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Utopia - Book Report/Review Example

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Your Full Name Your Your 15 March 2011 Utopia Utopia, published in 1516 originally, is a book written by Sir Thomas More. Through the book, More tried to present his solution to the problems faced by his society (the English society) during his times…
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Download file to see previous pages He was an adherent of Catholicism and as such opposed the doctrines of Martin Luther’s Reformation. He was also a supporter of Henry VIII, and was made the Chancellor of Wolsey in 1529, where he was renowned for settling cases with speed. However, he did not agree with Henry VIII’s proclamation of becoming the Supreme Head of the Church of England, and did not want to deny the authority of the Pope. As a consequence, he resigned from his office, citing health reasons, in 1532. In 1534, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London for adhering to the doctrine of Papal Supremacy. He was tried under the Treason Act, found guilty, and beheaded on July 6 1535. He was canonized as a Saint in 1935 by Pope Pius XI. Utopia is divided into two books, with, interestingly, the second book being written before the first one. Book one deals with Sir Thomas More’s account of how he came upon a friend of his, Peter Giles, while traveling. Giles then introduces him to a man called Raphael Hythloday. Hythloday is critical of the legal and political systems of their countries, while commenting to More, upon the latter’s suggestion of joining a King’s counsel, that he is happy with his way of life and that as his ideas are very different and radical for the King to pay any heed. Then, he sets the premise to book two by talking about a place called Utopia. Upon More’s insistence, Hythloday describes Utopia. The book then goes on to explain the political, social and religious system of Utopia in the words of Hythloday. Hythloday describes the cities and the officials of utopia, along with describing the occupations practiced therein. He also touches upon the social relationships of utopians, their methods of traveling and their educational system. He describes how in Utopia, gold and jewels are of no value whatsoever, and how there is no greed even regard to food distribution with the whole island living together in a state of harmony, as if they are members of a single family. Hythloday also describes the abhorrence of utopians to go to war, sending others in their stead, as well as how their legal system works. In this regard, the description of their religious system is very interesting, whereby religions of all sorts are tolerated in the island. However, it is interesting to note that even in such a republic, there is no place for atheists, as they think that those who do not believe in the immortality of the soul will not be inclined to adhere to good moral principles, as they will not fear of any consequences of their bad conduct. This is very much in line with the opposition to atheism today, and More was as mistaken about this as the modern world today is. Morality does not come with the belief of an immortal soul or a “next” life, but by inner principles. Before reading this book, I did not know that the Catholic Church was open to the writing of such books, I always thought that the Church did not condone free thought and that it supported censorship of ideas. Hythloday refers to social systems in the modern world as conspiracies because according to him by pretending to manage the public, the rich devise ways of maintaining their wealth while ensuring that the poor are enslaved to them by working on as low rates as possible for them. This, he says, gives rise to discontent both on the part of the rich and the poor. The people are thus caught in the vicious circle of trying to earn and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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Classic Book Essay
In this respect, it will be argued that some of his ‘ironic’ and ‘phantasmagoric’ techniques were employed as a form of self censorship. By presenting this as a fantasy, it will be argued that More was capable of providing a ‘distance’ from the political and religious authorities of his era.
6 Pages(1500 words)Book Report/Review
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