Study Guide

Utopia Book 2, Section 1

By Thomas More

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Book 2, Section 1

Their Cities, Especially Amaurot

  • Okay, so as we know, all the Utopian cities are pretty much identical. Except Amaurot is the best and Hythloday lived there so he's going to talk about that one.
  • It's on a lovely hill right near the river Anyder, which brings fresh water to the city through a small stream that runs through the middle.
  • Quick break: This would have sounded very familiar to More's readers, since it's pretty much exactly the same as London's geographic relationship to the river Thames. Ah, geographical context.
  • Okay, back to the story. Amaurot has a nifty wall surrounding it and has accessible, usable streets.
  • Plus, it's easy on the eyes with some lovely houses and big gardens. These houses are also all the same (this should start to sound familiar) and don't even have locks. And get this—every ten years, everyone exchanges houses.
  • They're also very serious about their gardens and have competitions for who has the nicest one.
  • Apparently, King Utopus was responsible for planning the city and its inhabitants have been improving it ever since. 
  • So far, so good.

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