20th Century Literature
Mr. Schill- 9th Period
16 April 2008
In essence, the definition of a utopia is extremely subjective. What would seem like a utopia to one person may seem completely repulsive to someone from a different (or even the same) culture. This is why even though a utopia and dystopia are polar opposites by definition; the fine line that divides the two truly deserves its title. In Childhood’s End, Clarke explores the nature of the fine line by instigating the arrival of the Overlords, an advanced alien race who cleanses the world of inequality and creates a utopia of peace and stability.
In the wake of reconstruction, Earth “by the standards of all earlier ages, it was Utopia. Ignorance, disease, poverty, and fear had virtually ceased to exist” (Clarke, 64). Inequality is the greatest source of unrest and is the cause for all the aforementioned maladies of society. The eradication of inequality naturally brings content and harmony to society and its denizens and as a result “crime had practically vanished. It had become both unnecessary and impossible. When no one lacks anything, there is no point in stealing” (Clarke, 65). With no fear to life or property, mankind thrives in a world of security and trust, defined only by the relative term “utopia.”
Every action has an opposite, but equal, reaction. The consequence to ensured stability and equivalence is suppressed creativity and expression of spirit. This tradeoff is met with radically opposing thoughts. Those who have some kind of stability/security in their lives will reject the tradeoff and claim that creativity is what it means to be a human and not a machine. Those who struggle to make end’s meet will embrace the switch and state that it is difficult being creative if surviving is a constant problem. For many cases creativity is the escape route from the routine life of modern society and is constructive by providing a much needed distraction from everyday...