Significance of Travel in Utopia

Topics: Morality, Social class, Europe Pages: 2 (905 words) Published: April 19, 2014
What is the significance of travel in Thomas More’s Utopia? Thomas More wrote Utopia during the Age of Exploration. In order to discuss the significance of travel in Utopia, I think it is important to compare what humanity during that time wanted to get away from to the place Raphael Hythloday traveled to- the fictional place called Utopia which means No Place. Humanity was asking a lot of questions about their world and about themselves during this time in England and other European countries. People wanted an opportunity to travel to new places that could maybe even be perfect places. As Thomas More narrates the fictional Hythloday’s story of this hopefully perfect place, we see examples of what Raphael was trying to travel away from. The very idea of traveling to a perfect world brought hope to people who were not happy with the way things were in 16th Century Europe. Raphael takes many issues of 16th Century Europe and describes how traveling to Utopia will change humanity as a whole- whether everyone agrees or not. One topic in the book, which is a huge topic in book II, is the topic of private property. Raphael travels to the place, Utopia, as a place where there is no private property- as he explains on page 42 by saying “quote42.” He defends his thoughts on this topic in his argument with the character Thomas More in Book I on page 36 by saying, “partial quote36.” 16th Century Europe, as well as Thomas More’s character in Book I, believes that private property promotes productivity. Raphael has a history with having his ideas not be received and therefore wanted to travel to a place where his ideas were implemented and for the most part, agreed upon. Another depiction shown in Utopia is the class structure. In 16th Century Europe, social mobility was a very possible thing and was common. Utopia’s idea of social classes is that it eliminates human pride and promotes equality, which are two of the Utopian organization goals. In Utopia, there are large...
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