Looking Backward 2000-1887

Bellamy's Concessions in Looking Backward

Humanity constantly seeks change to improve itself, be it through economic restructuring, political reforms, or educational agendas. When a collection of these changes towards progress mesh nicely together, while possessing a common, encompassing goal, an author is able to construct his or her version of utopia-a futuristic, ideal society that appears significantly more attractive and desirable than the current one. Often, this new society will be radically different, disposing of long held political and economic structures, sometimes replacing them, other times leaving them out of the picture. However, such radical changes often encounter skeptical minds-that is, the readers are separated so far from their current society that the new one is inconceivable and thus lacks the full appeal or fair consideration desired by the author. This is the reason many utopists are forced to provide some concessions in their writings, which at times leads to a lack of completeness in the utopia portrayed.

This lack of wholeness is one of the crucial problems that Edward Bellamy encounters even as he paints a rather detailed, extensive picture of his version of utopia through the novel Looking Backward. In his book he delineates a futuristic...

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