Utopia - Thomas More
Categories:History & Criticism
Utopia was published in 1516 by Thomas More. Utopia is derived from More by Ancient Greek. “Topos” means place, “u” is a privative, “ia” is used to mean geography and it means “the country that does not exist”. While More was writing Utopia, he was inspired by Plato’s State, ancient Greek and Roman philosophers, and Christianity; the system critique of the period in which it was created, by creating an “ideal society”. His content, style and versatility gave the name of a kind of literature too.
Utopia Short Summary
Thomas More tells the readers with the character Hytloday, which means “chatty one”, the life in Utopia, daily life, management, law, justice, health, military structure, food, drinking, housing, family structure and religious life.
More, is sent by the King of England VIII. Henry, as a Flemish ambassador to solve the problems with the Prince of Castile Charles. The Prince meets with the delegation in the city of Bruges. However, an agreement cannot be reached. The delegation goes to Brussels to inform the prince, More goes to Antwerp. There he meets Peter Giles and his friend Rafael Hythloday. Rafael is a philosopher, a Portuguese traveler, interested in unknown peoples and countries. Amerigo Vespucci, who lived on the sea, lived five years in Amaurot, the capital of Utopia. More asks Rafael to tell him everything he needs to know about Utopia. Rafael accepts this request with pleasure.
— The island of Utopia, which was conquered by Utopus, consists of 54 cities, and in each city the same behavior, the same traditions and laws.
— Streets and houses are an example. Each house has a garden at the back. Everyone competes with each other to look very well into the garden. Since there is no concept of property, people change their homes every ten years.
— Each 30 family chooses a chef (flark) per year. A total of 200 flips also select a governor from among four candidates determined by four neighborhoods. The elected governor remains in service for life. There are also the initials on every 10 flocks. The initial selection is renewed every year. There is a three-day meeting to change the initial flarks with two flarks. In these meetings, various disputes are discussed. The decision to be taken in these interviews is considered for three days. Apart from these, the punishment of meeting the state affairs is executed. More important issues are moved to parliament. In these assemblies, the day on which no topic has been put forward is unquestionable.
— Everyone has knowledge of agriculture. Apart from agriculture, they also have crafts such as wool workmanship, linen workmanship, masonry, blacksmithing, carpentry. The flanks are tasked with ensuring that everyone performs their profession meticulously.
— While attaching great importance to iron, they use gold and silver in trivial things like toilet seats, chains, shackles.
— Everyone with the same clothes, apart from the small differences between men and women. They sew these clothes themselves.
— They spend only six hours a day working. They have to direct their free time to a wise hobby. This is usually reading a book.
— Women don’t get married before 18 and men 21.
— No family is allowed to be less than 10, more than 16 individuals. Families with many children give their children to unlucky families. The oldest member of each family is the head of the family.
— They eat their foods together in the flarks in the streets. There is music, incense and chat.
— Each city has 4 hospitals resembling a small city. In these hospitals, there are all possibilities for the recovery of patients. Those who are suffering from a disease which there is no cure to can be condemned to starvation with the support of the priests or by their own will or to not suffer from pain they drink opium.
— In the utopia, both men and women receive strict military training, but they see war as a last resort. They run to help the friendly countries who are getting bullied, without waiting for a response.
— There are very few laws in Utopia. There is also no profession as a lawyer. Everyone makes their defense directly to the judge. Slavery is the punishment of the adultery. If he/she commits the same offense twice, he/she receives the death penalty. Slaves do heavy, dirty, laborious work. They show remorse, if they do their jobs with patience, they are forgiven by voting.
— Everyone is free to believe in the religion they want. Religious pressure, swearing is considered as bullying and punishment is exile or slavery. No religious rites sacrifice animals.