Books Utopian Novel

Published on December 6th, 2012 | by Key Reads

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Utopian Society in Millenium Hall

Utopian Novel

Utopia as a Release From Pain

By Alexandra Rosen

Utopia books are usually set in uber-perfect worlds that do not have connections to the other people of Earth. Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Millenium Hall by Sara Scott are both about Utopian societies made up of women. Herland takes this one-step further by making the women the only gender in this Utopian society, which makes us wonder where the babies come from, but that is another topic for another day. Millenium Hall is about women who have gone through life in the normal world and created a Utopian society in the middle of Scott’s England (really in the southern, peninsular coastal region).

Millenium Hall does not house your typical Utopian Society. It is not hidden or on a separate planet. It seems to be out of the normal way of travelers, but our narrator just happens upon the place and is easily welcomed. He is even related to one of the inhabitants of Millenium Hall; his cousin Mrs. Maynard moved there after her husband’s death. She tells the narrator stories of the other women and the founding of this Utopian society.

Most utopias seem to be foreign or forced into existence. In fact, whenever I think about a utopian book, I think of novels that end revealing to the reader what a dystopia the society really is. However, Millenium Hall is filled with women of all ages who have or would have suffered in their lives outside Millenium Hall. I think that is why it works as a utopian society: the women know what suffering is, so they can appreciate the perfection they are surrounded by in this home. It is not like in Herland or George Orwell’s 1984, where they just do not know any better and an outsider distracts them.

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