Analysis Of The Utopia Of Sir Thomas More
To begin More was clearly criticizing the European society in which he lived in at the time. The prefatory poem contrasts the “unreasonable polity of Christian Europe, divided by self-interest and greed for power and riches” to a city govern by equality in which “communism is the only cure against egoism in private and public life” (Marc’hadour, 2020). We see that the main 3 things the Utopians value the most are their freedom of religion, living safely without fear, and being treated equally.
To begin, the people of Utopia were allowed to worship who they pleased, which could be the god of the sun or moon or whoever they believed in (More, p.187); in fact, it was so important that those who dared to criticized the religion of others could be kicked out or be enslaved (More, p. 191). Secondly, the Utopian island was perfectly built to block everyone out, we learn this in chapter one of the second book in which the structure of the way the island was is described. It states that only Utopians know the channels and it’s impossible for anyone except a Utopian to enter the haven, it’s perfect to keep enemies out (More, p.86). The third thing Utopians most value is equality, we learn this in chapter 4 of the second book, where we learn they all dress the same, live in buildings that all look alike, and everyone works (More, p. 108-118). However, Utopians not only value certain things, but they also fear certain things as well.
What Utopians most fear is the desire of materialistic things, war, and absolute rule. We learn the story of an ambassador that came to Utopia wearing fine gold jewelry and the kids made fun of him because gold to them is insignificant; therefore, allowing children to use it as toys (More, p. 126-128). This allows us to see that Utopians don’t care about materialistic things but rather important things that have utility value and not vain value like gold. The society of Utopia was raised to place no value on this materialistic thing to allow people to keep having equality and not to being fighting for monetary value. Another thing they fear is war, they see war as something very beastly (More, p. 170). This is why they would much rather pay others to fight for them, like the Zapoletas (More, p. 177).
Lastly, we learn Utopians rule from the bottom much (More, p. 96-98), which means their scared of absolute rule like that of a king or the church, so it is the people who choose their representatives to be sure they will actually be represented and not be dictated. To conclude, as I stated before, More’s design of Utopia was clearly mocking the selfish and money centered society at the time. He described the perfect society by allowing us to see what was really important and what wasn’t, calling upon the flaws of the European society. Also, I would like to add that out of all the elements in the poem I think that to improve the ethics of our society in the United States the element of equality is very important. To be clear, I am not talking about everyone having the same like in the poem but rather that everyone sees each other the same, no one is better than anyone and everyone is as important.
- Marc’hadour, Germain P. “Thomas More.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 3 Feb. 2020, www.britannica.com/biography/Thomas-More-English-humanist-and-statesman/Career-as-kings-servant.
- More, Thomas. “The Utopia of Sir Thomas More: More, Thomas, Saint, 1478-1535: Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming.” Internet Archive, New York, Macmillan Co., 1 Jan. 1970, archive.org/details/TheUtopia/page/n159/mode/2up.