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The word utopia was used for the first time in English literature by Sir Thomas More in the title of his work Utopia (1516). The word indicates an ideal place which does not exist. In More's book, Utopia is an island where there is not private property because that is considered the origin of all the evils of the society. People live in a community where all the goods are shared, there is a free education and free medical treatment, all religions are tolerated and have time for relaxation and entertainment. The next utopian work was The New Atlantis, by Francis Bacon in 1626. It describes a completely isolated society which has full control of nature and where there are inventions suggesting the future development of airles, submarines and telephones among other fantastic improvements. In the 18th century, the most famous utopian writer was Swift with his Gulliver's Travels, which was a masterpiece of semi-utopian narrative. The use of the term 'semi-utopian' derives from the fact that of the four types of society described in the book only one can be considered a truly utopian land because the other three show negative aspects. In the 19th century, Erewhon was published by Butler the title is an anagram of 'nowhere'. It tells the story of a young traveller who discovered the land of Erewhon. The 20th century saw a great production of literary utopias. Most of them were technological utopias. Most of these works were also called science fiction novels. The best example is The Time Machine by Wells. It treats the theme of confrontation with the alien, of the last man on the earth and the death of the world. The most important of Wells' utopian novel is A Modern Utopia. But science and technology became a threat to man. This fear of this threat produced the converse of utopia fiction, that is anti-utopian or dystopian works. In them placed, which do not exist, are described, but they are not ideal, on the contrary they are nightmarish and frightening. They are usually set in the future and the represent warnings to men. Brave New World by Huxley is set six hundred years into the future and is about the danger of scientific achievements and dictatorship. Another dystopian work which deals with the problem of destruction of liberty and individuality is Animal Farm by George Orwell. It was followed by 1984, in which the author attempts to describe the future. He present life under a dictator, Big Brother. The despot is never seen and there is no certainty he really exists, people are controlled by telescreens which are located everywhere, even in private houses. In the years that followed many writers were influenced by dystopian novels and in their works they created societies which expressed their horror of the present and their fear for the future of mankind. One of them was Golding, who, in his Lord of the Flies, makes a group of children create a world which imitates the one of adults.


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