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Literature Glossary

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Utopian Literature


Unlike dystopian literature, its doom and gloom brother, utopian literature imagines the best of all possible worlds; that is, a perfect society where everything is just hunky dory. Thomas More's 1516 Utopia was the first of this kind of writing. Fun fact: The word utopia comes from Greek and means "no place." Why might that be? Because utopias are ideals, and they can't and don't exist in the real world. They're imaginary, and that's kind of the point. Want more? Check out our discussion of the epigraph of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. See, the problem with utopias is that, in an effort to create one, people often turn the world into a dystopia, instead. Or at least they do in literature.