Even the Most Perfect World Contains its Imperfections

Although the modern day world is far from perfect, I believe it may have something in common with Thomas More’s idea of a perfect world, Utopia. This book was written during the ever-famous Renaissance period by More in order to portray his ideas on what creates a perfect society. In my research I found this society to include absolutely everything. More made sure to include: the perfect harmony between religions, the unity of the people expressed by the absence of any differences throughout the clothing of the people, and the abundant idea of education. After reading UtopiaI came to the conclusion that with the majority of the ideas and morals expressed in More’s book, I found that in his literature, his concept on the ideas of warfare was highly disagreeable (See the image to the right, to see full profile of Thomas More).

I personally have had great difficulty in dealing with the grief that war and the consequences it carries. In Utopia I assumed that instead of their being the constant misery of war, it would be replaced with the idea of trade or of peaceful reasoning. I soon began to wonder why most of More’s ideas included a great deal of information on warfare. When continuing to read through More’s book, I found it interesting that he does bring of the fact that people solely go to war if they are under extreme situations or if their allies or friends are at risk. This again infers the important idea of unity in Utopia.

     When reading Mckay, the Utopians were said to have prevented wars by buying off their enemies (Mckay 417). Interestingly, this again brings us back to the idea of how realistic this concept would be in modern-day. This might seem unrealistic because it does not eliminate the root problem that is the cause of the war. It also requires a large amount of trust that whether we ignore it or not. For those of you Hawaii Five-0 watchers think of this idea similar to the episode where Chin has a bomb placed around his neck and in order to save him his co-workers must then pay off the enemy to disable the bomb. A great amount of trust is put into the enemies’ hands when the sacrifice (money) is placed into their hands and the weaker is standing there with only their trust to rely on, for one of two things will happen. The first would be the ideal, the enemy gives you what you want and walks away with only the money. The second, the enemy walks away with the money as well as what you were trying to pay the enemy off for. This concept shows the weakness in Utopia because, either option you are at a loss and have let the enemy show that you are the weaker party in the battle and they have taken something that was yours prior to the incident. After all, even in Hawaii Five-0, Kono is but a couple yards away waiting with a gun, which proves necessary later in the episode. This concludes my argument by showing even the most perfect of worlds has its weaknesses.

Works consulted:

McKay, John P., Bennett D. Hill, and John Buckler. A history of Western society. 4th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991. Print.

More, Thomas, and Robert Martin Adams. Utopia: a new translation, backgrounds, criticism. New York: Norton, 1975. Print.

Hans Holbein the Younger. Sir Thomas More.
© Frick Collection, New York

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3 comments

  1. claire1431

    You mentioned Utopia’s idea of “unity,” in what other ways in Utopia is this idea of unity between people in this perfect world mentioned? Are you saying that Utopia suggested that with unity between the people, that is what created success? I really like how you incorporated Hawaii Five-0, and by comparing it to Utopia, showing that even though they both had this idea of a perfect world, you still found flaws.
    Great post! I really enjoyed it!

  2. amandagowithit

    Allie,

    I liked your insight and thoughts about his work and what you read prior to that. Even though you said that he includes a lot of information about war because they want to help out, but do you think there could have been any more ideas drawn from it? Since he could have had a bigger idea than just that, but we are just seeing whats on the surface.

  3. jackr224

    i to looked at Thomas More, and was curious about his ideas of a utopia, as i did not look in depth into that aspect of his life. i am curious as to your opinion of how Thomas More would have reacted to seeing the world as it is, with war breaking out everywhere and religions being one of the main causes of tension between countries”.

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