More’s Utopia

stmoreIn 1516, political philosopher Thomas More published a book called Utopia. The novel is a satire and at the time it was aimed at literate people who would understand his writing style. The book centers on a traveler whose name is Raphael Hythloday. From Greek roots his name is means talking nonsense. Raphael tells his story in a fictional land called Utopia. At first the policies of the land that Raphael describes seem to make sense; however, as his tale progresses in the book he advocates the practices of the land, which are absurd. Raphael tells of Utopia’s hatred of private property rights. He describes Utopia as incredibly socialistic society much like that of Marx or Lenin. Raphael sees Utopia’s as the ideal society. The book is meant to show the reader just how ridicules realistic socialistic truly are. By having Raphael’s tale become gradually layered with communist theory after communist theory, the reader is meant to say to himself “this is pure nonsense”. The novel is a prime example of satirical literature.

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