Feelies in Brave New World

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  • 0:00 What Are the Feelies?
  • 0:40 How Do the Feelies Work?
  • 1:30 What Do the Feelies Represent?
  • 2:10 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kaitlin Oglesby

Kaitlin has a BA in political science and experience teaching.

The feelies in ''Brave New World'' at first appear to be like typical movie theaters. However, there is a major difference: not only can someone see and hear a movie at the feelies, but they can feel touch as well.

What Are the Feelies?

When we want to see a film, we go to the cinema. We are immersed in the vision and sounds of the show, and if we pay extra, we might even get a chair that moves around. Some attractions even offer 3D or have water that sprays the audience at appropriate moments. The whole idea is to get lost in the production. However, for the people of Brave New World, there's a whole new level of getting lost at the movies. The feelies offer a chance to not only experience sights and sounds as, but even feel touch. For a society so obsessed with touch as that of the World State, this is quite the achievement.

How Do the Feelies Work?

While we don't learn a great deal about the engineering of the feelies, we do get that they are quite similar to our own cinemas. There is, however, one major difference. When people go to a feelie, they grab hold of two metal knobs on the armrests. These knobs provide signals to the brain that create the sensation of touch for the viewer.

Though we don't get the technical detail of how they work, we learn that the feelies are quite the technological achievement. Characters claim to be able to feel every hair on a bearskin rug at one point. Still, the level of drama portrayed on screen and through the knobs is not exactly highbrow. Much of what is shown would be considered pornographic by our standards. In fact, John comments that the feelie he sees with Lenina cannot compare to Othello, which John considers to be the superior work.

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