Brendon BowdenMrs. KlingenmeierEnglish Lit., P.23/9/15How is the Idea of Utopian Society Flawed?Thesis: Childhood's End, a novel written by Arthur C. Clarke, makes clear criticisms of the ideaof utopia, and as such, these suggested flaws can be further analyzed through the lenses of culture and anthropology.I. Literary PerspectiveA. The arts suffer 1) "Nothing really new has been created since the Overlords came... there's nothing left to struggle for, and there are too many distractions and entertainments" (Clarke 135).2) "The end of strife and conflict of all kinds had also meant the virtual end of creative art" (Clarke 68).B. Utopia can never please everyone1) "No utopia can ever give satisfaction to everyone, all the time." (Clarke 83).2) "As their material conditions improve, men raise their sights and become discontented with power and possessions that once would have seemed beyond their wildest dreams. And even when the external world has granted all it can, there still remain the searchings of the mind and the longings of the heart"
(Clarke 83).C. Evolution will seek a different catalyst for continued development1) "It starts with a single individual—always a child—and then spreads explosively, like the formation of crystals round the first nucleus in a saturated solution. Adults will not be affected, for their minds are already setin an unalterable mould" (Clarke 178).2) "The Overmind of Childhood's End is an image of a total transfiguration of the human species beyond the realm of history. They are metaphors for the failure of enlightenment and the hope of a radically different future. Here thehuman form is cast off altogether and with it reason, mortality and responsibility. In these images the destiny of the human race is to become a sort of cosmic beatnikin flight from the intolerable burden of historical and individual existence. In them the human species does not transcend its limits, but rather the species itself is transcended" (Feenberg 13).