Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’ describes a version of an idealistic communal “Utopian Society”, which however contains parallels to the wealth driven English society. The similarities between the two emphasises the idea that neither societies are perfect and whether a society beneficial for everyone is truly ever achievable.he shows that “money is of no use” and does not have any value in the city of Antwerp. Norms regarding wealth are subverted as the land of Utopia aims to set an equal standard amongst the citizens, where by “everything is equalized” and materialism which is arguably valued in modern day life, is disregarded and satirized. Gold which is not only symbolic of wealth but also has high economical and agricultural worth, is presented to be of very little importance as “the most notorious criminals wear gold rings” as almost a mark of shame. Everyone contributes to their labor duties in sustaining the community, where trust is therefore used as a foundation for their way of life, yet if disobeyed slavery becomes the reinforcement. The idea of slavery being present in a perfect Utopian world suggests that perhaps modern views of Utopia cannot really be achieved if suffering and people being “treated more harshly” is not abolished and where freedom is not available for all. appropriate punishment depending on the degree of crime. Referring to the biblical 10 Commandments, “God forbade us to kill anyone” is used as moral guidelines as opposed to following the laws of a government showing the importance of the Church. Christianity was integral and highly influential in the 16th century and so More rebukes society’s attempts to almost play God as “what is it to prevent humans from using the same principles to decide” on who is of rightful power. Therefore, perhaps More is addressing the idea that humans do not have sufficient moral standing to decide what is punishable or the degree of wrong a crime is and perhaps even abuse this responsibility. Due to the lack of individuality within this Utopian society, it is questionable as to whether Utopia is in fact a symbol of amiability or restraint. Though More claims people are “cheerful”, their seclusion makes them ignorant to the possibility of independence. It is because they are under the influence of a ruler, must they require “permission” to leave the district, denying them the simple human right of free will. As a modern day reader, this lack of freedom resembles a prison like society where roles are designated and people are confined within a specific region. This is unacceptable in the twenty-first century and ultimately suggests that More’s Utopia is simple satirical, with the purpose to mock England’s similar society.
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