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Utopia and Dystopia, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Introduction

El Dorado is a bundle of Voltaire’s vision of an ultimate society. El Dorado entails advanced science and relative equality. This suggests that the society is free of pretension, greed, suffering, and religious contentions. The dystopia in Chinua’s novel is implicit in the life of Okonkwo. Okonkwo is a hero warrior who is revered in the clan of Umoufia for his extraordinary wrestling skills. This is because the dystopia in Things Fall Apart emanates from the foreign interference that destroys the peace and pride of a previously satisfied society. El Dorado’s illumination of a dysfunctional society depicts several flaws. In the end, it is observable that both Candide and Cacambo leave the land because it cannot exist in reality. El Dorado is glaring in its ability at revealing the unfortunate realities of a world beyond traditional vision while Chinua’s book describes the events that destroy the traditions of a superficially harmonious society.

The meaning of El Dorado involves critical perspectives. To begin with, it is determinable whether it is the author’s imposition of an ideal world. Alternatively, it may suggest the author’s emphasis on the impossibility of attaining a perfect world (Fishelov 123). In contrast to the places through which Candide has encountered, El Dorado portrays a constriction of human wishes. The author seems to have constructed this ideal place from legendary stories that spoke of a country of fabulous riches. El Dorado is, thus, an object of marvel and desire whose existence is vague and unproven.

As a characteristic of Utopian community, El Dorado was blaringly cut off from the ordinary world. Traditionally, Utopus cut off Utopia by constructing an artificial channel that aimed at transforming a peninsula into an island. Besides, traditional places of utopia depict gated environments that share restricted access for few individuals. In this perspective, El Dorado protects its existence and proof of the same fro corrosion.

This is the primary difference between El Dorado and the garden. The El Dorado is both an excluded place and an unattainable ideal. Conversely, the garden is beautiful but attainable place that ordinary individuals can savor its pleasures. The Journey to El Dorado emphasize on the exclusivity and inaccessibility of the place. Candide and Cacambo are both exhausted travelers that choose to ride on an empty canoe as means of reaching to a habitable place. The travelers only rowed a little and let their boat ride between banks, flowery places, bare places, through wide streams that disappear under an arch of dreadful rocks (Voltaire 56). The travelers only saw light after twenty-four hours while their boat has hurled against the rock and split into canoe shreds. In order to access El Dorado, they climb over rocks and witness a country that impenetrable mountains conceal. On the other hand, the ideal garden is easily accessible to Candide as long as he makes the choice to move there.

El Dorado spurs curiosity due to its inapproachability that defines by high and dreadful mountains. This pace of absolute isolation has a decree that its inhabitants should not leave the country. The facts of its existence shelters from the greedy Europeans, who would, otherwise, kill every inhabitant in order to acquire every single form of wealth in the island. El Dorado does not conspicuously offer itself as a place of adoration for the nations of the globe since the real idea to its existence props on oblivion of the rest of the world. In turn, the society is a fragile community that is in great requirement of cautious sheltering from the rest of the world.

This is different from the case of the garden that is just a simple place. The garden initially has the farmer whose idealistic lifestyle draws individuals into the quietude of his farms and satisfaction from simple elements in life. The ultimate garden opens its accessibility to all human beings as long as a concerned individual professes the readiness to build and develop the garden.

In contrast to the ideal garden, the considerable riches of El Dorado inspire its isolation and protection. The book entails vivid and graphic descriptions of El Dorado’s wealth while other elements of the community are obscure. When Candide and Cacambo set their foot in the first village, they come upon children who are adorned in pieces of rubies, gold pieces, and emeralds. The travelers offer pebbles as payment for their dining and stay in an inn. In such a utopia, wealth that individuals traditionally characterize as gold is of no value to the community. This aspect satirizes economic systems of a real society that holds such notions of wealth. The real world notions of gold are associable to prestige and nobility while, in utopia, they are associable to despicability. This is the reason why slaves attain their compensation in form of gold.

On the other hand, the ideal garden does not manifest conspicuous wealth. The wealth in the garden arises from gradual perception and insight of the world. While Candide is living in relative wealth, he experiences comfort that turns into significant boredom for his family. Thereafter, they slowly observe a simple farmer who draws considerable contentment from a life in a beautiful farm. This reveals that the beauty of the world exists in ordinary environments, simple knowledge, and simple affections.

The earlier fortune of Candide is a functional prelude to the later discovery of an ideal garden. On quickly acquiring wealth, Candide realizes that fortune creates more problems for him. This is because he comes under scrutiny of idle men and swindlers that are up to sharing into the wealth of a lucky person such as Candide. Unfortunately, Candide hangs onto Pangloss’ optimism as a means of averting the misfortunes that defines his life.

The ideal garden depicts Candide’s success of rooting out the sensations that have defined his life. This regards his earlier efforts at trying to compensate individuals for their suffering and misery. In the end, Candide realizes that several suffering people, in the world, means that giving away little amounts of money does not help towards rooting out the scenarios, which create misery. By developing the garden, Candide and his new family attempts at reconstructing the social structures that define misery in the world.

In contrast to the sensation of the old woman’s story, the slave gives an account that is simplistic and realistic view of his life story without injecting intended humor. This story creates a new feeling in Candide as he acquires the sincere seriousness into humanity issues such as slavery. The development of the garden reflects the simple ways of helping fellow individuals in misery.

In contrast to El Dorado, the garden arises after Candide’s success. This suggests a compulsion that pushes Candide into pursuing the second type of Utopia in the garden. The story gradually reveals that utopia in El Dorado is not preferable for human existence. To begin with, the ideal place describes ordinary human wishes that entail a ravenous appetite for wealth.  El Dorado is employable as a tool that exposes Candide and Cacambo’s failings rather than the natives’ shortcomings. As they emerge from considerable struggles, which result out of mistreatment by fellow individuals, the poor Candide exhibits the greed that is traditionally associable to wealthy individuals. This manifests their greed of moving into the real society in order that they flaunt their wealth and use towards their own advantage. This aspect depicts a dysfunctional society whereby individuals employ wealth as a means of power and superficial satisfaction. In such perspective, wealth has value if it belongs within the few people who are able to employ the same towards their control of other people who do not own such wealth. When Candide acquires the precious jewels and gold, he becomes bored of all the wealth. He retreats into an ideal garden that has simple life and no intense philosophical school of thoughts that complicate the lives of ordinary individuals.

The dystopia in Chinua’s novel is implicit in the life of Okonkwo. Okonkwo is a hero warrior who is revered in the clan of Umoufia for his extraordinary wrestling skills. The dystopia both covers aspects of colonization and grandeur of events that take place in Okonkwo’s life. The dystopia describes the events that destroy the traditions of a superficially harmonious society. Okonkwo’ tragedy exists in the idea that he is man who has built his pride and fame on war and control. In the new colonial society, these ideals become obsolete, as the society does not possess the capacity for Okonkwo to fight for the same. The colonial rule becomes a new dystopia that destroys the pride and dignity of individuals such as Okonkwo.

This dystopia is dissimilar to that of Candide. This is because the dystopia in Things Fall Apart emanates from the foreign interference that destroys the peace and pride of a previously satisfied society. In this case, a foreign community brings down the social structures that previously defined a thriving society. The foreign culture destroys the sense of pride and feelings of machismo that defines an Igbo man. In turn, one is incapable of finding the identity that defines one’s society. As regards Candide’s scenario, the dystopia arises from within the very community. This means that a given community creates for its individuals by destroying the social structures that previously defined the harmony.

An allusion of a world that is losing its original form is present in Yeats’ poem. This is a dystopia because the book heralds the former form as the ideal life that is worthy of individuals’ life. Unlike Things Fall Apart, the second coming is an optimistic piece that speculates a prominent future.

The poem reflects the gradual sinking that reflects the human life. As the human life regresses, there is the loss of previous morals since evil reigns in human decisions and choices (More 34). This manifests in Chinua’s book since Okonkwo’s world no longer holds in the current political social structure. However, unlike Yeats’ poem, the book describes both the cruel and good aspects of the past. Whatever is important to Okonkwo is that he has a past that he needs to protect. This past, in spite of its cruelness is the most vital thing in a man’s life. In turn, it deviates from the dystopia in The Second Coming that only speaks of the loss to right values.

Conclusion

El Dorado is glaring in its ability at revealing the unfortunate realities of a world beyond traditional vision while Chinua’s book describes the events that destroy the traditions of a superficially harmonious society. El Dorado is a bundle of Voltaire’s vision of an ultimate society while Chinua’s novel is implicit in the life of Okonkwo. Okonkwo’ tragedy exists in the idea that he is man who has built his pride and fame on war and control. In the new colonial society, these ideals become obsolete, as the society does not possess the capacity for Okonkwo to fight for the same. El Dorado is employable as a tool that exposes Candide and Cacambo’s failings rather than the natives’ shortcomings. This aspect depicts a dysfunctional society whereby individuals employ wealth as a means of power and superficial satisfaction.

Works cited

Fishelov, David. Dialogues with/and great books: the dynamics of canon formation. Portland, OR: Sussex Academic Press, 2012. Print.

More, Thomas. Sir Thomas More’s utopia. Claremont, CA: Pomona Press, 2008. Print.

Voltaire, Francois. Candide: or, optimism. New York, NY: The Floating Press, 2009. Print.

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