Saturday, December 4, 2010

(Book #41) Sir Thomas More - Utopia

I previously read some of Sir Thomas More's 'Utopia' in a humanities class a few years ago, and I have been wanting to read the whole thing at some point. While it seemed like a fairly small piece, this book, a description of a fictional ideal society, dragged on for more than its week allotment. The book was split up into two "books", the first section being a confusing and droning on current (16th Century) social woes and concerns. Perhaps this was to juxtapose with the easier to read and far more relevant second book which attempts to give full descriptions of the many facets of the titular society. It was interesting to read this portion again, with more experienced eyes. While the notions and sweeping ideas that are established in the earlier pages seem pleasant enough, it is still an ideal fabrication. Some aspects of this perfect civilization, surprisingly not in comparison to existing and long-established systems of economy and government, but to human nature as a whole. More would have us believe that it is possible for man to be incorruptible and sustain it. Overall this attempt at structuring a perfect society is certainly a notable attempt and probably worthy of the recognition, even though personally I found some parts shallow and a little hard to swallow.

If I were still in school, I would be obliged to write a much more lengthy and in depth analysis of this book, however I am not, and can thus move on to the my next book and put this one back on the philosophy shelf where it belongs.

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