Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, English and Literary Arts

First Advisor

Adam Rovner

Second Advisor

Graham Foust

Third Advisor

Jennifer Pap


Colonialism, Edward Bellamy, Metaphor, Thomas More, Utopia


As a literary genre, utopia is notably didactic. It seeks to teach desire and to educate hope. As such, utopia provides a unique site to examine the way metaphor and imagination enable one to be convinced, and the way those same elements facilitate misunderstanding. Following the theorization of Ernst Bloch, the goal of critiquing these literary utopias is not to reject hope but, rather, to educate our own daydreams, to learn and move forward. These chapters examine didacticism and the development of colonial metonymy in Thomas More’s Utopia, the way metaphor operates through time in Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward: 2000-1887, and utopian colonialism as a central incoherence in the utopian imaginary. Ultimately, this paper argues for a productive misreading of literary utopias, pointing to the way utopia has escaped and even refashioned its authors and the way readers’ misinterpretations have opened new horizons of radical possibility.

Copyright Date


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Sage Rachmiel Bard Gilbert


Received from ProQuest

File Format



English (eng)


121 pgs

File Size

1.3 MB


Literature, American literature, English literature