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The Issues With Human Progress in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction College
Krishan Kumar claims that HG Wells “never wrote a proper utopia, in the strict sense”. This may seem a paradoxical statement in regards to the author famed for being the leading apostle of science utopias, and lends itself to the question: “what is a utopia ‘in the strict sense’?” The term coined by Thomas More in his 1516 novel Utopia has a double meaning. The word is derived from the Greek οὐ τόπος, meaning “no place”, though the English homophone “eutopia” is derived from the Greek εὖ τόπος, meaning “good place”. In this sense a true utopia can be interpreted to mean the dream of a place that is perfect, but also unattainable. Wells seems acknowledge this in his novel A Modern Utopia through the phrase, “Utopias were once in good faith projects for a fresh creation of the world and of a most unworldly completeness; this so-called Modern Utopia is a mere story of personal adventures among Utopian Philosophies.” Wells’s depiction of society is that of “Utopian Philosophies” put into practice and as a result there are flaws – in fact there is a chapter dedicated to “Failure in a Modern Utopia.” In acting out utopian dreams we inevitably encounter imperfections, and from this the “Anti-Utopia”, or dystopia is born. The twentieth...
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