What are the utopian themes explored in News From Nowhere? What is Morris' social criticism?
Morris' social criticism is intimately connected with the utopian themes. Because the two are so intertwined, they both relate to one another. This being said, I will attempt to bring attention to several of the utopian themes explored in News From Nowhere.
The former formal government no longer exists as it has been overthrown and people are now living in stability with nature and each other. An uprising of the people displeased with unfavorable conditions created this change. London is previously considered dark, murky, and labor intensive.
It has often been said, and no doubt truly, that one ages very quickly if one lives amongst unhappy people.
The Utopian Communities are now peaceful and thriving. There is much less structure surrounding the education of children. Relationships between couples have no formal basis, as courts are no longer needed to enforce feelings of love between individuals in the society. This allows an ability to move in and out of a relationship at need as feelings change.
Like the mediaevals, we like everything trim and clean, and orderly and bright; as people always do when they have any sense of architectural power; because then they know that they can have what they want, and they won't stand any nonsense from Nature in their dealings with her.
Money is not needed nor exchanged for goods in the utopian society as people are honest and have occupations. In turn, there is not a need for law enforcement nor a prison system. Children learn through their naturally curious nature, which creates no need for a formalized school system.
This utopian society is obviously non-existent and though Guest first thinks he is dreaming of this society, he realizes instead it is a vision to strive towards. Through this commentary on utopian society, Morris' social criticism is clear.