The Edward Bellamy’s book, looking forward reflects the optimism of 19th century in different ways. The book displays how America expected a favorable conditions in the modern America. The novel explains the state of the nation in 19th century and the expectation of the new millennium. They are made possible through the conversation of different characters in the story. The social problems that were experienced during that time are unveiled in the novel. The ills of mid-to-late 19th century are as well displayed in the novel. Through the conversations between Julian West and Dr. Leetee, the expectation of the modern America can be identified.
In the novel, Bellamy shows how the Americans expected the new order of 19th century where they expected a new brand of socialism and in the same time, the novel encouraged capitalism. Through the protagonist of the novel, the readers can understand the changes that took place between 1887 and 2000. Therefore, the optimism of the modern America can be learnt. They expected America where society will be transformed to socialism and have a technological order that supports human equality. It is expected that the citizens will be free from materialism and will work toward the benefit of all men. Again, the social and economic structures of the time were expected to be eliminated.
The conversation between Julian and Dr. Leetee helps us to understand the optimism of the education system in the modern America. They dreamt of every citizen having right to education, where after completion the nation will give citizen account for own enjoyment. They also optimized of the nation where unborn will have right to intelligent and refined percentage. The world changed so drastically with the current America not achieving most of the expectations.
Bellamy, Edward. Looking Backward: 2000-1887. Broadview Press, 2003.