Utopia Or Dystopia

.. r think for themselves. Burning books is affective from keeping the minds clear of thoughts but not enough so the society of Fahrenheit 451 speed everything up. In this so called utopia the society has to be on a fast past so they have no time to think or question; just be happy. Everything in this society is practically speed up. One column, two sentences, a headline! Then, in mid-air, all vanishes! Whirl man’s mind around about so fast under pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought!(Bradbury 50).

Even the teaching of knowledge is speed up. School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored(Bradbury 51). This society keeps going ahead, no time to see what is wrong. The society Fahrenheit 451 keeps pushing themselves so they can be happy and no pain; they do not look back and see their dystopia whereas Montag does as Clarisse makes him think. Montag has been pushed along with society until he met Clarisse.

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It took a question from Clarisse, Are you Happy?(Bradbury 9), and an old lady who burned with her books to change Montag’s views about the society he lives in. Montag soon became a rebel and went against the ways of the society. Controllers of this world kills Clarisse since she was a loose cannon of thoughts to the society. This is what the society has come to as it will due anything to preserve their little thoughts of happiness. Montag is an example of what thoughts and books can due to a citizen in this futuristic society.

The power of thought can open the eyes and truly see how the society really is; in chaos. In Once and Future King shows a novel that is unlike this dystopia for it creates a utopian place. T.H. White’s, Once and Future King brings a utopia in which King Arthur constructs from his childhood lessons from Merlin, but is in danger by the teachings of Toirdealbhach to Arthur’s ill made son and the Orkney boys. These lesson that King Arthur experienced in his childhood is when he became a fish, an ant, and a goose.

As a fish he learned that might right, but learns from this lesson that might is not right. When the young wart was an ant he learned that war was wrong and not worth it. As an ant he saw just how important the individual mind is. When wart took the skies with the geese he learned about territories and boundaries and learned when to fight and when not to fight. Arthur’s son and the Orkney boys were thought the old ways that will be the downfall of Arthur. Still with all the lessons taught by Merlin Arthur was able to create his utopian society. King Arthur creates the utopian society as he pictured in his mind were the individual, thought, and love can be free with peace and equality.

Arthur society was booming with people who were free and able to walk around without harm. Where the black knights had hoved,..now any virgin could circumambulate the whole country, even with gold and ornaments upon her person, without the least fear of harm..All the tyrannous giants were dead, all the dangerous dragons had been put out of action.(White 423) To obtain equality Arthur made the round table so that no one was above the other. ‘There will be a lot of jealousy,’..’Knights in this order of yours saying that they are the best one, and wanting to sit at top of the table.’ ‘Then we must have a round table, with no top'(White 265). After creating the round table he had knights flocking to his kingdom. In time King Arthur creates his perfect society.

In this society King Arthur makes new ways of teaching to change old ways that caused the past dystopia. King Arthur wants his utopia to strive so he tries to teach the new generations of the new ways, but he has challenge by the Orkney boys who have been thought the old ways. King Arthur wants to teach the children when they are young so when they get older they are not corrupt. The most important thing, will be to catch them young. The old knights, the ones we are fighting against, will be mostly to old to learn. We must breed up a new generation of chivalry for the future(White 265).

This was Arthur’s goal to achieve that will promise him a perfect society forever. However this did not happen as King Arthur’s own son along with the Orkney boys corrupts his society. Dystopia came upon the society that Arthur tries so hard to maintain. All of Arthur’s ideas and values were at the brink of extinction. King Arthur’s last hopes of his society was to pass his ideas to a young page named Tom before his death.

You see, the King wanted there to be somebody left, who would remember their famous idea (White 636). Tom was told of all the ideas of Arthur’s utopia and hopes one day that the society once again will strive. In Looking Backward present a world like no other where there is no chance of corruption as in King Arthur’s society. Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward, takes a dystopian world and changes it around to the perfect utopia were no longer exist hunger, war, and hate but instead knowledge, individual, and love endures. In the world Julian lives in contains war, hunger, crime, and has many disputes. For Julian never thinks about this distopic world because he and his family are wealthy.

West goes to sleep one day and wakes up in the twentieth-century after being in a suspended trance. Mr. Leete brings West out of this trance and becomes his guide to utopia. West learns through Mr. Leete about the past Boston which has change in to the next millennium.

Boston in the twentieth-century takes care of the individuality and allows them to form in their individual way. This utopian society expects the people to due what best fit them too due and mature in their own way. The most delicate possible test is needed here, and so we leave the question whether a man shall be a brain or hand worker entirely to him to settle(Bellamy 137). This shows that society does not push ideas on to the citizens. Citizens are allowed to strive within their own talents. Public policy is to encourage all to develop suspected talents(Bellamy 138).

If one wants to be a writer he or she can be a writer. No one in society will tell or make one due something against their will other then to participate in society. Each citizen in the new Boston is taken care of, The nation guarantees the nurture, education, and comfortable maintenance of every citizen from the cradle to the grave(Bellamy 149). The society treats their citizens as equal were no one gets more than the other. New Boston is a utopia where the citizens can see themselves as equals whereas in the past old Boston was filled with unequal social status.

Minds of the citizens in New Boston do not know what is non equal and West questions Mr. Leete. Mr. Leete response is, It is precisely because we are all social equals whose equality nothing can compromise(Bellamy 168). Mr.

Leete tells West that all of the citizens get a year credit of 4 thousand dollars no matter where they work. West asks how workers are paid the same if one worker produces more than the other. Mr. Leete responds by, The right of man to maintenance at the nation’s table depends on the fact that he is a man, and not on the amount of health and strength he may have, so long as he does his best(Bellamy 179). The society sees effort applied by the citizens as equal no matter how smaller or greater.

In new Boston society give everyone equal status and does not divide or split among caste groups that is displayed in dystopian worlds. Splitting up groups by castes or social class leads to dystopia and is why it has been removed in new Boston. There are no privileged few, no overpaid managerial class, and no sexism or slavery delegating dreary jobs to women, nonwhites, or an overburdened subclass(Snodgrass 324). This quotation shows the benefits of not having class and can be seen in true utopian worlds. Having such classes create dystopia as it did in Brave New World. It is the worst thing about any system which divides men, or allows them to be divided, into classes and castes, that it weakens the sense of a common humanity(Bellamy 195).

In new Boston the people are seen to be more social due to the fact that they are all equals. As everyone is equal there is no hate between people and crime has been made to nothing by eliminating money. Utopia strives to correct what is done wrong from the past so they have taken money that causes lust, greed and temptations away from the society. New Boston has figured out that eliminating money will rid their societal problems dealing with crime. Result from the inequality in the possessions of individuals; want tempted the poor, lust of greater gains..money was the motive of all crime, the taproot of a vast poison growth(Bellamy 225). Without crime new Boston is in peace and harmony, As with other utopias, the Boston of A.D.

2000 is a dream world that suffers no anarchy and subsists in harmony and peace(Snodgrass 325). Knowledge in this world is available and gladly given. New Boston maintains utopia by not forcing certain knowledge to the children in schools, but offers abundance amount of knowledge. Children acquire knowledge in certain areas of professions and arts. Society gives the young citizens till the age of twenty-one to learn in the area they best wish. This process is affective because the knowledge is not being force to them that causes them to take in less.

According to Edith, because of the efficacy of public education in skills and tastes..Art flourishes. Libraries continue to stock English classic(Snodgrass 325). In this utopia knowledge is fluent and the thought of each individual is wanted. Love prospers in new Boston as it shows Edith expressing herself towards West. After waking up in new Boston West has been feeling lonely ever since. West has feelings for Edith but does not tell her for he is shy.

Due to freedom of expression in new Boston Edith does not feel shy as she expresses her love to West. Edith tells West that she would have told him sooner but was afraid to shock him. I know girls were expected to hide their feelings in your day, and I was dreadfully afraid of shocking you. Ah me, how hard it must have been for them to have always had to conceal their love like a fault. Why did they think it such a shame to love any one till they had been given permission to fall in love?(Bellamy 293) This shows how the society feels openly about love.

New Boston has no restrictions on love and therefore maintains utopia. With all this great changes that are made from the past from old Boston to the new Boston can be seen as the journey back to the garden of Eden; the very first utopia. In a higher note Bellamy’s Looking Backward, is society that maintains utopia where citizens are becoming more and more innocent and thus in biblical terms are going back to the Garden of Eden were violence, greed, and inequality does not exist. As West was in this garden like society he was force to leave when he went to sleep and dreamed he was in old Boston. While back again in old Boston West sees true dystopia of corruption, crimes, greed and inequality. West wants to go back to new Boston; wants to go back to the garden of Eden.

When West once again awaken he is back in the future and is so happy he cries, I was gasping. The tears were streaming down my face, and I Quivered in every nerve(Bellamy 310). At the end of the novel Bellamy puts a picture in the readers mind were West and Edith represent Adam and Even in the garden of Eden. Edith. fresh as the morning, had come into the garden and was gathering flowers.

I hastened to descend to her. Kneeling before her, with my face in the dust, I confessed with tears how little was my worth to breath the air of this golden century(Bellamy 311). This shows that new Boston will continue to be a utopia. Hubris is excessive pride that the closed minded societies have shown in 1994, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451 where they only see utopia when they take away knowledge, individuality, and love which in turn causes dystopia. The quest for Utopia was found in all the novels, but only two made it and the rest became dystopia ironically still believing it was utopia.

When great societies tries to obtain utopia they become blind not seeing that they have caused dystopia. This is not just seen with utopia as this is true for any great substances such as getting the American Dream or getting one million dollars. People and societies get wrapped up in trying to reach too far with their hands and end up losing their bodies. This is why TH. White’s Once and Future King and Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backwards were able to create their utopian societies.

King Arthur’s society did not eliminate all the things that caused dystopia but mixed them into his society by the new ways and old ways. In new Boston they achieve their utopia by not just eliminating but reconstructing their society from the wrongs of the previous society. All the novels have dreams of utopia and that may be their success or downfall. Works Cited Ash, Brian, ed. 02.07 UTOPIAS AND NIGHTMARES, 124-129 The Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. New York: Harmony Books, 1977.

124-9. Bellamy, Edward. Looking Backward. Cambridge: The John Harvard Library, 1970. Bradbury, Ray.

Fahrenheit 451. New York: Ballantine Books, 1973. Carey, Gary, ed. Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited. Lincoln: Cliffs Notes, 1965.

6-13 Guinevera, A. Aldous Huxley, 76-77 Heaven and Hell: The Utopian Theme in Three Novels. New York: Continuan, 1988. Hermon, William and Holman, C. Hugh, eds. A Hand Book to Literature.

5th ed. New York: McMillan Publishing Company, 1986. Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Harper Perennial, 1989. Orwell, George.

1984. New York: The New American Library, Inc., 1961. Snodgrass, Mary Ellen. Dystopia, 179, Looking Backward, 323-324 Encyclopedia of Utopian Literature. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1995. White, T.H.

The Once and Future King. New York: Ace Books, 1987. English Essays.


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