"The Utopia" Of Book Two Is A Clear Expression Of More's Reaction To His Own Context. Explain With Specific Examples From The Book.

985 words - 4 pages

Thomas More's context was 16th century England, which entailed the Humanist movement. Thomas More constantly shifted between the ideals of Humanist philosophy and service to his king and country. The period leading up to the writing of Utopia swelled a massive personal dilemma within More between philosophical idealism and worldly pragmatism. It can be witnessed in More's novel Utopia, that Book Two is a clear expression of Thomas More's own context. Several issues that he addresses in Book One are pertinent to our understanding of his reasoning in Book Two. Issues such as the money & property, slavery and education are attacked by More in Book One and in Book Two; he provides a solution to these issues. More's ingenuous use of language techniques also heightens the realism of his expressionsAn important issue that More attacks is the operation of the economy. More's context maintained a system of feudalism which culminated in the majority of people supporting a minority of undeserving, idle, bourgeois noblemen. However, in Book Two of Utopia he addresses this inequity by proposing the absence of currency. As Raphael says in Book Two"There's more than enough of everything to go around , so there's no risk of asking for more than he needs - for why anyone want to start hoarding, when he knows he'll never have to go short of anything?"We can see here that the use of colloquial language and rhetoric is key in emphasising the importance of this issue. Raphael indicates that the non-existence of money means that there is no exploitation, greed or power. In fact, it forces people to treat one another on an egalitarian basis. The keystone of the Utopia lies in the policy of communal property. Everyone shared, worked and had equal rights on the same land and this in turn, led to high productivity and economic stability. More expresses that the abolition of private property removes class-based social stratification and wealth. The Utopians remove the mechanisms with which much harm is done by communalism. In Utopia, there is no poverty and everyone works, quite unlike the More's feudal society, wherein there was much poverty and an inequitable distribution of labour. Hythloday argues,"..how you can ever get any real justice or prosperity, so long as there's private property, and everything's judged in terms of money"The use of Hythloday as a fictional vehicle enhances this issue because in the novel we see that Raphael has a fervent affirmation for communalism and this highlights that More saw the ownership of private property in his time as something of imbalanced proportions. Hence, the fictional device of Raphael Hythloday is really the sine qua non of More's expression towards his own context.Treaties and alliances is another issue that More tackles in Utopia. Hythloday comments that treaties assume that humans are natural enemies rather than friends. He quotes"..kindness rather than contracts, by feeling than by words"More saw in his own context...

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