The Characteristics Of Thomas More's Utopia

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In 1516, Thomas More published the well-known book titled “Utopia,” where he defined the word as either “a good place” or “no place.” In the novel, More described an ideal communal society that was almost unheard of in his time. His “Utopia,” whose name was possibly derived from the Greek roots “ou not” and “tóp(os) a place” (“Utopia), can ultimately be considered a prototype of a modern welfare state (“Utopia (book)”). This, combined with a lack of private property and other characteristics, provided the backbone for many experimental societies, both fictional and real, since the book’s publication. There are numerous traits that can be associated with a utopia, including conformity, isolation from external influences, and a lack of…show more content…
To facilitate this, both their education and the tales they were told from birth would have been fitted so the Guardians could witness and emulate the desired behavior (Plato). This willing conformity is essential to the functioning of a utopia. As one can derive from Plato’s “Republic,” if members of such a society are able to do as they please, a utopia would never be able to function.
The fact that many utopias separate themselves from the outside world is another possible characteristic of a Utopia. Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia, formed 20 years prior to the events in the novel “Ecotopia” out of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California, had not allowed any Americans to cross its border. Even in the secretive Helicopter War where the United States attempted to regain Ecotopia did the Ecotopians manage to repel individuals from the outside world (Callenbach). Another example of this seclusion is the Utopia described in More’s novel of the same name. Originally starting as a peninsula, it was transformed into an island after the inhabitants excavated a 15-mile-wide waterway during the reign of the first king, King Utopos (“Utopia (book)”). A potential reason for this complete isolation could be to prevent exterior influences from contaminating the ideals of the utopia. Again, members of a utopian society need to conform to some degree in order for such an unconventional civilization to survive, and
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