H.G. Wells' "A Modern Utopia," Sir Francis Bacon's "New Atlantis" and Tommaso Campanella's "City of the Sun" are all examples of utopian novels. A utopia is a fictionalized ideal culture.Continue Reading
Utopias are imaginary perfect societies, idealized in the material world as opposed to any notion of afterlife. As such, they are often called "heaven on Earth." All social ills, such as poverty and injustice, have been eliminated in a utopian society, and a strict and perfect moral code is followed. Novels that depict such societies generally have social, cultural and political goals. They have historically aimed to make the reader realize the various ways in which the society he or she actually lives in is not perfect, and all the problems that need to be addressed. For example, Plato's "Republic" is often considered to be the first work of utopian literature.
Almost all fictionalized utopias include detailed descriptions of the physical landscape. There were some utopian aspects in Arthurian literature and King Arthur's Camelot. In 1516, when Sir Thomas More published his work "Utopia," detailing an imaginary perfect kingdom, the concept of ideal culture took its name after the book.
Dystopia and dystopian literature are a related concept; they portray a utopian society in which something has gone awry. Much like utopian works, they have political messages; dystopian fiction functions as a warning.Learn more about Cultures & Traditions