It’s interesting to look at the inspiration behind utopias. Whenever people find aspects of society that they find unpleasant or unjust, human imagination conjures a contrasting version of the world in which such aspects are different and better. Rarely does any vision of a utopia incorporate every side of a society; to do so would be virtually impossible. Many scholars argue that utopias are impossible to create because someone will always be worse off thanks to the changes. However, I’d like to look at the concept of perspectives within utopias. As the contrasting views within the poem show, people see the world differently, and will thus receive certain aspects of society in their own unique light. Utopias therefore don’t exist for societies; they exist for individuals. As a result, one of the main problems for Sultana’s utopia is that the men remember their lives as the dominant social group. When people suffer from relative deprivation (in other words, when their lives become worse off than they were before), they will not be pleased with such a utopia. Therefore, although utopias will never succeed within the societal mindset, the individual can perceive a utopia when society is benefiting him or her and when they have not experienced a past in which life was better than it is in the new utopia.
Life is good here. I take daily strolls through the yard, exchanging greetings with all the friendly, welcoming faces as I take in the final glimpses of a fleeting fall. I have conversations about things I never would have back home; about stigmas, about culture, about aspects of life often overlooked. A whole new side of my brain has opened up, and I have enjoyed it. The classes stimulate me to new levels of intellectualism, my curiosity growing by the day. Oh, the possibilities this place holds!
The skies are grey and the world dismal as I look out from the first floor of Lamont, lamenting and struggling over the next words to put down onto the page. Harvard is not just “Harvard.” There is a harsh, hidden reality behind that name that many fail to realize before coming here, but it has haunted me since the day I arrived. As I walk from the library to my dorm, I feel the judgmental gazes of our world’s future leaders, all willing to cut my throat if it will help them get ahead. The weight of their gaze weighs my head down, and I fear to look up lest I awaken their internal drives for competition and superiority. I avoid conversation here; I have found it circles around inflated topics that “you only talk about at Harvard…” I have lost interest in other’s steadfast desire to grow and win.