Utopia Analysis

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In recent history the role of genre has undergone dramatic changes, once believed to be useful only to help categorise works into specific types based on their narrative or meaning, genres have too on a new role as they also help us to organize and define social actions (Bawarshi,17). It is the aim of this essay to examine just how this change affects the reception of Utopia by Thomas More and New Atlantis by Francis Bacon. This essay by close examination of these two narratives will examine how genre plays a role not only in the “constitution” of the texts and their contexts, “Including the identities of those who write them” and the characters that are represented within them. This essay will begin by first examining the role of genre in…show more content…
Following this, this essay will examine the general reception of More’s Utopia in society, the effects of genre upon this interpretation and the meaning this had upon society. Finally, this essay will once again examine Bacon’s New Atlantis under these same headings in an attempt to compare and contrast these two texts in order to display a subjective view of the role of genre and how the use of specific genres can change a reader’s perception of texts. Sir Thomas More is often regarded as one of the most brilliant, compelling and disturbing figures of the English Renaissance. More Published what is arguably one of his most famous pieces of work Utopia in 1516. This book was received by communists as a forerunner of their plan to abolish private property while giving greater amenities to the middle class such as free public education, careers open to talents and freedom of thought (Reidhead,569). This novel essentially centers upon a conversation between the Characters Thomas More and Raphael Hythloday. Hythloday is revealed to be a philosopher and a world…show more content…
In essence, More set a trail which those looking to follow in his footsteps could follow, one of the most prominent of those who did so was Francis Bacon. In 1627, Francis Bacon released his utopian novel in which Bacon depicted his vision for the future of the world, including the future of human discovery and knowledge, in essence, Bacon was expressing his ideals for humanity. Unlike More, Bacon’s account had in its center an account of a research establishment, in Solomons house. Solomons house was a ‘scientific fraternity’ which meant that it was an establishment which dedicated itself not to the study of God but to the study of gods creations (Splitz,55). One can even note the way in which the title New Atlantis eludes to the idealistic utopian Atlantic Island, an Island which was often imagined as being part of the so-called, New World as an attempt by Bacon to express his knowledge. This tale follows an imaginary journey of a nameless narrator and his shipmates during their discovery of an island which had been cut off from Hebrew and Greek civilization, therefore it was free to focus on the development of science. Throughout the narrative Bacon’s names reflect a more unequivocal approval of those than more, for example, ‘Bensalem’ means son or offspring of peace’. In essence, Bacon makes use of the travel and Utopian genre to convey
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