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Introduction Utopia A visionary or ideally perfect state of society Utopianism The various ways in which people think about, depict, and attempt to create a perfect society, which deals with morality, ethics, psychology and political philosophy Plays an important role in motivating social and political change
Taohua Yuan Ji (The Peach Blossom Spring) Tao Yuanming A fisherman who accidentally found in a place with blossoming peach trees. He met the villagers who warmly received him. The ancestors of the villagers escaped to there in the Qin Dynasty. They did not have any contact with the people outside their village and did not know anything about the outside world. Before he left, the villagers told him that it was not worth to tell anyone about his experience. Although the fisherman marked his route while leaving, he could never find the way back to Taohua Yuan.
The relationship between human and nature To escape from wars Political indifference
Utopia Thomas More Uo = no; topos = place 54 cities, separated from each other by at least 24 miles, around 100,000 habitants per city Public ownership Communal farmhouses Everyone works 6 hours a day (Agriculture) Every 30 families elect a 1-year-term official to deliberate upon public affairs A prince selected by candidates chosen by the people to govern the country (life-long tenure) Atheism is not allowed (to prevent evil acts)
Similarities Literature as a tool Criticism of the society Taohua Yuan and Utopia = Complete contrast of the society An ideal place unable to realize
Backgrounds of the two booksTaohua Yuan Utopia Year: 421AD(Jin Dynasty) Year: 1516 6 regimes,16 kingdoms Capitalism One of the most chaotic Enclosure movement eras Demand for wool Problems: Lands fenced to limit its use to wealthy owners Wars Privatization: Depriving the Political instability peasants of their rights and Heavy taxes… freedom
Cultural differences Daoism Greek philosophy Simplicity Plato - “Republic” Self-sufficiency Humanitarianism Reclusion Democracy Complete isolation Pacifism from each other’s life Liberty
James Hilton (1900-1954) Born at Lancashire in 1900 Grew up in London Novelist and scriptwriter Pacifist “Lost Horizon” published in 1933 Instant bestseller in UK and US Awarded the Hawthornden Prize Adopted as a screenplay in 1937
Writing Background1. Post-WWI England Change of the balance of power The Great Depression Social and economic insecurity2. Rise of fascism Fear of another World War3. Tibet had become accessible China has become a hot topic in Europe
Shangri-La Popularized by Lost Horizon Secret multicultural utopian city hides in Himalayans Mountain called Blue Moon Valley Social structure:1. 50 lamas and around 1,000 Tibetans2. Rich and stable society3. Ruled by the High Lama, a god-like figure4. The High Lama – Father Perrault5. All lamas were travellers from Europe
Shangri-La Economic Situation1. No monetary system and private property2. Lamasery use gold to buy what can’t be produced3. All productions are done by villagers Culture1. Treasury and refuge for human literature, arts2. Highly informed from books and newspapers3. Guiding principle in life is virtue of moderation4. Religious tolerance
Imagined ChinaFusion of the reality and Utopia of the West: Clear social classification Ruling class are westerners only Heavily influenced by Christianity Ultimate goal: Spiritual and aesthetic Communism Location of Shangri-La: Tibetan Plateau
Orientalism Evolved from Colonialism and Imperialism Manipulation over Orient impression Subjective interpretation of western utopia2 purposes:1. Exotic worldview to catch public attention2. Creating a non-western role model =>Criticizing societies of the West
Conclusion Evolving concept Unrealistic characteristics Image can be different according to geographic and chronic changes Main function: Criticizing realistic society Escaping from reality Shangri-La: reinvention of western Utopia