Trouble in Paradise: Communistic Speculation and Thomas More’s "Utopia" College

Modern day interpretations of Thomas More’s critical and controversial Utopia have called into question his messages to sixteenth century audiences. Utopia depicts a collection of similar, ideal cities that work together in equal accordance to achieve a liberating, stress-free lifestyle. As the story has aged, there have been new perceptions (developed from scholars and students alike) claiming that the work parallels communist practices. The speculative communism seen in Utopia refers to present-day radical communism of the sort that was (and in some cases still is) present in North Korea, Cuba, China, and Russia. People associate communistic government with tyrannical dictators, restriction of resources, and bleak quality of life. The line dividing Communism and Utopianism is very thin and gray. Though somewhat similar, Utopianism and Communism are also very different. Utopia best resembles communistic tendencies through the depictions of work life, emphasis on conformity, and strict laws. Although Thomas More’s Utopia shares similarities with Karl Marx’s communistic philosophy, More's text is actually an exemplar of Renaissance humanism.

Work life in Utopia is one several focal points of the novel where communistic...

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