Utopia + Dystopia Essay

English Ext: Utopia/Dystopia

What ideas do you see linking the texts you have studied through your exploration of Utopias and/or Dystopias? In an extended essay support your response to this question through a detailed analysis of at least two of your core texts and one related text.

Humans have attempted to grasp the concept of a “Utopia” for millennia. The neologism of a “Utopia” emerged centuries before World War I in Thomas More’s Utopia, in which people believed society would be perfected if individuals made sacrifices for the ‘common good’. The war altered all of this; society began to fear government authorities and rebellions were made in order to annihilate these created dystopias. Thus, the genre of dystopia was created, as in Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca, and Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men. Through the utilisation of a range of cinematic and language techniques, More establishes the ways in which a ‘perfect world’ is created and both Niccol and Cuaron explore the societal constraints created in these attempts and the fatal flaw of the human race: the ambition for perfection.
As a response to the ideals of Renaissance Humanism and the discoveries of the New World, Thomas More’s Utopia reveals an ideal map describing an idealized, imaginary commonwealth, a ‘perfect’ society which may be a utopia to one, but a dystopia to many. More utilizes the juxtaposition of the two books of Utopia in order to lampoon 16th century England and establish the solutions to these problems. Despite admonishing that each individual is entitled to freedom, we can see through the restrictions and limitations that the people of Utopia are unable to do as they please and exercise free will. This is shown through the regimented and homogeneous lifestyle of the Utopians, as shown in “They go to bed at 8pm, and sleep for 8 hours” and “There are fifty-four four big splendid towns on the island, all with the same language, laws, customs and institutions.” By this quote, we can see...