Utopia is a book by Utopian Philosopher Sir Thomas Moore. Utopia was written as a novel but has become an important work in philosophy and political theory. Utopia is set up as a frame story, where the narrator Raphael Hythlodaeus (most likely not his real name) describes the discovery of Utopia through conversations with Prince Utopos (also not his real name).
Prince Utopos discovered Utopia, which is an island in the Indian Ocean by accident. Utopia is described as a perfectly organized society with no private property and only one choose. Utopia has everything it needs to survive and thrives on things which are considered waste in other countries like dung, fish bones, rags etc.
The word Utopia means “no place” or “ideal society.” Utopia was well known for its realistic description of life that included all the features of a perfect society. Utopia contained dialogue between Raphael Hythlodaeus and More that discussed contemporary issues such as religious pluralism, marriage, colonization, foreign policy, just cause for war, international relations, citizenship and economic theory. Utopian ideas have influenced humanistic movements throughout history
Utopia is described as having visionary ideals which came from Ancient Greek philosophy; however it demonstrated concerns about the political aspects of Utopia in the context of early 16th century Europe. Utopia also demonstrated how influential the writing style of dialogue was during this time period. Utopia can be defined as a book that establishes an idealistic society which is impossible to realize and continues to influence political philosophy throughout history
Utopia is often seen as a satire, but it still has significant impact on potential world governments and politics today. Utopian ideals spread through many movements such as; Communism, Socialism and Islamic democracy. Utopia’s main theme centers around human perfectibility and how people desire perfection in life since life naturally desires what it lacks: happiness, truth and justice (upwards striving).
Utopia was a work of Utopian literature, which is a type of writing focused on imagining an ideal civilization. Utopian works often have a lower quality of prose and plot than other fiction due to the focus on developing a single idea or theme rather than creating a fully developed fictional world. The Utopia tells the story of Utopia’s colonization by a man named Raphael Hythloday who had been part of an embassy that brought gifts from England to the Pope in Rome.
Utopia is described as being located inside the mouth of an open bay at exactly one-day sail from any other country, making it ideally secluded from foreign affairs. Utopia’s isolation also makes it naturally protected because only those with legitimate business come ashore. Utopia is geographically located in the southern hemisphere, on the island of Atlantis. Utopians are all remarkable for their love of knowledge and singular devotion to their work, which they consider to be a holy duty.
Work is held in high esteem at Utopia because everyone works together as one society with no rich or poor men. Utopians enjoy reading books that teach them how to advance civilization without destroying nature. The history of Utopia’s colonization takes place during Utopia’s war with the nation of Blefuscu, its neighbor toward the south. The capital city at Utopia is Amaurotum, which stands on an iron mine that supplies ore to make weapons necessary for protecting Utopia from by its hostile neighbor towards the south.
Utopia exports wool and salt to the continent of Europe, importing a large variety of goods necessary for Utopian life from other countries. Utopians eat meals consisting only of bread, water, and wine, which Utopians drink with every meal no matter how full or hungry they are. A typical Utopian house is situated within walls protecting it from wild beasts and thieves while among Utopia’s main industries is herding swine who produce excellent bacon. Utopia follows a strict policy of law enforcement that includes tattooing all slaves at Utopia once they reach adulthood.
Any crime causes a slave to be sold into another family while any citizen can accuse another citizen of a public offense without fear of punishment so long as the accused is found innocent. Utopia’s government includes a senate of Utopian men over the age of forty, a chief executive officer called a Prince, and a separate assembly for Utopians under thirty-five years old meant to represent Utopian society as a family. Utopians have no lawyers because anyone can plead their own cause in court so long as they can produce witnesses to support it.
After Raphael Hythloday visited Utopia, he returned home where he was received with wonder and applause from his fellow Englishmen who were eager to hear about Utopia. Mores book describes Utopia as being orderly and well governed while earning praise from both Catholic and Protestant readers because Utopia has no official religion but bases its ruling on reason. Utopians banish those Utopians who confess to a crime rather than face the Utopian court and do not believe in killing any living creature. Utopia has no private property and all Utopians eat, sleep, study, and work together as one society under the rule of law.
Utopia is extremely critical of European nations for believing that their world was without sin while Utopia’s society existed without sin because of its close relationship with nature. Utopia condemns Europe for believing that God had created certain people to be masters over others and viewed European society as cruel for enslaving them once they arrived on land discovered by Christopher Columbus. Utopia also condemns European nations for establishing colonies full of potential Utopians but using them as a base for exploitation and enslavement rather than Utopia’s policy of allowing Utopian savages to go wherever they wanted.
Utopia condemns European nations for their religious wars and their persecution of those who do not follow the right belief, which Utopia believes is sinful behavior. Utopia also criticizes Christianity for dividing people into two groups: those who prayed often and those who prayed never. Utopians believe everyone should pray together at certain times so that nobody could be proud of themselves for praying more or scornful against others for praying less because Utopians believe God already knows what is in every person’s heart.
Utopia also criticizes European men for wearing ridiculous clothing like tight pants and hats but Utopian women wear clothing that is practical and Utopians wear headgear to protect them from the sun. Utopia also condemns Europe for allowing parents to decide when their child should get married instead of Utopia where Utopian children make such decisions together in a family assembly. Utopia condemns European nations for not abolishing slavery but Utopians believe nobody should be judged by race, sex, or class.