Last modified on 2 November 2010, at 14:49

Utopia/History

It is important to learn from our mistakes. Extensive research should be done on previous attempts to build an utopia.

History of the TermEdit

The word 'utopia' was coined by Thomas More in 1515 as the name of his fictional island. The name itself is a play on the Greek ou-topos, meaning "no place", and eu-topos, meaning "good place" --an ironic joke on the likelihood of such a paradise existing. Since then 'utopian' and 'dystopian' have become literary genres of their own. Plato’s ‘Republic’ is now often referred to as a utopia as is Swifts ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ and even the biblical story of the Garden of Eden. Famous modern attempts to understand a utopia include George Orwell’s classic 1984, Robert Heinlein's ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ and Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World.’

The term utopia has become a by-word for idealism, often used now as an ironic criticism of an overly enthusiastic plan. Many authors have described their utopia with great practicality and attention to detail but still the term utopia has become stereotyped as reflecting ambitious notions that are too optimistic and idealistic for practical application; readers often argue their concepts are impossible, their logic refutable and thus their conclusions void.

Utopia in LiteratureEdit

Utopia in PhilosophyEdit

More, Sir Thomas: Utopia Orwell, George: 1984, Animal Farm Huxley, Aldous: Brave New World; Brave New World Revisited Bradbury, Ray: Fahrenheit 451

Historical and Contemporary Utopian MovementsEdit

SourceEdit