Masterpiece Society Episode Analysis

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In the Masterpiece Society (TNG), an important element of the episode is the controversy surrounding eugenics, and the effect selective breeding has on what it means to be human. The Enterprise stumbles upon an isolated colony that is genetically engineered to be the perfect society—they have eradicated disease, live in harmony with their environment (and each other), and are designed specifically to fulfill a defined purpose in the society. Nearly everything is accounted for and very little occurs that is unexpected. The colony’s society is perfectly balanced, but it is also extremely fragile. One change could destroy the society, could let it fall to chaos. And, for all its perfection, this society is not as technologically advanced as the…show more content…
It is efficient, peaceful, and the people appear to be content and fulfilled (at least until the Enterprise comes). The idea of a garden-esque paradise, present throughout many religious stories, is also alluded to in the episode, with the entire colony designed almost like a large garden, where people and plant live together in harmony. I think an important question the episode brings up is whether or not a utopia being a utopia automatically makes it the best type of society. Utopias will always be imperfect because humans are incapable of being perfect. The colony is so fragile that any outside interference—even for the best purposes—could be the destruction of the society. The colony represents the fragility of perfection and how, due to this fragility, the perfect is, in fact, imperfect. For the colony’s society to function it must have the full support of every single member of the society. A citizen leaving upsets this balance and could lead to disaster. This brings up the question of the needs of the many versus the needs of the few, or, more specifically in this episode, individual human rights. It is a citizen’s right as an individual to self determination and, therefore, to leave if they desire. However, this individual choice to leave could potentially destroy the whole society, destroying the lives of

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