• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Analysis of Thomas More's Utopia

Extracts from this document...


"Utopia" Thomas More, the author of Utopia set out to create a subversive textual piece where he would be able to describe a 'perfect world' in which he would set a contrast against his own real and 'undesirable' society. Within the first book, More discusses the problems facing his contemporary European society; mentioning the violent nature of his people, the lack of fair ideals and that of punishments for crimes. It is not until the second book that More's didactic and entertaining approach becomes prevalent. Through the careful and witty use of second-hand narration to create the very foundations of his didactic-natured world, More has utilized irony, humour and satire as well as understatements and absurdity, situational paradoxes and juxtaposition. All of these techniques have been combined to achieve More's ultimate purpose; to create a "splendid little book, as entertaining as it is instructive". Intending to add realism to his book's nature, Thomas More included a "Utopian Alphabet" at the beginning of the book; aimed emphasizing the satirical aspect of his fictional world. A poetry extract: "Utopos ha Boccas peu la chama polta chamaan", showed how such a perfect world could have such a major flaw in linguistics; with it translating to "Utopos me General from not island made island" - bringing forth both a humorous and ironic undertone. ...read more.


This is directly associated with such instances regarding war as "They say it's a quite subhuman form of activity" - juxtaposed to "...they hardly ever go to war, except in self defence". The fact that the Utopians despise war (for its "sub-human nature) but would in fact still participate in it is absurd and shows both a satirical view of their hypocrisy and a reinforcement of the ironic nature of such a concept. Juxtaposition of the two ideals is effective at emphasizing the satirical absurdity of such a contradiction, or hypocrisy, where the reader can interpret the "entertaining" or humorous nature of a perfect society undermining its own "perfect" ideals. Furthermore, More contradicts himself again when he describes "...the working class foreigner..." as volunteering "...for slavery in Utopia" and reinforces that slaves are so well off, that they relish being prisoners to society. This is then directly juxtaposed to the next page where slavery is described as "...just as unpleasant...as capital punishment", contradicting More's previous information by suddenly undermining his own prior concept of the conditions of slavery. This portraying of Utopia as being impossible explains why many aspects within it have so many flaws and contradictions. ...read more.


Within a situational paradox, More describes a group of Flatulentine diplomats arriving in Utopia. They are "completed ignored" as the Utopians view their expensive attire as degrading and "fit for a slave or child!". This situational paradox is reinforced by "I say, Mother, just look at that great baby! Fancy wearing jewelry at his age!", which demonstrates the absurdity and impossible nature of such a situation. The opinion of the diplomats as being children can be seen as a subtle subversion unto the European culture of More's time and gold "being considered more valuable than human beings". However, that fact that such a perfect society could have no value for valuable items is a paradox, or contradiction of human nature; as realistically, this situation could never happen as the compelling nature of power almost always overcomes that of a mere idealistic value. The mere paradoxical nature of this instance can be viewed as both a humorous fault in More's ideals and a didactic feature of the book where the utopia's ideals are yet again undermined by real world facts. Thus, it can be rightly said that More has developed a "perfect" society with an incredible amount of flaws. Through the seemingly perfect ideals that More has put forth, contradictions have established a story, "...as entertaining as it is instructive". ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level General Studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level General Studies essays

  1. The charge of the light brigade: Analysis

    "Someone had blunder'd: Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred."

  2. Place Value Lesson Plan

    Illustrating the same number from the other two forms, the teacher use the place value chart to write the standard form. The students will orally multiply the separate numbers as the teacher begins to write the result. The following example will be shown by the teacher: 4,000 + 300 + 30 + 5.

  1. Free essay

    The Quest for Realism

    Why not end it all? Who was keeping her back? She was free. She moved forward, concentrating on the pavement, and said: 'Now! Now!'" (Flaubert 200). This rendering of Emma attempting to follow the example of romantic novels and failing miserably realizes more than Flaubert's goal of realism, it exposes

  2. CG and its links with culture and institutions - Italian company analysed

    The strong disparity between the North and the South of Italy is a main issue in Italian economy and the main responsible for the high unemployment rate, partly also due to the wide presence of the hidden market in the South.

  1. Globalization vs. Culture: The Loss Of Identity

    For others, it is disquieting, as they try to cope with a rapidly changing world... The rise of culture as an economic good has added to the identification of culture with commodities that can be sold and traded-crafts, tourism, music, books, films.

  2. Which diseases are more prevalent in your country and what can be done to ...

    Being obese makes you 20 to 40 times more likely to develop diabetes than someone with a healthy weight. Losing weight can help if your weight is above the healthy-weight range. Losing 7-10 % of your current weight can cut your chances of developing type 2 diabetes in half. 1.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work