Tuesday, 8 February 2011

UTOPIAS, 2010 examination paper

Here are some more possible questions for practice essays. This year's paper has to have 10 questions, but you still attempt two over two days.  Enjoy!

1. Is Thomas More’s Utopia a work of utopian fiction?

2. “More's island is a cooperative subsistence economy; Bacon's a specialised industrial economy.” (Raymond Williams, 1978) To what extent do all utopias swing between these two extremes?

3. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away and the sea was no more ... I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold the dwelling of God is with men ... He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall mourning nor crying, nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away... And he who sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." (New Testament, Revelation 21: 1-5). Assess the contribution to the utopian tradition of Judeo/Christian beliefs in the power of revelation.

4. Do you agree that all proper utopias are architopias

5. Compare and contrast More and Morris’s treatment of education and the family in Utopia and News from Nowhere.

6. Have critics exaggerated the influence of Plato on later utopian writing?

7. Compare and contrast More and Morris’s engagement with contemporary forms of government in Utopia and News from Nowhere.

8. To what extent is it true either that More was seeking to escape from, or that Morris was seeking to escape to, the Middle Ages?

9. To what extent are utopias a product of European expectation, discovery and exploitation of the non-European world?

10. Is human nature perfected by society, or corrupted by it? Discuss in relation to at least two utopias.

11. Are all utopias also science fictions?

12. Can utopia be realised?

No comments: