Critique of Thomas More’s Utopia

Updated December 28, 2021

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Critique of Thomas More’s Utopia essay

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Based on the knowledge gained from Thomas More’s descriptive outline of his virtual nation, I won’t be able to consciously reside happily in this Utopia. Thomas More’s sway on his citizens of Utopia resembles a controlled lab experiment; And without the object of disorder, order becomes an unknown. These absent disruptive virtues of More’s domain go on to humble the residences that accompany them. Although More’s nirvana may sound tranquil it cannot wholly replace the uncertainties in everyday-life that we all face today.

Our encounters with failure and struggle are key components to our success and happiness. This leaves More’s blueprint of the “perfect land” among the most imperfect propositions. To begin, More’s Utopia life isn’t exactly a silver spoon, but the spoon is still provided. Meaning the bare minimum will be given to the people of this town and no one is allowed to strive for anything that surpasses set boundaries. Thomas More sets this land up to where he is the sole provider, and the cultivated goods within his jurisdiction will be rotated between citizens.

This may sound like every bit of an equal and fair trade, who wouldn’t want a guaranteed supply of food and necessities? This offer presents itself as great upon first hearing, but this opportunity is in Lou of something. That something is every citizen giving up the idea to obtain their desired occupation, in order to pursue agriculture. From the text, I made the assumption that Thomas More implements this rule to eliminate the idea of social class and differentiation between the community. On the backside, his idea of uniformity within language, customs, schools, and laws leaves human beings under his care with lack of individuality and personal freedom. With this in mind, I began having concerns about the first questioning teenager that decides to diverge from societal norms.

What will happen to the child who’s interest for the outside world grows so strong that they attempt to escape beyond the city limits without permission? For the most part, curiosity is fluid amongst most adolescent, so disobedience shall be expected by Thomas More. Punishment for violators will result in slavery, for they have committed a crime. But chains will not be enough to disregard a determined yet even more curious mind. So what action follows? Will it be coercion, assault, or even death for the non-compliant? Neither of those options will be a mother’s first pick once she hears about the sequences of crimes her child has committed.

Utopia’s inhumane way of life is quite baffling. If this land were to come into standing those poor souls who do accompany More will be treated such as sheep; They will be collected, barely fed, used, and procreated. Subsequently, everyone’s a slave in Utopia. Everyone may not be shackled and labeled but everyone is basically treated as a prisoner. Utopia is home of the restricted, you literally can’t even have a decision on your own clothing within those margins. You are presented with one of two choices for every gender. Beyond all of this, there are still a number of pros to Thomas More’s Utopian society. It’s all about how much you’re willing to give. Coincidentally, the impact of broken families still remains a huge factor in today’s society. So I commend More on his virtual attempt to abolish adultery and any other factors that may result in a child being left with one parent.

However, Utopians are strict believers of the monogamist system. More does allow divorce, but only under certain circumstances such as cheating and complete unhappiness. The kicker to the process of divorce states, you will have to plead your case to your partners’ friends for approval. Violators of this monogamist system are automatic criminals in Utopia and will be subjected to punishment. Another pro in Utopia is that there will never be an unemployed person. Since everyone was required to work six-hour days in agriculture, poverty and famine of basic needs and foods weren’t an issue. “…their working hours are sufficient to provide not on an abundance, but a superabundance of all the necessities and conveniences of life” ( More, p35). On the contrary, More’s attempt to disable poverty excluded wealth, privacy, and basic rights to anything.

Another benefit to Utopia is religious freedom. Religious freedom is the concept of an individual or community being accepted regardless of the religion, belief, or teaching they decide to manifest in. However, a person who holds loyalty to no religion-atheists will be defamed. Which defeats the purpose of hosting a non-religious exclusive society. “ …a man who is afraid of nothing but the law, and apprehends nothing after death, will not scruple to break through all the laws of his country…”(More, p121). This excerpt of Utopia depicts how Thomas More was building “ a perfect world” in the most problematic way. He wasn’t supportive of all his companions and purposely outcasted the ones who may have been a threat to either the exposure and/or downfall of his faulty empire. Greed and oppression ignited More’s place of “nowhere”, therefore its seen as amusing how greed and oppression became instilled in the land where he’s the creator, influencer, and enforcer.

Of Course, his greed isn’t in terms of money because in Utopia everyone’s pockets weigh the same. Nevertheless, More’s greed lies within the ropes of control and power. The lack of freewill Utopian natives have appears obscured. Everything down to the threads used to construct their four types of clothing will be dictated with no democratic influence. The people of Utopia may not be able to clearly see the underlying components of oppression embedded in More’s fantasy, but oppression remains present. Utopia seamlessly places a glass ceiling above the progress and success of each Utopian. This system which is legally supported and enforced by the same governor who’s idea was to distract and scheme these natives with societal concepts that only look good on paper.

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Critique of Thomas More’s Utopia. (2021, Dec 28). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/critique-of-thomas-mores-utopia/


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