Utopia Walkabout – Text Explication



The rest of America seemed like  some chaotic mess in the developing world. Outside the walls of the Circle, all was noise and struggle, failure and filth. But here, all had been perfected. The best people had made the best systems and the best systems had reaped funds, unlimited funds, that made possible this, the best place to work. And it was natural that it was so, Mae thought. Who else but utopians could make utopia? (from  ‘The Circle’ by Dave Eggers, 2013)

Post your individual text explication in a comment below.  You should review my advice on explicating a text.

Passage A:   “As long as you have private property, and as long as cash money is the measure of all things, it is really not possible for a nation to be governed justly or happily. For justice cannot exist where all the best things in life are held by the worst citizens; nor can anyone be happy where property is limited to a few, since those few are always uneasy and the many are utterly wretched.”

Passage B:   “When you say I should ‘influence policy indirectly,’ I simply don’t know what you mean; remember, you said I should try hard to handle the situation tactfully, and what can’t be made good I should try to make as little bad as possible. In a council, there is no way to dissemble, no way to shut your eyes to things. You must openly approve the worst proposals, and consent to the most vicious decisions…. How can one individual do any good when he is surrounded by colleagues who would sooner corrupt the best men than do any reforming of themselves? Either they will seduce you, or, if you keep yourself honest and innocent, you will be made a screen for the knavery and madness of others.”

Passage C:   “But preachers, like the crafty fellows they are, have found that men would rather not change their lives to conform to Christ’s rule, and so, just as you suggest, they have accommodated his teaching to the way men live, as if it were a leaden yardstick. At least in that way they can get the two things to correspond on one level or another. The only real thing they accomplish that I can see is to make men feel a little more secure in their consciences about doing evil.”