A geography of utopia

It will be noticed that through the early portion of Book II, topics are treated in a brief, rather matter-of-fact fashion. Filed under:.

Laws in utopia

The rulers are selected from the order of scholars. Still further credence is lent to the story by the creation of the imaginary witness, Raphael Hythloday, who reports having visited the distant island. On the other side of the island there are likewise many harbors; and the coast is so fortified, both by nature and art, that a small number of men can hinder the descent of a great army. Hythloday notes that the Utopians have retained many of the plans and values initially established by Utopus. Its figure is not unlike a crescent: between its horns, the sea comes in eleven miles broad, and spreads itself into a great bay, which is environed with land to the compass of about miles, and is well secured from winds. When they want anything in the country which it does not produce, they fetch that from the town, without carrying anything in exchange for it. But though there is every year such a shifting of the husbandmen, to prevent any man being forced against his will to follow that hard course of life too long, yet many among them take such pleasure in it that they desire leave to continue in it many years. Language, social customs, religion, dress, architecture and education are identical in Utopia's fifty-four cities. In a world where globalisation dictates cultural norms and values and creates an environment in which humans become connected to virtual networks but detached from their natural surroundings, the question of the ideal society arises. Every city sends three of its wisest Senators once a year to Amaurot, to consult about their common concerns; for that is the chief town of the island, being situated near the centre of it, so that it is the most convenient place for their assemblies. Nevertheless, the globalised society and fast-paced technological advances of the Western world may gradually change the face of Dynamo, through both emigration and immigration and potential dissatisfaction with the secluded life of the island.

The island was originally joined to the mainland, but Utopus, the man who conquered it and gave it its name and form of government, dug a channel and separated it. Hythloday is quite a talker; More and Giles can barely get a word in edgewise. When the time of harvest comes, the magistrates in the country send to those in the towns, and let them know how many hands they will need for reaping the harvest; and the number they call for being sent to them, they commonly despatch it all in one day.

A geography of utopia

Still, a couple of Hythloday's details were ambiguous. Book Two is a long commentary on Hythloday's part. The rulers are selected from the order of scholars.

education in utopia
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Book Review: Dynamo Island: The Cultural History and Geography of a Utopia by David Scott