have no getting up at night or other trouble, but will hand over all this sort of thing to the nurses and attendants.
You suppose the wives of our guardians to have a fine easy time of it when they are having children.
Why, said I, and so they ought.
…Such is the scheme, Glaucon, according to which the guardians of our State are to have their wives and families in common.
And now you would have the argument show that this community is consistent with the rest of our polity, and also that nothing can be better--would you not?
Yes, certainly.
* guardians = A proposed specialized warrior class of people to rule the State.
** common = shared
The City of the Sun (Civitas solis), by Tomasso Campanella, 1623
Account of an utopian society which is similar to Plato's Republic. 
It is written in the form of a  dialogue between a Grandmaster of the Knights Hospitallers and a Genoese Sea-captain, his guest
G. M. Tell me about their children.

Capt. When their women have brought forth children, they suckle and rear them in temples set apart for all. They give milk for two years or more as the physician orders. After that time the weaned child is given into the charge of the mistresses, if it is a female, and to the masters, if it is a male.

We (Мы,) Written in 1920 by Yevgeny Zamyatin
(a.k.a. Evgeny Ivanovich Zamiatin)

1972 translation from the Russian by Mirra Ginsburg
Twenty-First Entry, p 107
“You know, I came to class today [she* works at the Child-Rearing Factory (daycare)] and found a caricature on the wall.
* The protagonist identifies her only as "U..."
We (Мы,) by Yevgeny Zamyatin
Thirty-Sixth Entry, p 189

If I had a mother, like the ancients: mine—yes, precisely—my mother.  To whom I would be—not the Builder of the Integral (spaceship), and not number D-503*, and not a molecule of the One State, but a simple human being—a piece of herself…
* In We, there are no names, only alpha-numeric designations


Daycares in Literature, by date, page 1

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Last updated:  04/05/2007

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