The Perfect Society In Thomas More's The City Of The Sun

2073 Words 9 Pages
Throughout history, it is evident that humanity has been fascinated with the idea of a perfect society. Perhaps the reasoning behind it is to provide a stark contrast to the obvious and omnipresent corruption that runs rampant in the world, or perhaps people are simply dreaming of the perfection they expect in the next world after death. Regardless of the intentions behind it, humans have often attempted to construct these perfect societies, or “utopias,” not out of brick and mortar, but out of words. Utopian literature experienced a considerable surge during the Renaissance with the publication of Thomas More’s work, Utopia, in which he both coined the term and established a precedent which many authors would adhere to in subsequent years …show more content…
In the city, everyone is treated the same with regard to lifestyle. For example, “they have dwellings in common” and “men and women wear the same kind of garment” (Campanella 1602). This uniformity robs the people of the individuality and attempts to eliminate any selfish desires that naturally come with diversity. Even more perplexing than the people in charge having control of the day-to-day routine is their control over the minds of the citizens. Although there are no laws or means of enforcing this rule, it is ingrained into their minds in that “everyone follows the opinion of his leader and judge,” without any real thought on their part (Campanella 1602). This lack of independence and originality among the people is not just for the satisfaction of the leaders, however; it serves a definite purpose. In keeping the people obedient, the elite are ensuring that their society is functioning as they see fit. Problems with civilizations tend to arise out of selfish desires and actions from the people, as those who are “given over to their own pleasure and lasciviousness… go forth for the ruin of the State” (Campanella 1602). In order to prevent this, they take away differences that cause egotism, hence “when [they] have taken away self-love, there remains only love for the State” (Campanella 1602). So when they deprive their residents of diversity, …show more content…
Their leader, who is called “Hoh,” governs most of their society’s functions, fulfilling roles that range from high priest to judge to scholar. He is the one who has contact with anything regarding the divine, and even knows “the ideas of God.” Even though the people, including Hoh, only worship God, they still rely solely on Hoh for that connection. For example, when the people confess their sins to Hoh, he must then relay them to God, as if God had not heard them during the confession itself (Campanella 1602). Campanella was a Catholic friar, and incorporated Catholic teachings into this work. Catholic doctrine dictates that when a person is confessing their sins in the sacrament of Confession, which was occurring in the aforementioned instance, their sins are heard directly by God, with the priest just being the intermediary between God and the confessor (“Sacraments”). So when the people require the priest to communicate their sins for them, they are raising him above other humans, including themselves. The religious aspects of his rule aside, the text is littered with small assertions of Hoh’s supremacy, saying things such as “no one attains to the dignity of Hoh” and calling him an “expert in every branch of knowledge” (Campanella 1602). This extreme adoration which the people hold for their leader steers them to

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