The Rights of the Individual and Women Lost in Thomas More’s Utopia

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A person’s image of utopia varies depending on their individual life experiences and the expectations of the society in which they live; utopia could be described as an ideal place where equality, comfort, safety, compassion, and freedom are important qualities. In Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, the elimination of property and money has all citizens working for the commonwealth and it is “where every man has a right to everything, they all know that if care is taken to keep the public stores full, no private man can want anything; for among them there is no unequal distribution so that no man is poor, none in necessity; and though no man has anything, yet they are all rich” (More 81). More’s Utopia also encourages a balance of power…show more content…
While individuals of a Renaissance society may be more accustomed to others input in to their career choice, modern readers may find these restrictions and expectations intrusive, and ignorant of their individuality. As well, Independence and self reliance is something that many modern societies encourage in their children and youth, and a chosen career path is often guided by an individual’s own interest and capabilities. In addition to the expectations of trade, there are restrictions on Utopians that if they choose to engage in another trade “he follows that which he likes best, unless the public has more occasion for the other” (More 34). Particularly in western societies where independence and self-fulfillment are encouraged, it would be difficult to imagine ignoring your own interests to focus only on what is best for the commonwealth. The good of the commonwealth over the individual is also seen in the expectations and restrictions that are applied to the personal lives of the citizens in Utopia. Both Renaissance and modern readers can appreciate that careers come with expectations and that a career can benefit the greater good. For a modern reader it is hard to imagine that these expectations and restriction extend past the work day and into an individual’s personal

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