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MonkeyNotes-Utopia by Sir Thomas More
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Notes

The emphasis on the family in Utopians society is an important one as during the sixteenth century, the family unit was undergoing major changes. With the decreasing power of the Catholic Church, divorces become more common. Though More lived with his wife and children, this was not the general case. Old people were often thrown out of the house by children and were left in a pitiable state. But, in More's Utopia, age as well as the family unit is greatly respected. The family symbolizes trust and companionship, instruction and loyalty.

There was a population boom in 16th century England that resulted in a land shortage. Country people whose lands had been converted into sheep pastures and others without any occupation migrated to the cities. Yet these cities could not cope with the sudden influx of people. To start with, the English cities were not planned well. Food was in short supply and diseases were rampant. There was dirt and filth everywhere. Medical care was abysmal even though London had four big hospitals. These hospitals were overcrowded and the patients treated badly. Everything in this section of the work is in direct contrast to conditions in England. More, as a city inspector, was familiar with the terrible quality of life though he could do nothing. Writing about the ideal conditions of Utopia and showing how they should really be gave him an opportunity to respond to the deprivation around him. Housing, food, and shelter were essential qualities of life that no person should do without. Utopia provides these basic provisions as well as has a back-up plan if cities become too crowded. The migration of people to colonies precedes the eventual migration of communities to the New World in their search for religious and economic freedoms.


Much of what is set out in this section reveals an idealized communism where everyone takes what they need and everything is shared, including social activities like eating. Even though no one is paid for their labor, they are guaranteed the necessities of life and are given a voice in the government. Therefore, no one is marginalized or pushed aside because of class.

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