Conflicts of Social Classes and Calls for Reforms in the Utopian Fiction

In the nineteenth century, scientific and technological advances, the skepticism they faced, the call for social reform, and the struggle for women's rights developed new directions in the fiction. We see the same trends in the works of utopia. As you know, in utopian literature there is a certain recurring idea, starting with the description of the first utopian societies. This is the abolition of private property. At the time we spoke, the ideas of socialism and communism were based on the same idea, and approaches to the welfare of common interests were demonstrated. It should be noted that this process was not limited to England. In America and France, utopian literature developed on the same topic. Since our main focus is on the English-speaking artistic environment, we only treat it appropriately by analyzing utopian works that have formed mainly in England and America.
"Erewon" by S. Butler and "Vril. The Power of the Coming Race” by E. Bulwer-Lytton are also considered examples of science fiction as well as utopias. The first is a community that seeks to preserve humanity by avoiding technological progress, and the second is a community that takes advantage of this development and lives a prosperous life. Likewise, Hudson's utopia “Crystal Age” celebrates a way of life far removed from scientific and technological innovation and finds refuge in nature as utopian prosperity. In these works, representatives of the human race, the authors' contemporaries, are, unfortunately, represented as colonialists with all their features, people unable to control their ambitions and desires. It is as if people are not only unable to achieve a utopian society, but even if they do, they cannot live in it and become members of the community strictly following the rules. Likewise, in “Mizora” M. E. Bradley Lane describes a society that has benefited from the latest advances in science and technology. The work reflects, above all, a radical feminist approach, and the elimination of the male race is also important for prosperity, along with all reforms in society.
As we have already noted, socio-political events and historical periods determine the themes and ideas of works of art. The nineteenth century was a period of social class conflicts, disputes over the working and living conditions of workers and socialism. These issues can also be found in “Looking Backward” by E. Bellamy and “News from Nowhere” by W. Morris. Bellamy later wrote a sequel, “Equality” and developed his ideas further. Similar comparisons between societies in which writers were contemporaries and utopian societies continued as criticisms of capitalism until the end of the century. These include W. Browne's “2894, or Fossil Man (A Winter's Night's Dream)”, and W. D. Howells’ “Traveler from Altruria”. These works give an idea of the main socio-political processes that took place in England and America over a century. In this way, in utopian literature, the idea expands, the subject deepens, and the possibility of a "good place" begins to be questioned.

Keywords: utopia, society, protagonist, reform, scientific-technical progress