Analysis Of Sir Thomas More's Utopian Society

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In Sir Thomas More’s magnum opus, Utopia, More coins the term “utopia” which is “an ideal or perfect place or state, or any visionary system of political or social perfection” (Mastin). A utopian society is an idyllic community where there are egalitarian values relating to the political, economic and social structures of a society, or in other words, a paradise on Earth. Voltaire, a sardonic polemicist, includes in his satire Candide, published in 1759, a hiatus in Candide’s hardships. Candide and his valet Cacambo serendipitously land in Eldorado, a geographically isolated utopia. For approximately a month, Candide and Cacambo live without suffering in Eldorado with Candide even remarking, “This is quite different from Westphalia and the…show more content…
Candide and Cacambo, only after an arduous and extensive journey, luckily arrive at Eldorado. Voltaire describes Candide and Cacambo’s journey writing: “They drifted for several miles between banks… After twenty-four hours they saw daylight again, but their boat was smashed against a reef. They had to crawl from rock to rock for nearly three miles, until finally they saw a vast horizon bordered by unscalable mountains” (59). Eldorado’s accessibility is exaggerated in order to demonstrate the literal remoteness the society has from the rest of the world. Because Voltaire describes Eldorado with such great alienation due to its geography and lack of external connections with other civilizations, Eldorado can be viewed as a society that is not able to function practically with the real world. However, Donna Isaacs Dalnekoff argues in her text The Meaning of Eldorado: Utopia and Satire in Candide that “it is a basic characteristic of a utopian community that it be radically cut off from the world outside… it is thus that the utopia preserves its integrity which would otherwise continually be subject to corrosion” (64). Ultimately though, the natural characteristic of utopian societies to isolate themselves from the outside world only creates an equivocal reality for utopian societies rather than preserving them from the faults of the outside world. Thus, Eldorado’s…show more content…
When Candide and Cacambo first land to Eldorado, they spot a group of kids playing a typical childlike game. However, upon further inspection, Candide and Cacambo are amazed when they see that the quoits “were rather large round objects, yellow, red, or green, which shone with extraordinary brilliance” (59). Additionally, they “picked up a few of them and found that some were made of gold, while others were emeralds or rubies; the smallest one of them would have been the greatest ornament of a Mogul’s throne” (59). The children treat the golds and emeralds as if they are mere pebbles and of no value. Furthermore, when Candide and Cacambo are departing Eldorado and ask for some of the gold, the king asks with bewilderment: “I can 't understand why you people from Europe are so fond of our yellow mud, but take as much as you like, you’re welcome to it” (66). Just like the children, the king believes that the gold is of no value whatsoever and even compares it to “mud”, a matter that holds no value. By comparing the gold to mud, the king overemphasizes the worthlessness of gold in Eldorado’s society. Dalnekoff in her aforementioned text contends that, “It is a characteristic of utopian literature to satirize the economic systems of real society and the lust for gold and silver. ... While in the real world of Europe gold and silver are associated with what is noble and exalted, in Utopia they are

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