Utopian Dysfunction Essay

620 words - 2 pages

Houyhnhnm’s Land is a society unique to Gulliver’s adventures because he encounters not only horses reigning over society, but also that these supreme animals think more rationally and intellectually than the Yahoos and even Gulliver himself. Gulliver’s stay in Houyhnhnm’s Land represents the “perfect”, but emotionless and detached conventions of utopia. According to Dr. Joyce Hertzler’s The History of Utopian Thought, utopians hold a false view of society so that when developing their “perfect” social order they think nothing of “…over-riding natural affections and balking natural desires and impulses” (304). Life is really nothing but a systematic social order if devoid of all emotion, causing one to question the “perfection” of utopia. If one looks beneath the surface of the Houyhnhnm’s culture, one will find that Gulliver’s final journey does not describe an immaculate society, but rather a visionary world, meaning a world that is purely speculative and out of reach.
First, Utopian Thought argues that “Social perfection is an illusive ideal…perfection will never be attained; it is only possible to work toward it” (Hertzler 307). Rulers over utopias believe their ideas are perfect; however, they are only a passing thought of that time. Eventually, another social perfection will rise to the top, and then another. Not one ideal will endure through time as societies increase their knowledge and reason. This thought dismisses that utopias can exist since they thrive on “…perfection utterly devoid of change and development, and far removed from the world” (Hertzler 308). Hertzler argues that utopias alienate themselves from the world to take full advantage of the intellect that the rest of society cannot understand (Hertzler 310) because utopias are based entirely on attainable facts (Hertzler 312). Societies based on facts alone are societies lacking sensation.
Secondly, Krishan Kumar’s Utopianism argues the “…ideal city is systematically organized” with an “elaborate social hierarchy...

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