The dialogue between Thomas More and Hythloday brings out the character traits. Through the conversation that these two characters engage in, the ideas that each brings out is a reflection of what they believe in and would do if given a chance. The key concepts that these two characters engage discussing are philosophical issues, civil and religious issues. Their opinions based on these concepts reflect their belief and thus enhancing their character traits. This essay analyzes the critic nature of Thomas More of the contemporary English society through his dialogue with Hythloday.
According to More for any political venture, a politician has to learn how to compromise for functional purposes and expect minimal success at the same time. More brings out this suggestion when he is encouraging Hythloday to become a politician. This is based on the evil nature of the English modern way of handling issues. He believes that a Hythloday can be able to reduce the rate of evilness in the society. He believes that an individual should not be necessarily able to curb the evilness of a society but to reduce the rate can be more effective than not trying to do anything. To reinstate this, he says, "It is impossible to do all things well unless all men are good and this I do not expect to see for a long time" (Manuel & Fritzie 142).
Hythloday is not ready to be a politician due to the existing government. He thinks that his efforts will end up not being effective. He believes that in joining politics he will be embracing and joining the current system of governance, and he does not want to be associated with any of the evils that are evident in the current system. To Hythloday, this is similar to becoming a partner to a criminal. His recommendations would not be considered and taken seriously which should be one of the reasons for him to join politics. But More insists that, “You would not abandon ship in a storm just because you could not control the winds” (Manuel & Fritzie 143).
With the current modernity, individuals own property, the existence of justice is minimal, equity and happiness can be experienced at negligible levels. To More, property should not be centrally own, and he supports the notion of privately owned property to reduce the number of conflicts that are present in the society of the modern English (More 27).
More is critical on the case that kings in Europe have a tendency of starting wars that lead to loss of a good amount of money that could have been used in developing the nation and not going into wastage as purchasing of war weapons. He does not believe in the use of execution as a form of punishment for theft cases since the thieves may also be prone to murdering then individuals that they rob so that there is no witness if the case is filed in court.
Therefore, More’s main argument on the origin of all this problem is based the notion that most of the land is enclosed and that property is centrally owned mainly by the government, and he also argues that, “Instead of inflicting these horrible punishments, it would be far more to the point to provide everyone with some means of livelihood, so that nobody's under the frightful necessity of becoming first a thief and then a corpse” in order to give the criminal a chance of living a normal life More insists that the Utopia method of punishment should be done away with and such system incorporated (More 28).
The existence of slaves in every household is also a key concern for More while talking to Hythloday. He observes that there are at least two slaves in every household and that the slaves are either from other countries or criminals caught in Utopia. It is evil only to have slaves from other parts of the continents, and this shows a sign of the unsympathetic nature of the English government. Since Hythloday has been with the same government for the past five years, he thinks that the civil society are used living under such conditions and do not mind what the government is currently doing to the people (More 28).
For Hythloday, More is only arguing this way because he has not been present and living with this society in the past five years. He argues that More’s experience with the current system and if he had lived in Utopia, then it could be possible to note how much the people of Utopia are happy and living together in harmony (More 29).
While it may appear a normal form of practice of religion in Utopia, the beliefs that More upholds from the Catholic Church teachings are contrary to what Hythloday’s experience with the Utopian society. Married priests and having female priests are not found in Catholic doctrines. More could have changed his life but the Utopian style and system of faith according to Hythloday is the best practice of ethics and the pagan nature of the society is not an unusual act (Pagden 124).
Hythloday demonstrates his experiences during his travel to Europe, and it is during this point that More uses the arguments brought out to make it logical to him that most of the actions taken by the kings and the priests in England are not humanly and should not be tolerated by an individual in the society (Pagden 124).
Politics should be left the individuals that do not have the ideal knowledge and Hythloday argues that he is a philosopher, and he should never be involved in the politics. Hythloday also brings out the idea of that there are not private properties in Utopia and that all the food and property is stored in warehouses where every individual can ask for anything that he or she would like to have. To More, this practice can bring in greed, and there is bound to other individuals who are benefitting more than the rest (Pagden 125).
This is based on the fact that, the produced property may be due to a few individuals, but the rest of the society benefits from the same services. More believes that it is good if ownership was made a private affair so that each benefit from what he or she has toiled for. This may not be very new idea for Hythloday, but he is used to the culture of the Utopians of ensuring that slaves and the caught criminals are the individuals used by the society to toil and feed the rest of the nation (Pagden 125).
More has used Hythloday to show the core problems that are experienced in the English society. In a clever way, he questions Hythloday in a manner that he can bring out his true beliefs in the justice, economic and Christian views. Under the welfare state, it is evident that, through the various households, it is the duty of each to ensure that individuals have eaten while the longest serving administrations are given the best from the dishes.
This is not a fair practice to More while Hythloday is narrating the story. It is more of naive political injustices to have the administrators get the best yet they have not contributed more to the processing of the food. There is no proper law according to More to guide these individuals on the rights and the wrongs and they are meant to act appropriately. For More, it is more practical to have a peaceful mind as opposed to the system that English government implicates on the society he reinstates this through saying, “Nobody owns anything but everyone is rich - for what greater wealth can there be than cheerfulness, peace of mind, and freedom from anxiety” (More 30).
Therefore, the character of More has been demonstrated to be contrary to the practices that are carried out in the modern English society. More believes that, the political system should be hauled and better ideas that are humanly incorporated into the system. More so, it is vital that religion is practiced in the Catholic context of teaching and not the current affairs. The law is evidently one of the ignored areas in the English society and the criminal laws should be lifted and better methods like enabling an environment for practicing agriculture and other practices so that the rate of poverty is reduced which in turn can help curb the rate of crime in the society. More is satirical in nature and he uses this to bring out his feelings during the dialogue.
Pagden, Anthony R. The Languages of Political Theory in Early-Modern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2007. Print. 124
More, Thomas, George M. Logan, and Robert M. Adams. Utopia. Cambridge [etc.: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Print. 27
Manuel, Frank E, and Fritzie P. Manuel. Utopian Thought in the Western World. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1979. Internet resource. 142