“mo’ money mo’ problems”

I guess Biggie was right, the more money we come across, the more problems we see.

I think author Ahmed Khaled Towfik is portraying just that in his novel, Utopia. Towfik designs a world in which the ultra rich are secluded in their own private oasis, Utopia, while the poor, or “Others,” fester in the outside lands. Our narrator, a nameless young punk from Utopia, describes his life as “boring,” and having “nothing left in life that interests” him at all (17). This guy has the whole world at his fingertips, and yet he is no longer interested in anything at all. How is it possible to have everything and nothing at the same time?

The narrator may have money, but it clearly does not bring him happiness. In fact, it sounds like it brings him more trouble than anything else. His attitude towards life is completely dead. He seems to have a sick desire for death, continuously making statements like “Death should be elegant and theatrical” (20).

Utopians essentially live in another world. This other world is filled with money. This money allows Utopians to do anything and everything they desire. The root of the problem here isn’t money per se, but the power that comes along with it. Utopia relies on money to keep order and balance to their perfectly structured world while causing chaos for the Others. They see money as US while poverty as THEM. The thing about a divorce, whether it be between a couple or a classes of the economy, is that its never clean cut. This division between classes and the power behind one destroys any sort of proper balance.

Towfik so far has done a great job at portraying the reality of money. What it does to people when they have too much of it and what it causes people to do when they need it.


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