Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
In this thesis I examine the idealization of New World lands in Thomas More‰Ûªs Utopia and sixteenth century travel narratives. The attempt to objectively depict the New World in these travel narratives can be read through More‰Ûªs explicit project to create in his narrative a fictional ‰ÛÏutopian‰Û society. Both works refer to lands in their narratives that are inaccessible to the majority of the population through their great distance. As the only means of revealing details of these foreign lands, the narratives control the European perceptions of the New World. As textual artifacts, however, the lands are conditioned by the medium in which they are inscribed. The narrativization of reality bestows an order on the described world beyond that seen in nature. Further influenced by ideological and personal forces, the landscapes of these texts no longer accurately portray the factual world, but instead depict fictionalized versions of the American lands. Birthed from selective, fictionalized observations of the New World and Old World cultural influences, these lands become liminal entities that give an idealized shape to the Americas revealed in the narratives.
Harris, Samuel, "Nothing and "No-Place": Idealized New World Landscapes in Thomas More's Utopia and Sixteenth Century Travel Narratives" (2012). Honors Theses. 62.