This is a book report on the theme of rooms in Edward Bellamy's novel Looking Backward. The original question asked us to delve into hidden messages in the book.

Essay by aloha11505High School, 10th gradeA+, May 2004

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Julian West's Sleeping Room

The bedroom of Julian West plays a key role in Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy. In this room, West is transported to the future as well as waking up in it at the end of the novel.

The novel described this room as subterranean and soundproofed with walls and floors of hydraulic cement. Not being under the house directly, it had a roof of stone slabs as well as the outer door being constructed of iron and asbestos. The only source of air for this room was a pipe that was connected to a windmill on top of the above ground house.

West had this room constructed because of his troubles with sleeping; in fact he had to hire a hypnotist to put him in a trance for him to sleep. The only problem being that the trance brought him to the future.

Today, most people do not construct a separate room just for sleeping that is underground as West's was, however they do have problems with sleeping that are usually resolved through drugs and sleep studies, not hypnosis.


The store in this novel is the best visual representation of the future in this book. This is where West actually sees the efficiency of little brother. He actually sees Edith order a product and have it delivered, amazing him.

In Looking Backward, the store is described as having no windows to attract attention or having signs and the like. In front of the store were several statues, specifically the female ideal of Plenty with a cornucopia in her hands. Inside of the store were windows high above that became a dome that was exactly one hundred feet above. Directly below this dome was a fountain with chairs and sofas all around. Lastly, there...