The definition of utopia according to the dictionary is “an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect”, but after reading the novel Utopia by Ahmed Khaled Towfik I saw how their Utopian community was far from perfect.
Although Utopia is described as a ‘perfect’ community, problems still arose for example; rape, stealing, extreme poverty, prostitution, murder and many others. As much as these problems still exist today, they became more horrendous in a world that was meant to be ideal.
Dehumanization is clearly seen throughtout this novel and is also one of the main themes. The question that comes up then is… how and WHY a community became so dehumanized when it is considered to be perfect?
One of the narrators, who introduced himself as Alaa, explains how boredom within Utopia is what drives people to act out.
“What can you do in this artificial paradise? You sleep, you take drugs, you eat until food makes you sick, you vomit until you can recover the enjoyment of eating, you have sex (it’s weird that you notice how boredom makes your sexual behavior aggressive and sadistic)” (9, Khaled).
From this quote, Alaa tries to explain himself on why he is the way he is. He was born into a rich, perfect community who thinks they’re are better than the people outside of their Utopia. He explains how boredom is what made him behave inappropriately and made the population dehumanized. He also states how since everything is going so perfect in their community that it became too boring so the only way for them to enjoy themselves was to act out illegally.
To me, it surprises me how such a perfect neighborhood can have so many defiant teens who only have fun when they are high off of drugs or raping women. It just goes to show that what makes a good community isn’t the perfect image that everyone looks for in different areas, but instead it’s the people that make up the community. If the community is filled with misbehaved citizens who dehumanize their fellow neighbors, then in my eyes it is NOT a perfect place to live and definitely not a lifestyle I would want to live.