Day: May 20, 2017

365 Challenge: Day 70 – A to Z Happy Places

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A to Z Happy Place: A list of 26 places that make you happy — challenge posed to any readers who would like to participate. Maybe it’s the innocence of childhood or that favorite vacation spot…. somewhere that always brings a smile to your face

ATOZhappy

As a follow-up to last week’s foods from A to Z, this week we’re focusing on the places that have brought us love and excitement, continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) of sorts that provides more in depth knowledge about me.

Rules

  1. Pick something that starts with that letter and add it to your own list. Don’t think about it… just come up with a couple ideas in under five seconds and choose the best of the bunch.
  2. It can be a named place or a general place. But it has to be an actual physical location; not metaphorical!
  3. This is the final week of the AtoZ items… the next grouping will be revealed in a few days!
  4. It’s a fun game, but if you are nominated and DO NOT want to participate, you don’t have to. Just ignore it! Totally OK.
  5. You may not have been nominated, but you can totally participate by following these rules.
  6. Post it as a reply on the person’s blog where you found it. Also post it on your own blog as a new post.
  7. Should we use a tag so we can see all the responses? Suggestions… AtoZPlaces
  8. This may not go anywhere if there is no participation other than me. And that’s OK. The 365 Daily Challenge was about me to start, so I cannot expect or force anyone else.
  9. Have fun and get to know your online friends. Tell us when you post your 26 items.  Thanks!

A to Z Happy Places to Make Me Smile

A – Attics

B – Bookstores

C – Cotswolds

D – Dos Caminos (Mexican restaurant I eat at on Fridays)

E – Erga Bakery in Bethpage when I was growing up

F – Farms

G – Gardens

H – Home

I – Iceland (never been, but I do love the cold weather)

J – Jubilee (French restaurant I eat at once a week)

K – Kitchens

L – Libraries

M – Museums

N – New York City

O – Ocean

P – Parks

Q – Quality Meats (Steak restaurant in NYC)

R – Restaurants

S – Scotland

T – Trolleys

U – University campuses

V – Vineyards

W – Wishing Wells

X – X-Mas Tree Lots

Y – Yellowstone Park

Z – Zoo

People You Are Tagging

NO ONE! Anyone who wants to participate should… But someone has to or my friend below is gonna come after you!

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post.

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AWARD: Awesome Blogger

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I’ve been nominated for the Awesome Blogger Award. I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve the nomination, but am definitely grateful. It’s been quite a fun ~9 months working on the blog… seeing where it takes me… and introducing me to all of you!

Much appreciation and many thanks for the nomination go to Nel at Reactionary Tales, where you will find tons of blog fun from book reviews to tales from the husband / wife, social issues to photography and history to creative writing. Always something new and exciting to read up on when visiting her site… so please find a way to check it out!

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Nel tells me this award was created by Maggie  at Dreaming of Guatemala who said:

“This is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.”

So go visit that site, too! I just did and started following to see all the fun firsthand.

RULES OF THIS AWARD

  • Thank the person who nominated you. Include the reason behind the award. Include the banner in your post.
  • Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.
  • Answer the questions your nominator gave you.
  • Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers.
  • Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer.
  • Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated!

 

NEL’S QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

  • What are you currently binge watching or plan to binge watch?
    • I started watching the latest seasons of “Grace and Frankie” and “Great British Baking Show” last week. And tonight, I’m going to start season 3 of “Kimmy Schmidt.”
  • Have you ever experienced a critical comment (justified or unjustified) on your posts or comments? How did you you deal with it?
    • No, not yet. A few comments were direct and had a disagreement with something I wrote, but nothing was rude or mean. I believe they even apologized for having a different opinion than me. I’ve got amazing online friends and followers!
  • Do you believe in chance or luck? Or everything is based on logic?
    • I definitely believe in chance, luck and logic. It could be any of them, or even a combination of all three. Sometimes things just happen for no reason. Sometimes it’s random. Sometimes it’s destiny.
  • Android or Apple?
    • Apple. Nothing wrong with Android, just none of my closest friends used it, so I didn’t bother to get one. I work in technology, so I’m familiar with it, tho.
  • What’s something on your bucket list that you hope to do in the next 5 years?
    • Publish a book. Eh, too easy since I’ve already written the book and am working with an agent. Invent something.
  • Hot sub or cold sub?
    • Cold… I’m not one for mushy sauces on bread when heated up.
  • If you are given two choices – death for denying to accept a lie as a truth, life for accepting a truth as a lie, what would you choose?
    • I think that’s too complicated to know… it’s always subjective and based on the actual situation. But as a general rule of thumb, I believe in the truth for nearly all situations. I wouldn’t choose death simply because I disagreed with something. I’d keep trying to fight it until I proved my point.
  • Polar bears or Pandas?
    • I can’t choose. They’re both too cute. If you force me, polar bears. I love the cold.
  • If you could travel, all expenses paid, to anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
    • African safari for a month.
  • Tag your own favorite post you posted here.

JAY’S QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

I’m a bit of a game-player (in only the fun way)… so I’ve created 10 questions with increasing difficulty. Be prepared to think!

  1. What book best describes your life right now?
  2. What makes you immediately feel connected to your characters? Answer either as a writer or a reader.
  3. What do you do with 3 hours of free time when no one knows about it?
  4. There’s a million dollars in a bag under a tree. You can take it and no one will know, but you lose 1 year of your life. Do you do it?
  5. You must transfigure to an animal for the remainder of your life. Which one?
  6. One of your favorite authors asks you to help edit their next book. Do you do it?
  7. A genie in a bottle — lame, I know — offers you one wish. You have to choose between the following two.  Which one and why? (a) a pill that will cure any illness or (b) a clock that can be turned back by 24 hours to prevent a disaster.
  8. A family member has a secret that will change the world’s perception of you. You have the ability to lock them in a room never to be seen again. Do you do it?
  9. You find the Fountain of Youth and it offers you an opportunity to bring 2 people with you. Who do you choose?
  10. You have the opportunity to erase this post from your WordPress site, and I’ll never know you chose not to answer these questions. Would you do it? 🙂

 

TAG: YOU’RE UP!

mistysbookspace

Books, Vertigo and Tea

susandyer1962

PatriciaFairweatherRomero

iamdes

sarahylockwood

Avonna

Mama Cass

I picked a random selection of bloggers I’ve known for a few months or just met this week. Have fun with it. Don’t stress. Skip it if it’s too much. Pass it on if you love it. Participate even if you weren’t tagged. I love learning about everyone. And remember, if you don’t do it, then:

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” Since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life… see how you compare! Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think. Note: All content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

TAG: Goodreads Books #2

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Thank you to Susan @ SusanLovesBooks for tagging me on the Goodreads Book Tag. Everyone should take a look at her site, as its full of great book reviews… current books, blasts from the past and a little bit of every genre. Good stuff! Here we go…

goodreads

WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU MARKED AS ‘READ’?

killer

It was a good read, full of horror and gore. But it should have been better. My review can be seen here.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

bookstoredead

“Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore” is a NetGalley award and I am 50% through. Good so far. “Dead with the Wind” is the second book in a cozy mystery series by a great author.

WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU MARKED AS TBR?

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I saw it on someone else’s Goodreads profile and it looked fantastic. What if we chose our partner based on DNA? Scary…

WHAT BOOK DO YOU PLAN TO READ NEXT?

watch

It’s the next book to be published from the NetGalley awards I’ve won. Review due in 2 weeks!

DO YOU USE THE STAR RATING SYSTEM?

Yes! I first rate the book on Goodreads using the 1 to 5 scale, and then I transfer them here to WordPress. The star definitions are:

5: Fantastic, a must check out for this genre. Changed how I think or made me incredibly happy to have known this work and I will tell everyone about it. Top-notch!

4: Extremely good and held my attention throughout. I connected with the story, want to experience more from the author/director/actor and will remember it well.

3: The all-around good work that had some strengths but also had some weaknesses. I’d recommend it to a friend but with a bit of caution.

2: Not of interest, missing major standards in either character, plot, theme, consistency, etc. Lost my interest way too many times.

1: Not even sure how this got published; how and why did I choose this work?

*My ratings scale considers the genre of the work meaning I could give a 5 to both a cozy and a famed traditional fiction novel or a cozy mystery. I interpret this to mean both are top notch in their genre, but it doesn’t imply that I think that a fun short mystery read is the same caliber as a Shakespearean play or classic coming of age work. Both can be incredibly good but are important for very different reasons.

ARE YOU DOING A 2017 READING CHALLENGE?

Yes! It’s on my Home Page… 104 book. 2 books for every week. I’m currently at 49 books, which is about 9 ahead of schedule. I hope I can keep it up! See it here.

DO YOU HAVE A WISHLIST?

Sort of. I have a few books I’ve added on Amazon. I have a few items I’ve submitted requests for on NetGalley. And I recently started my “Book Bucket List.” Check the post out by clicking here. It has 12 books (one per month for a year) that I hope to read… then add a new one as each month passes.

WHAT BOOK DO YOU PLAN TO BUY NEXT?

I just placed an order today for 4 books

  • Three in a few cozy mystery series that I enjoy by Jenn McKinlay

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  • Buddy Read book with Medhat, who you can see here.

you

DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE QUOTES? SHARE A FEW.

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
Mark Twain

“After all, reading is arguably a far more creative and imaginative process than writing; when the reader creates emotion in their head, or the colors of the sky during the setting sun, or the smell of a warm summer’s breeze on their face, they should reserve as much praise for themselves as they do for the writer – perhaps more.”
Jasper Fforde, The Well of Lost Plots

“Persuasion is not about force; it’s about showing a person a door, and making him or her desperate to open it.”
David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks

“A life well lived is a life full of decisions.”
Guess

WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS?

Oh no! I could go on forever… but right now, I have 4 primary favorites:

  • Agatha Christie
  • Kate Morton
  • Ken Follett
  • Henry James

HAVE YOU JOINED ANY GROUPS?

I have a few on Goodreads and Facebook, but I get so busy chatting with friends, I forget to check them or post in them. Do you have any good ones? I’d like to join a few new ones.

I TAG:

EVERYONE on my follower list. YES, that means YOU if you are reading this. I want to know all about your read habits and favorites.

I love fun little get-to-know-the-reader tags, where you find a bunch of new books, authors and tools. Happy Blogging!

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” Since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life… see how you compare! Each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think. Note: All content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Review: Curious George

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Curious George Book Review
4 of 5 stars to Curious George by H.A. Rey, a children’s author, who wrote this series starting in 1941. Who didn’t love Curious George when they were a child? Or even now as an adult? So many fun memories of this wonderful little monkey. In this first book, George comes home for the first time, and the infamous yellow coat becomes a hallmark. He’s so innocent, yet such a magent for bad things to happen. But aren’t all monkeys? An adorable way to teach kids to ask questions, but only up to a point, and sometimes… not knowing is better than knowing. I love reading these books to my younger cousins, seeing their eyes light up at all the adventures. And when I taught in a daycare one summer, it was our morning read every day… what was the minky doing? They couldn’t say “monkey” easily. Such fun memories…

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal

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The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal Book Review
4 of 5 stars to The Cat Who Knew a Cardinal, the 12th book in a 29-book series, written in 1991 by Lilian Jackson Braun. In this cozy little mystery, Qwill must solve a murder that’s happened on his own property. This is the one that explores the greatness of the converted barn he lives in on the apple orchard. Koko goes a little cuckoo over the cardinal that seems to be harassing him from the trees. And the theatre crowd comes over to visit Qwill every night after the show… not for nothing, but this guy’s got a more active life than me. They probably don’t finish the show until after 10. If guests showed up every night at my place after 10, I’d not be a happy camper. But it makes for a cool mystery when the one everyone hates is found dead in the garden. Maybe Qwill couldn’t take it anymore and pushed himself over the line this time… or perhaps the killer realizes Qwill is on to him or her… great scene in the converted barn — it’s 3 stories high and has a few episodes of danger. Someone could fall easily… and of course, someone eventually does.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: F is for Fugitive

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F is for Fugitive Book Review
3 of 5 stars to F is for Fugitive, the 6th book in the “Kinsey Millhone” mystery series written in 1988 by Sue Grafton. In between a cozy mystery and a traditional mystery, this series toes the line with its strong and serious private investigator, Kinsey, based in California during the 1980s. In this one, she takes on a case close to 20 years old, trying to collect as many details as she can from the family who has hired her. But they won’t tell her everything… and it’s about their son who murdered his girlfriend, but really says “I didn’t do it.” Of course he didn’t, and that’s why Kinsey agreed to search for the truth. But when she falls prey to some lies, she has to decide how much money is worth her own frustration. A good book in the series, not one of the best ones, but certainly not one of the less fun ones. Has some shock factor. Takes Kinsey out of her normal Santa Teresa homestead. The family she deal with are a bunch of loons, which of course makes for a few very funny pages.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: Utopia

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Utopia Review
Thomas More was the first to coin the word “utopia.” More was the son of a court judge, and a page to Archbishop Morton throughout his youth in London. He was profoundly affected not only by these two great gentlemen, but also by the philosophy of humanism that was spread by Erasmus during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Europe. As a result of More’s fanatical advocacy of socialism and communism, he was tried, and later executed on July 6th, 1535, at the age fifty-seven. Sir Thomas More is studied today as a leader of Renaissance literature in England because of his famous work Utopia, which was published in 1516. In his work, More creates an ideal society on an imaginary island in strange waters. The word “utopia” is best translated from the Greek as “a place that can never be” because a “utopia” is a perfect society; however, More was simply using this perfect society to satirize life in London during that time period. He was not proposing a solution to England’s ills.
Before Thomas More began writing his masterpiece, he was privileged to read several other works, which enabled him to write Utopia. Plato’s Republic, St. Augustine’s City of God, and the stories about Paradise and The Garden of Eden from the Book of Genesis profoundly influenced More. He was also inspired by several Renaissance reports he received from the Portuguese-owned “New World.” All of these influences led More “to confront all the serious evils of his day, religious, social, and political, but he considered philosophically their remedy, and that in a manner far in advance of the period at which he wrote… Utopia has been interpreted to condone every kind of political theory directed to the transference of power and wealth to self-styled reformers” (Warrington xii). More wanted to reform the society that he lived in; however, it was next to impossible to reform a society that had already been set in its ways. According to Thomas I. White, “More’s Utopia has been aptly described as a work that can be read in an evening but may take a lifetime to understand. One reason for this is that the book is built on the intellectual equivalent of a geological fault. The simple landscape suggested by Utopia’s structure and conception belies subterranean forces that push and pull the book in different directions. The resulting tensions may not lead to earthquakes, but they certainly erupt in dramatically different interpretations of More’s little classic” (White 37). Thus, it is difficult to know what More’s intentions were in writing Utopia.
Per Chad Walsh, noted critic and interpreter of utopian societies, “a utopia is often an oblique satire on the writer’s own society, though it need not be. It can represent simply his attempt to conceive of a perfect society… More offered Utopia as a guide to the improvement of an England that badly needed it. He wished to show that poverty, crime, cruel punishments, and invidious distinctions between classes are not in the order of nature, but are man’s doing, and that man could equally create a just and happy social order” (Walsh 26). He was offering one or two suggestions, but at the same time, he was also satirizing the foolish thoughts of some philosophers and politicians of the day. Yet, critics to this day have continually debated whether More’s Utopia was a satire on the way in which London society operated, or whether it was what he truly felt London society should try to mirror. One can agree, despite whatever contradictions there are to those who claim More’s Utopia was a satire, that England definitely needed some guidance during this period. It seems that More’s Utopia was read as a solution, though it was only meant to be a satire that had some valuable ideas.
While an ideal society seems to be the best solution to England’s problems, one cannot help but ponder why men would dream utopian dreams. “Man is an animal with an imagination; he can conceive of things that do not yet exist, [and] may never exist. Man has the curious and awesome ability to transcend himself and nature… There is also the theory that man once lived in a utopia, but does no longer, and that he is always trying to return. The name of this first utopia was Eden” (Walsh 29). It does not seem that whether or not man already lived in a utopia, or is simply wishing to live in one now, is the central thesis of More’s satire. The important questions still remain: How is Utopia a satire on English society? Is More merely showing men what he believes is the best way to rid London of its problems? Richard Marius has the answer. “More could not have created an ideal society with so many flaws that affronted liberal imagination. More had truly intended to cast Utopia as a dystopia, not a good place but a bad place, one where rule of reason had obliterated the gentler human virtues” (Marius 11). Although there were several seemingly perfect solutions throughout the contents of Utopia, it was not a ten-step program for London society during the sixteenth century. “Utopia [is] viewed as a prototype of the obverse genre, the dystopia. The paradigm More created simply lent itself ideally to satire, because the distance between his imaginary society and the society in which he lived enabled him to contrast the two” (Fox 12). “It is not a blueprint but a touchstone against which we try various ideas about both our times and the books to see what then comes of it all” (Marius 12). More’s work was indeed a satire on the many men who continually dreamed of living in a utopian society. He saw where English society was in comparison to where other countries and civilizations were, and knew that he had to create a society that would give its people ideas, but not build the specifics of the said society for them. Therefore, Utopia was merely a suggestion of ideas (one or two, not as an entirety) that could be conceived as helpful, tolerable and ideal.
In fact, “More’s own society was rigidly hierarchical and highly regulated, so Utopia may not have seemed as restrictive to him as it does to us. Thus, it is easy to understand why a writer would want to satirize a bad commonwealth” (Logan 8). In satirizing this commonwealth, More was simply presenting a society that was so perfect that it could not truly exist; however, people enjoy reading about ideal utopias because it gives them some kind of hope for the future. “It shows the best society not as a normative or prescriptive model but as actually achieved, as already in existence. Utopia is a description of the best (or, in anti-utopia, the worst) society not as an abstract ideal, and not simply as a satirical foil to the existing society in full operation in which we are invited vicariously to participate” (Kumar 25). “More published Utopia for the purpose of showing… the things that occasion mischief in commonwealths; having the English Constitution in view. The island of Utopia is, in fact, England. More designed [it] to show how England would look, and what shape her relations with abroad would assume, if she were communistically organized” (Kautsky 14). By participating in this communistic utopia, More is able to present a few suggestions, as well as ridiculous (meant to be taken as jocular, and nothing else) ideas, all the while discussing his semi-radical viewpoints on three major issues. The three specific aspects of utopian life that Sir Thomas More attacked in this satire were communism/socialism, religion and marriage/family.
More’s own socialistic outlook on society dates back to when he was arrested and executed for his beliefs. Richard Marius tells readers “ I believe that the answer to the questions in More’s own mind [about socialism] was not that we should create a communist society. But [he does] believe that part of the response that More intended was to make us at least ask the questions, for to question society is to see it, and we must see it before we can do anything to reform it” (Marius 5). Since their leader Utopus basically imposed communism upon the Utopians, one can assume that More was studying the idea that a communistic society is indeed the solution for London society. He was not suggesting this, but merely saying that the equality offered amongst a socialistic society would provide stability. More does include a section on how the Utopians change their houses every decade so that no one person gets accustomed to a higher standard than another; however, the houses are exactly identical according to the section on The Geography of Utopia. Marius later notes that “The communism of the utopia deserves another word to this generation that has seen this once mighty ideology crumble to dust in most places where it once seemed imperial, irresistible and eternal. I’ve [also] noted that the Utopians acted on the premise that to eliminate poverty, the entire economic and social order had to be radically rebuilt from the ground up. That was precisely the view of Karl Marx, but More and Marx came to radically different conclusions about what the social order would be if it were rebuilt” (Marius 8).
The idea of rebuilding the entire society from scratch comes along by way of Utopus, who senses that again, equality amongst the people can only be achieved when things are created from originality, not from existing lands. Unless man rebuilds everything he owns, there can be no sense of justice. Similar in the ideas of socialism and communism, man must work together to bring about the overwhelming outpouring of parity. Thus, More is not suggesting that communism is the only way to go – the “be-all, end-all” answer to the problems in London society; he is satirizing the idea that everything has to be destroyed (and rebuilt) in order to gain fairness and equality. London society was still heavily distinct amongst classes at the time. Marius writes that “to the middle-class people like ourselves, our messy and fragmented society looks good in comparison to Utopia. Here, More’s Augustinian conception of sinful humankind becomes burdensome to the soul, for in the Utopian commonwealth, individualism and privacy are threats to the state. I suspect that we see as clearly as anyone does in Utopia just why communism did not work. The weight of human depravity was simply too much to be balanced by eliminating private property” (Marius 5). A communistic society that contains laws saying that private property is not allowed in society will never last long. People have an inner need to own something, and More is pointing this out in Utopia; he laughs at those who want to take everything away from the people of English society. He basically tells the readers that if such a thing were to occur, they should beware of an outbreak of war.

He concludes by showing how much the Utopians are afraid of war. Exactly. They are so afraid of war that it is necessary to have such a militaristic society with communism at the helm in their society; however, it would not work in London society. According to Kenyon, “More argues [that] men could attain salvation only if temptation were first to be removed. Given this, it was evident to More that social institutions required radical emendation. Consequently, in Utopia, More is to be discovered proposing a series of alternative arrangements such as communism which, he hoped, might remove the temptation of sinfulness presented by existing institutions such as private property” (Kenyon 54). More thought that some of the socialistic views would work in English society, but he knew that London was not ready for an overhaul. He thus satirized what it would be like if England were communistic. There would not be a single freedom such as private property. Just as communism was a seriously discussed issue as one solution for a utopian society, so were the fundamental laws of religion.
“More posits in Utopia a set of social institutions designed to reduce temptation, limit available choices, and channel the will in a requisite direction. The question of whether by living under such constraining institutions individuals nevertheless exercise free will is not developed by More to the extent that it might be” (Kenyon 58). Thus free will , as in the free will to choose whatever religion you want to follow, is a prime target for satire in this work. At the time when More lived, there were many ongoing debates over Puritanism, Catholicism, Protestantism, etc. “The discussion of religion presented in Utopia generates a problem not least because we are informed that although they do not subscribe to full-fledged sixteenth-century Catholicism, the Utopians follow a religion that in terms both of its doctrines and its externals maintains several important prescriptive recommendations relevant to the salvation of Christians” (Kenyon 97). In Utopia, all can practice a religion of any form that they wish. They are required only to attend a church service, which operates in the same manner as a college campus mass does. All of those that attend can take from the service what they wish to since there is no one supreme denomination in the city of Utopia. After More’s struggles with a corrupt church, no wonder he would satirize his experience with religion. “Since Utopians live according to the law of nature, they are not Christian. Indeed they practice a form of religious tolerance – as they must is they are to be both reasonable and willing to accept Christianity when it is announced to them” (Marius 3). “The practices and externals of religious observation are apparently of less moment to utopian theology. Certainly, the formalities of medieval Catholicism are reflected in Utopian practices. On this facet of religious life More’s position is undoubtedly speculative. It is evident that at least a certain amount of revision would be necessary to accommodate some of these offices to the introduction of Christianity” (Kenyon 99). Therefore, it is obvious that Utopia could not be a solution to the problems in society; More himself had no idea how to solve the religious tensions and corruption that was ongoing in the churches in English society. It would be nice if everyone was tolerant of another’s religion, and no one fought to the death with others over which was the true religion; that is pointless though. There are no answers. More knew this, which is why he proposed a solution that was impossible. He was showing others the stupidity of such a belief that there could be one supreme god who created everything, thus he satirizes said beliefs. He had no choice but to present an idea or two, but again, he did not suggest that the Utopian’s religious ways were a solution. Either did he try to solve every one of the problems in London society concerning marriage and divorce.
“The apparent disparity between Utopian religious tolerance and the Lord Chancellor’s rigor has already been touched upon. But how do you account for such Utopian institutions as euthanasia and divorce, both forbidden by the Church for which More died. Or for tactics like subornation of treason, assassination of enemy rulers, and forcible annexation of foreign lands the natural resources of which, in Utopian judgment, have been insufficiently exploited” (Nelson 9)? To insure that people would not want to get divorced because they are no longer happy with the appearance of their spouse, More suggests that the bride and groom be allowed to see each other naked before the ceremony. Therefore, they will know what they are getting themselves into prior to marriage. If they re happy with what they see, the marriage will take place, and there is no case for dishonesty. However, if they did not see the other person naked prior to marriage, then a case could be made for dishonesty if that person were hideously scarred. There is no way that More could logically suggest the idea of seeing a prospective spouse naked before marriage when society at the time frowned on nudity. It was a disgrace to reveal even more than one’s face when in public. More would be condemned for life if he seriously thought he could get away with proposing nudity as a solution to unhappiness. Even today, nearly five hundred years later, nudity in public is still considered disgraceful. Society will almost never be ready for such a thing. More was simply laughing at the many ways in which people tried to avoid the problems of life when he proposed such an idea of nudity prior to marriage. If More had written a handbook, like The Prince, on how to behave and what society should look like, his solution would truly be that people should just deal with their problems in a dignified manner rather than propose such outlandish practices. There is no way to avoid such a problem in life. Life is not perfect. Life is not a utopia, as More would say.
However, the “average human behavior in Utopia is considerably higher than in the rest of the world. Yet even in Utopia, with its splendid education, More thinks it necessary to provide a system of criminal justice: human nature is such that no matter what nurture it receives, some fraction of individuals will always be criminals” (Logan 37). Man may have had an innate goodness in such a society according to More and Logan, but it was not absolute. There were still laws necessary to keep people in line. People needed to be protected legally from deception beforehand. One other interesting aspect of Utopian life that parallels real life is that “after The Fall [in Eden], man was exposed to the prospect of temptation and deadly sin. By contrast, More responds to this situation in Utopia by posting a strict moral code which… he also saw as the inherent inferiority of the female sex” (Kenyon 66). Women were still considered of a lower class in Utopian society. More would have elevated their status if he were truly proposing a new way of life. Instead, he keeps them “where they belong” according to people of the time. Therefore, More was again, not providing the concrete plans on “how to eliminate problems,” but laying the foundation in order to show people how to laugh at themselves when things go wrong. There will never be complete equality; More was trying to parody such a philosophy.
“In all [of] these ways, More showed himself, and his Utopia, to be the product of a new age. His Utopia has a rationalism and a realism that we associate typically with the classical revival of the Renaissance, and that are to be found equally in the architectural utopias of fifteenth and sixteenth-century Italy… Utopia is a fiction whereby the truth, as if smeared with honey, might a little more pleasantly slide into men’s minds” (Kumar 21). More cast his utopian society as one in which life was perfect and ideal, thus it had to be considered satirical since there is no such thing as perfection. By sugarcoating his views and ideas, he was able to create a utopian land that affected humankind more than he expected. He could show mankind how foolish their thoughts were on trying to perfect and correct everything that was wrong with society. A little error can sometimes keep things more in balance. If everything and everyone were perfect, what would man have to strive for? Why would they exist? More was simply presenting a satirical solution to society that he never meant to assume the role of the “be-all, end-all” problem-solver.

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