Utopia

Posted: October 20, 2015 in Articles
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This year I’m taking English Literature, and I read a piece by Sir Thomas More called Utopia. It was describing his idea of the ideal society. I won’t write the whole thing down, but I’ll write an overview of it, and if you wanted you could probably find the whole thing somewhere.

Basically, the ideal society (Utopia) is an island with fifty-four cities in it. Each city has the same customs, laws, etc. The chief town is called Amaurot, and every year three of the wisest senators from each city would go to Amaurot to discuss their problems.

Surrounding the cities is country land, where there are farms. “Country families” are sent to dwell in farm houses and tend to the farms; these families consist of no less than forty men and women, plus two slaves. Every family has a master and a mistress and overseeing every thirty families is a magistrate.

Each year twenty people from the country family go back to the city from which they came, so long as they stayed at the farmland for two years. Twenty people from the same cities are sent to replace them. That way, the twenty still at the farmland can teach the new arrivals for a year before they themselves leave and twenty new people come to the land.

Crops are harvested by the people of the city – magistrates come to a city and say how many people will be needed for the harvest, and that day that many people leave for the country. The cities themselves are very alike, well-built and with very similar houses. Each house has a garden which residents tend in order to grow fruits, herbs, and flowers. Every ten years, they trade their houses with someone else in the city.

Obviously, the book goes into more detail on the subject, but that’s the foundation.

Personally, Utopia would not be my ideal society even if it could work, but it is interesting that people along history have always sought to create a utopia here on earth.

Interestingly, “utopia” in Greek means “no place.”

Comments
  1. Utopia is not actually an easy read. Well done

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