The Need for Utopia
Plato is often credited with originating the notion of utopia with his Republic. Plato’s conceptualizations were probably reflective of his time and comprised a dream to which his fellow citizens aspired. From the ethereal regions of his exalted metaphysics his scheme drew the imagination of his readers, emphasizing the principles of mercy, goodness, and justice as foundational concepts (Godwin, 1972:9). Sir Thomas More’s political, fictional essay entitled Utopia, published in 1516, has been seen as an embellishment of Plato. More envisaged an ideal commonwealth having a perfect political and social system, paralleling to some extent the ideas of Plato. More’s utopia was the bridge by which he sought to span the gap between the old order of the Middle Ages and the new interests and institutions of the Renaissance. No doubt such an idyllic dwelling place has been the dream of individuals in every culture and every generation. Despite centuries of searching, ultimate fulfillment for the entire human race will likely never occur, but the quest must go on. Literally dozens of schemes have been devised in every age by which to bring about such a state, and these imaginative schemes fuel the fires of human urge and desire.
KeywordsScarlet Fever African American Resident Underground Railroad Ideal Commonwealth Utopian Dream
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