A Modern Utopia – Annotated:- This is the Annotated version of the original book. This is the Summarized version of the original book. This Summary version consists of 55% to 65% of the total book.
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The Brief Description of the eBook is written as follows.
To this planet “out beyond Sirius” the Owner of the Voice and the botanist are translated, imaginatively, “in the twinkling of an eye. ” Their point of entry is on the slopes of the Piz Lucendro in the Swiss Alps.
The Owner of the Voice and the botanist are soon required to account for their presence. When their thumbprints are checked against records in “the central index housed in a vast series of buildings at or near Paris,” both discover they have doubled in Utopia.
They journey to London to meet them, and the Owner of the Voice’s double is a member of the Samurai, a voluntary order of nobility that rules Utopia.
Running through the novel as a foil to the main narrative is the botanist’s obsession with an unhappy love affair back on Earth.
The Owner of the Voice is annoyed at this undignified and unworthy insertion of earthly affairs in Utopia, but when the botanist meets the double of his beloved in Utopia the violence of his reaction bursts the imaginative bubble that has sustained the narrative and the two men find themselves back in early twentieth-century London.
The world shares the same language, coinage, customs, laws, and freedom of movement in general. Some personal property is allowed, but “all-natural sources of force, and indeed all strictly natural products” are “inalienably vested in the local authorities” occupying “areas as large sometimes as half England.
“The World State is “the sole landowner of the earth. ” Units of currency are based on units of energy, so that “employment would constantly shift into the areas where energy was cheap.
” Humanity has been almost entirely liberated from the need for physical labor: “There appears to be no limit to the invasion of life by the machine.
The narrator double describes the ascetic Rule by which the samurai live: it includes a ban on alcohol and drugs and a mandatory annual one-week solitary ramble in the wilderness.
He also explains the social theory of Utopia, which distinguished four “main classes of mind”: The Poietic, the Kinetic, the Dull, and the Base. The relations of the sexes. There is extensive discussion of gender roles in A Modern Utopia, but no recognition of the existence of homosexuality.
Marriages that remain childless “expire” after a term of three to five years, but the partners may marry again if they choose. A Modern Utopia is also notable for Chapter 10 (“Race in Utopia”), an enlightened discussion of race.
The narrator is told, “In all the round world of Utopia there is no meat. And, in a population that is all educated, and at about the same level of physical refinement, it is practically impossible to find anyone who will hew a dead ox or pig.
We never settled the hygienic question of meat-eating at all. I can still remember, as a boy, the rejoicings over the closing of the last slaughterhouse”.
The work was partly inspired by a trip to the Alps Wells made with his friend Graham Wallas, a prominent member of the Fabian Society. Several Samurai societies were formed in response to A Modern Utopia, and Wells met members of one of them in April 1907 at the New Reform Club.
At a memorial service at the Royal Institution on 30 October 1946, two and a half months after Wells’s death, William Beveridge read passages from the book and called it the work that had influenced him the most. According to Vincent Brome, Wells’s first comprehensive biographer after his death, it was widely read by university students and “released hundreds of young people into a sexual adventure.
” W. Warren Wagar praised it, describing it and Wells’s other utopian novels (Men Like Gods and The Shape of Things to Come) as “landmarks in that extraordinarily difficult genre”.
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