What is a Human…?

While I was reading the novel Utopia, there were constant references to the people in the novel being something less then human. Maybe not even less then human but not human at all. One spot I found a reference speaking of this less then humanness was on page 37 where it says “they pretend their eating meat, and pretend that they’re drinking alcohol, and of course they pretend they’re drunk and have forgotten their problems. they pretend they have the right to err and sin. They pretend to be human.” So, the real question is, if these people are not what can be considered “human” then what is? What does being human mean if not just our anatomy?



To figure that out we need to know what isn’t considered human. The novel constantly makes it clear that they way these people were was not human. They lived for the next day, they had no morals, they loved violence (it was part of their lives), had no natural affection for other people, they had no purpose, and frankly no real freedom of choice. Their lives were hard and short, their lives were spent “looking for bits of food thrown in the rubbish heaps. Then they’ll die of tuberculosis one day and they’ll find them beside the wall. That’s their lives” (pg. 92).

So, if these things weren’t human, then one would assume that the opposite of these things would be what being truly human is. Being human would be having morals, caring about other people, practicing our freedom in choice, and not just thinking about how to get to the next day but actually thinking and planning for our distant future.

When we think about these things though, is that what being human is? Is that how we ourselves act all the time? Yes, there are some qualities that we display or try to display but as a whole are is this really how others would describe us as acting all the time? Would this be how we describe ourselves all the time? Probably not but were still human, aren’t we?

The fact of the matter is this, there is a million and one was to describe what being human means. None of these ideas are wrong, yet not everyone in the world will ever be able to agree with one single idea on what makes us human. All we can do is try our best and live the way we personally feel is human.


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