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The History Of The Term Utopia And Dystopia With Reference To An Advertisement And A Painting To Show The Meaning Of These Two Terms.

980 words - 4 pages

The word utopia is a term for an ideal society. It has been used by both communities trying to make an ideal society and in fictional societies. It often used to describe an unrealistic ideal that can never be achieved which has often led to other concepts, namely, dystopia. Utopias are generally said to be societies in which the political, social and economic troubles hampering its inhabitants has been done away with. Instead the state is there to serve the people and ensure the peacefulness and happiness of everyone. The word utopia, which means 'no place' in Greek, was first used to mean a perfect society in 1516 in the publication of Saint Thomas More's story 'Utopia'. Since the seventeenth century utopian writings have been a constant expression of social idealism, hope, and optimism even though some utopists have stressed the illusory nature of their visions and have found in their impossibility a despairing statement of man's imperfection. Most utopias have been produced within Western civilization.The word utopia however does not necessarily have to be used to define a society. A utopia can also be used to define a certain situation as it is perceived by an individual. A person who feels that their life at a specific point in time is perfect or a person who is involved with a certain group or organization can very well feel that they are living in a utopic way. Regardless of what others may feel, these people feel content that their choices are the right ones.Dystopia is the vision of society that is opposite to that of utopia. A dystopian society is a state in which the conditions of life are really bad, characterized by human misery, oppression, violence, disease and pollution. The term was coined as an opposite to a Utopia, and is most usually used to refer to a fictional (often near-future) society where current social trends are taken to nightmarish extremes. Often, the difference between a Utopia and a Dystopia is in the author's point of view. Dystopias are frequently written as warnings, or as satires, showing current trends extrapolated to a nightmarish conclusion. A dystopia is all too closely connected to current-day society.Some features of a dystopia include:•Dystopian societies are undesirable or even horrifying.•Dystopian societies are usually futuristic and fictional.•Dystopian depictions can be regarded as warnings.•Dystopian fiction is both about today and tomorrow.•Dystopian fiction comments on our own society.The first known use of this word appeared in a speech before the British parliament in 1868. In a speech by John Stuart Mill, he said ‘It is, perhaps, too complimentary to call them Utopians, they ought rather to be called dys-topians, or caco-topians. What is commonly called Utopian is something too good to be practicable; but what they appear to favor is too bad to be practicable." (from wiki)paintingRobert Owen’s New Harmony depicts what he thinks is a Utopia of the Indiana...

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