Utopia/Dystopia Paper Sample Paper

956 words - 4 pages

Utopian societies have been both written and produced since the beginning of time. Utopias are defined as “a place of ideal perfection especially in laws, government, and social conditions” (Merriam-Webster). The pursuit of the perfect society is shown in George Orwell’s 1984, but also made known in real attempts at perfection like spiritualist Thomas Lake Harris’ Brotherhood of the New Life. Mutually, each effort resolved to show that that perfection is a myth and a utopia’s are unachievable. Both 1984 and The Brotherhood of the New Life are proven to be dystopias in the end. A dystopia is “an imaginary place or state in which the condition of life is extremely bad, as from deprivation, oppression, or terror” (The Free Dictionary). Utopias are proven to be unattainable; truthfully, any so called utopia is a dystopia.
It is very easy to see how a utopia can easily transform into a dystopia. 1984 is an example of a society that was supposedly ideal. However, it was really a nightmare for the main character, Winston. He sees his world, Oceania, as the corrupt and cruel place it unfeignedly is. The inner party of Oceania tries to control every aspect of its country’s life. Winston writes in his diary “Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death” (Orwell 27). Winston has come to the realization that he has been brainwashed since birth that the Party is all he has, and that simple things like freedom of thought have been stricken from him. He now realizes his foolishness and recognizes Oceania as a dystopia. Leaders of societies try to control all those inferior. Brotherhood of the New Life was categorized as a utopia. “This community was known as ‘The Use.’ All its members denied Self completely and surrendered themselves to the Divine Use or purpose” (Dictionary of American Biography). They were unable to notice they were in a society that was not by any means perfect. They believed in civic duty and their respective religion so they were naïve to the fact that the way they were living was not ideal. Utopian societies dissolve into dystopias, but leaders of these places try to enlighten their followers to believe that it is an ideal society.
The Brotherhood of the New Life, as lead by Thomas Lake Harris, is one that falsely defines itself as a utopian society. Harris led his society with spiritualistic ideas. One source writes “The style of Spiritualism espoused by Harris was subject to much interpretation” (Religious Leaders of America). Holding the power to control people’s beliefs and lives are the first sign of a dystopia. Harris’ idea of the Brotherhood of the New Life was doomed from the beginning. The entire society was acting as they should in order to live as directed. They worked hard to sustain themselves. They were told that divine breathing or breathing deeply in a meditative state would bring them in close...

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