Historical Optimism: the Use of Utopia in the Enlightenment Era

2017-05-22T04:11:18Z (GMT) by Amy Crawford
In this paper, I will argue that the use of utopian literature in the Enlightenment displays the historical optimism found in that era by looking at three texts in their historical situation: Thomas More’s Utopia (1516), a traditional utopian model, as a product of the Renaissance and the age of discovery; Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko (1688), a dystopic text, as a text of Resto-ration, the age of desolation; and Sarah Scott’s Millenium Hall (1762), a feminist utopian text, as a text occurring in the Enlightenment, the age of categorisation.