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MonkeyNotes-Utopia by Sir Thomas More
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Of Their Living and Mutual Conversation Together

The Utopians have a joint family system. Women, when married, go to the husbands' house, but men continue to live in their own homes. The oldest male in the family is the head and continues to be so till he becomes senile. Then he is succeeded by the next oldest. Utopians follow strict family planning. But if the number does exceed the prescribed one, a new city is founded on the nearby mainland. This new city follows the same customs as the rest of Utopia. If the natives of the occupied land do not embrace Utopia customs, the Utopia go to war. This is considered one of the most important causes of war -- the need to put vacant land to good use. If the population of Utopia dwindles for some reason, the inhabitants of the new colonies are brought back.

There is a market in the center of each city, filled with all necessary goods. One section is filled with all kinds of food and the other with dry goods and the like. The father or the head of the family simply takes what he needs for himself and the others in the family. There is no buying and selling. Since everything is always abundantly available, nobody takes more than what is required.

Next to the market is the meat market. Animals are well cleaned before they are slaughtered. This is the only job that is considered too low for Utopia and so they have special slaves to slaughter animals outside of the city This is done to avoid foul smells and the spread of bacteria within the city limits. Every household takes from their store as and when they need anything.


The best meat is kept for the sick. There are four big hospitals in each corner of the city. These hospitals are large, spacious and well provided for. The care given is exceptionally good.

The Utopians eat together in halls. They enjoy doing it because it removes the drudgery of cooking. Slaves do the heavy and difficult work. Women take turns cooking. Eating in common halls becomes a social occasion. There is a special elaborate rite followed for eating.

Each mother nurses her own child, but if she cannot, for some reason, the state provides a nurse. This is considered noble service. Women are eager to undertake it. Boys and girls serve at the table following the rigid hierarchy. The children are well behaved and respectful. The rarer dishes are divided and distributed by the Syphogrant. The Syphogrant and his wife preside over every meal.

A short reading on manners and virtue precedes every dinner and supper. Dinner is shorter than supper. During supper they have music and light entertainment. The dining rooms are clean, sweet smelling and hygienic.

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