Looking Backward Edward Bellamy

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Edward Bellamy’s Push for Social Reform In Looking Backward, Edward Bellamy argued that one of the most significant problems facing America in 1887 was the unequal distribution of wealth throughout the nation that was due to the result of several high-power figures who held the majority of the nation’s money. In 1887, a small handful of powerful figures controlled and owned the capital of the nation. This left little money for the lower class citizens. During the nineteenth century, a vast majority of the nation struggled with poverty. In Bellamy’s opinion, the agricultural economy and the private capital was inefficient and only benefitted the wealthy, while the working class continued to suffer. The lower class people of the nation had to work unreasonable conditions to escape, what seemed to be, the inevitable fate of poverty. Many workers protested their jobs in hopes of change, which ultimately lead to furthering their poverty because the upper class had no sympathy for the poor, even when they tried to stand up for themselves. Bellamy clearly shows his thoughts of hopelessness in his community that he lived in by the following passage: “…it was merely a question of thickness of their skulls when they would discover the fact and make up their minds to endure what they cannot cure” (12). Bellamy saw the select few who were wealthy as abusers of their power and money. He always portrays them as heartless. Another problem Bellamy describes are the selfishly motivated people of his century. Not only did he find the wealthy to be selfish, he felt that the hard working lower class was working for the wrong reasons. He explains to the utopian world that where he came from people were motivated to work only because of fear of poverty, as opposed to bettering their community or pursuing their passions. With the industrial revolution taking over, the demand for

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