More’s Utopia

In his attempt to describe his own version of Utopia, Thomas More creates a very different world than what we are used to. Both him and Plato agree on plenty ideas when it comes to describing an ideal society. It is evident that these ideas, some more anachronistic than others, still affect our modern social standards. As every in Utopia though, More’s faces problems in its application.

From the beginning, More envisions this world where agriculture is the main source of income. Men inherit their jobs from their fathers, their fathers from their own fathers and so on. There is limited options to change one’s job and even more limited opportunities. As a result, there is no space for evolvement within the working environment which eliminates the chances for new jobs to surface. Also, it is apparent that the only thing people do is work and have almost no access to entertainment. Furthermore, women have selected duties that fit their weaknesses best. Even though More supports gender equality, similarly to Plato, he points out that women are still weak.

When it comes to social class, people who hold no power are leveled into one social class without having any chance of climbing this social ladder. Their homogeneous way of dressing indicates that there are no differences between the people, as poverty affects them all. In a perfect world, that would be ideal, but the problem here is that the wealth is unequally distributed and the only one who benefits from this is the hierarch, or else known as the “Prince.” It is also difficult to vision this perfect world where freedom is not granted to every one and the society in general in strictly controlled. This is a point where More and Plato agree again, as both of them indicate nothing about freeing the enslaved.

In a more microscopic version of society, marriage is considered a sacrament and virginity is a social construct that holds great value. It is easy to see these similarities to our world since these social standards remain still the same. Adultery is heavily punished as it is a sin. One thing that should be pointed out is that even though marriage is of such high importance, it is not viewed as a transaction but as a union. The woman is not presented as if she is a car at a car show that needs to be sold for its best qualities, but both partners present themselves to each other naked. Although it still comes down to the man’s decision it is quite the refresh from all the archaic marriage ideas so far.



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