Study Guide

Utopia Book 2, Section 3

By Thomas More

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Book 2, Section 3

Their Occupations

  • At some point, everyone farms. Yep—you, too.
  • Each person also learns a special skill that contributes to the country.
  • Their clothing is also the same (we told you this would keep coming up...) except that men and women wear different outfits, as do people who are married versus unmarried.
  • Women do "easier" crafts. [Insert snarky comment here.]
  • Crafts usually stay in the family, but you can change your craft is you don't like it.
  • The syphogrants make sure people aren't being lazy, but this isn't much of an issue since Utopians only work six hours a day and can spend the rest of the day doing whatever they want. Um… yes, please.
  • Although, to be fair, most Utopians choose to do something educational with their free time. (Reality TV is educational, right?)
  • After dinner, they chill out. They don't gamble and only have two (un)fun games: a game of numbers and a game about virtues and vices.
  • Sound like the Utopians are kind of lazy? Think again. Because everyone does their share, a lot gets done in six hours. Unlike most places (in More's time), women work, too, and there aren't any non-working priests, rich people, or beggars. Not to mention that the work they do in Utopia is actually useful.
  • In fact, even though syphogrants don't need to work, they usually do. Scholars are also exempt from work, but if their research isn't good, they have to start working again. (We're kind of glad that policy doesn't apply to students here…)
  • However, it is from this group of scholars that all public officials are chosen (including the prince). Here, we also learn that the title of prince in Utopian is Ademos.
  • Word game!: Ademos means "Peopleless" in Greek. Weird pun.
  • Buildings in Utopia last a long time because everyone is conscientious about their construction and upkeep.
  • Clothing is also easy since it's all pretty much the same and Utopians only have a few pieces each.
  • Sometimes, there is so little to do because things run so smoothly that the government shortens the work day. Utopians like this because they care most about learning and self-improvement. We like this because we're lazy—and because we care most about learning and self-improvement.
  • Yeah, that's the ticket.

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