Slaves, in Utopia, are never bought. Utopian slaves are either people captured by the Utopians in battle, people who have committed a horrible crime within Utopia, or people who have committed crimes in other countries and been condemned to death, and saved from their fates by the Utopians. The children of slaves are not born into slavery. Slaves work constantly, and are always chained.
Sick Utopians receive tremendous care, but there are still people who become terminally ill and suffer greatly. In such instances, the doctors, priests, and government leaders urge the patient to recognize that they are no longer able to fulfill the duties of life, that they are a burden to both others and themselves, and that they should put their hope in the afterlife and choose to let themselves die. Those who agree are let from life during sleep, without pain. Those who do not agree are treated as kindly and tenderly as before.
Women cannot marry until they reach the age of 18; men must be 22. No premarital sex is allowed; if anyone is caught they are forbidden to marry for life. This policy exists because Utopians think that if promiscuity were allowed, no one would choose to marry. Before any marriage takes place, the bride and groom are, in the presence of a chaperone, shown to each other naked, so that neither is surprised by what they find come wedding day. It is a policy that seemed ridiculous to Hythloday, but he soon saw that their was some wisdom in it, as it allowed the man and woman to know exactly what they were committing to. Divorce is allowed only in cases of adultery or extraordinary abuse. Adulterers are condemned to become slaves.
Utopians believe that people should make the most of their physical attributes, but the use of cosmetics or tools of enhancement are disdained.
No one is allowed to campaign for public office. Public officials are not meant to be overbearing or awe-inspiring; rather they should be seen as fathers who the people voluntarily treat with respect. There are very few laws, all clearly written. Utopia has no lawyers. Utopian leaders and judges are immune to bribery because money does not exist.
Utopia never signs treaties with other countries because they believe a country's word should be good enough. They believe the very idea of a treaty implies that countries are naturally enemies rather than friends, and Utopians do not accept that interpretation of the world. Also, few countries in their immediate vicinity ever actually adhere to the treaties that they sign. Hythloday compares this lack of forthrightness with Europeans, sarcastically claiming that of course all Europeans abide by the treaties they sign.
Take a Study Break
Every Shakespeare Play Summed Up in a Quote from The Office
Every Marvel Movie Summed Up in a Single Sentence
Macbeth As Told in a Series of Texts
QUIZ: Is This a Great Gatsby Quote or a Lorde Lyric?
QUIZ: Which Coming-of-Age Trope Will You Experience This Summer?
QUIZ: Are You a Hero, a Villain, or an Anti-Hero?
Pick 10 Books and We'll Guess Whether You're an Introvert or an Extrovert