Why Do Utopian Societies Always Fail?
Every utopia – let’s just stick with the literary ones – faces the same problem: What do you do with the people who don’t fit in?(Margaret Atwood) Autopia is impossible; it’s a place where everything is perfect. Everyone’s the same, which means: No war, no racism, no deep feelings, and uniqueness. Utopias must eliminate human qualities completely in order to achieve sameness.
Erasing human aspects means that it isn’t perfect anymore; it becomes a dystopia, a utopian world plunged into chaos??’in disguise. It is human nature to have feelings such as greediness and selfishness; doing away with them will not only just eliminate them, it will also eliminate deep feelings of happiness, joy, and love. If the human race tries to create a utopia, what happened in these 3 texts, The Giver, Harrison Bergeron, and Logan’s Run, will definitely happen to us.
Utopian societies will never be achieved. For example, in The Giver, by Lois Lowry, Jonas asks his family unit, Father? Mother? Jonas asked tentatively after the evening meal. I have a question I want to ask you.’ What is it, Jonas?’ His father asked. He made himself say the words, though he felt flushed with embarrassment. He had rehearsed them in his mind all the way home from the annex. Do you love me?’ (…) Your father means that you used a very generalized word, so meaningless that it’s become almost obsolete,’ his mother explained carefully.(Lowry p.159, 160) Love is such an important aspect of human life, yet Jonas’ community did away with it. Color, weather, geological features, and feeling are all deleted from their lives. Clearly, utopias always have some human characteristics erased.
Even if you have built a so-called utopia, there are people who cannot be contained. In Harrison Bergeron, by Kurt Vonnegut, the world they know is equal. No one was smarter, better looking, stronger, or quicker than anyone else. This was due to the work of the Handicapper General, which made everyone where handicaps, such as tiny mental radios that were tuned into a government transmitter sending sharp noises to keep over intelligent people from thinking. Their son, Harrison Bergeron, was truly exceptional. Nobody had ever born heavier handicaps. He had outgrown hindrances faster than the H-G men could think them up. Instead of a little ear radio for a mental handicap, he wore a tremendous pair of earphones, and spectacles with thick wavy lenses. (…) In the race of life, Harrison carried three hundred pounds. (Vonnegut L.42-46) There will always be people who break free from the bonds of their society.
As Margaret Atwood has said, there are always people who don’t fit in. In the TV show Logan’s Run, Logan begins to question the ways of his society, like the reason for the renewal of people aged thirty. He tries to question his brother, but he got shut down. He meets Jessica, and they escape together from the City of Domes (their society) into the outside world to find a place called Sanctuary. The Elders of the city ask Logan’s brother to find Logan and Jessica; in return, he gets to replace an Elder once they die. In a utopia, you must satisfy everyone with mostly the same things.
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