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Understanding Thomas More's: Utopia

By Edited Dec 3, 2015 1 0

Utopia: A Reality

            More’s Utopia describes a society that in the opinion of any human being, they would describe Utopia as ideal and unrealistic. The idea of a society that is managed just and fair, the property is owned and worked by the entire community, no poverty, crime, greed, low politics and no enfaces on classes, open religious views and lastly little war; this seems to be an unattained fantasy. One may wonder the reality of this lifestyle and how it came to be. To say the Utopians had a pessimistic view of life and structured their commonwealth to retrain the seven deadly sins, one would be correct. In order to create an idea or nation on the practices and beliefs of the Utopians, one had to have once been in a pessimistic mind set; it is asking someone how do they know what good is until they have experienced bad.   

            As told in Utopia, after More, Giles and Hythloday return from lunch he describes in more detail Utopia. The reader learns that Utopia was founded by General Utopus. Once he conquered the land, it became an island after the surrounding land was cut away. The structure of the island makes it easy on the Utopians with the harbor, but challenging on outsiders that may want to attack or invade on them. This structure of their great island was no accident; one can see that the Utopians loved isolation and privacy. The people of this society wanted to stay a step ahead of their enemies and with just the geography of this island this was possible.

            The government and atmosphere of this nation was unique and intellectual. The people of this society thought of land as a resource and something that is shared by everyone, not as property to be owned. Every city is surrounded by farmland and everyone is required to do two-year stints of agriculture work. The city is also surrounded by a thick wall where inside there is a stream so they will always have a clean source of water within the walls. The street are strategic in the sense that traffic flows easy, in households no doors are locked and in every household everyone’s front door leads to the same place, the street and the same goes for the back door except it leads to a garden. All households are three stories high and are built and look the same. This is another example of how the people have systems set in place where everyone is equal and have the same things.

            When it comes to their government system and politics, the divided groups of households choose an administrator. The administrators are under the Senior Phylarches. They operate as a committee that is under the leadership of a chief executive. The most important rule that they operate under is that no one, no matter the circumstances are allowed to discuss any matters or issues outside the committee. This rule is in place to prevent division within the group, collaborations in the committee and to prevent anyone from plotting against any plans decided on or against by the committee .

            With all this said the brain work of this nation is an example of how the people are trying to prevent havoc from occurring. The word Utopia has Greek roots, it means “good place.” The product of the Utopians beliefs begins with the author of this story and the founder of this nation. The two had to have had a pessimistic view of everyday life or life period. This is the root or core to why one would create such an ideal nation as this one. It seems as if every possible attack or disaster, even disagreements are prevented and dissolved quickly with their structures, system and beliefs. The creation of this island seems to have stemmed from someone who wanted change, who lived the gloomy and dreadful everyday life and now wants a life that is opposite and perfect.

            They prevent the seven deadly sins effortlessly by this system. For example greed is prevented because they only take what they need for the day. Property is not a top priority; they do not look at land or households as something to own or to have a lot of. They work to supply for all not move up in a class. Envy is also not an issue. The people have no need to envy is they all have the same things as their neighbor. Every house is the same; they have to work the same two-year job and all have access to the same area within the walls. Sloth is also something that does not exist. Everyone works, anyone that lives on this island works and has no problem with working and sharing what they have earned or helped to harvest. There is even a system in place to prevent lust.

            In Utopia the women are able to marry at eighteen, while the men are able to marry at twenty-two. No one is allowed to engage in premarital sex, engaging in this activity will result in one losing their right to marry one another. Before marriage the man and woman are chaperoned as they are allowed to show themselves naked before one another so there are no surprises. The two know exactly what they are about to receive.

            To some the Utopians ways may seem to be taboo, unrealistic or unorthodox. Although, their previous state of mind of pessimistic views has led them to live a life of paradise and without having to live in fear of the past. Their past consisted of living in societies where things such as laws were not fair, there was a constant fight to reach the top of a social and economic ladder and lastly where the seven deadly sins bred of the people in the society. Their old state of mind did not handicap them, but instead armed them with the mind to create a nation to prevent anything they dreaded from occurring again. Utopia is indeed a good place and a place where fantasy is a reality.    



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