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Policing/ discipline in utopia - Essay Example

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Name 1 Name Class Instructor Date Death and Conformity in H.G. Wells’ Utopia In Henry Archer’s 1642 treatise The Personall Reign of Christ Upon Earth, Henry Archer wrote that the perfect Utopian society is one in which death is a natural phenomenon, not a source of fear…
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Policing/ discipline in utopia
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Download file to see previous pages The denizens of the happy valley live in a society where those things that give meaning to existence, such as struggle, aspiration, ambition and exultation, are unknown, impossible. If one accepts the notion that death is nothingness then, it is reasonable to argue that the content yet meaningless existence of those who live in the valley is a form of nothingness. In Utopia, the normal and accepted condition of life nourishes neither mind nor spirit. From a social standpoint, this is death. Those who live in the valley are without vision, without which there can be no sense of perspective. Learning cannot take place, so the normal evolution of society is stillborn. The blind develop other senses, but those who comprise the lost society that Nunez encounters have developed only to the point at which their senses can keep them alive. There is a sense that Nunez has entered a place where time has no meaning, a kind of tomb. “Death is nihilation; Name 2 utopianism is the nihilation of nihilation. Utopianism truly prepares one not to die but for death itself, by preparing one to escape from all meaning except the meanings which are created, which are chosen” (Busch, 170). In such a society, existence is an end in itself. There is no creativity, no striving for personal improvement or gain. What Nunez found in the valley was what its citizens might have considered “infinite freedom, which can be attained only when the process itself is no longer the goal of those within it because they have become the process in themselves…” (Busch, 170). In such circumstances, there is no need to be concerned with the meanings of “beginning” or “end;” there is just seamless, characterless existence. The Country of the Blind is, for Wells, an interesting take on the concept of Utopia, an idea that held a great deal of interest for him. His vision was sometimes uncomfortably Darwinian, an endorsement of the kind of uniformity that the blind maintained in the happy valley. On one hand, Wells argued that a Utopian society would not engage in capital punishment, but in the same breath assumed that those deemed not worthy of life would be deprived of it in order to maintain a truly Utopian integrity. “No doubt Utopia will kill all deformed and monstrous and evilly diseased births…” (Wells, 123). In The Country of the Blind, Nunez must conform, physically, if he wants to marry Medina-sarote: he must agree to have his eyes surgically removed. This is not mere symbolism representing a change of attitude, no compulsory acceptance of doctrine. Nunez must sacrifice his vision if he wants to remain in the hidden valley. This “Utopia” is a social order that all must accept in exchange for a life free from the worries that come with living in modern society. Name 3 Given his pre-World War I writings on Utopia, one could be left with the impression that Wells is making a contradictory statement in The Country of the Blind. Nunez refuses to conform in spite of the cost, in spite of losing his love and the risk he must take in escaping. Seen from the perspective of his protagonist, Wells seems to be making a statement about a crisis of individualism in the face of conformity, for which the valley’s inhabitants are asking too great a price. In the end, the story “expresses Wells’s personal conviction that the individual can and should remove himself from any situation which he finds insupportable; at the same time, it ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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