Books and Movies Reviews

Looking Backward

Over a century after Edward Bellamy wrote "Looking Backward" it is still widely used to illustrate the social turmoil associated with the rampant capitalism of the late nineteenth century's industrial age and as an example of a socialist utopia.This analysis will answer several questions regarding the work: What was Bellamy's purpose for writing this novel?What were his goals?Did he achieve them?What influenced this book?These questions deal primarily with the political aspects of this book.However, since this is fiction the book must be analyzed on a literary level as well.
"Looking Backward" centers around Julian West, an upperclassman living in Boston in 1887.West serves as the narrator and begins to describe his life in 1887.This description included numerous references to the labor strikes which torment him in the construction of his new home, the completion of which directly affects his pending marriage to Edith Bartlett.Upon ending an evening of Dining with Edith and her family, West, a chronic insomniac, calls on the services of an animal magnetist who proceeds to induce some sort of trance which is allows West to get much needed sleep.
Through a mysterious turn of events West does not awake from his trance when he is supposed to.He sleeps for over a century and is finally revived, without aging a day, in the year 2000.He is awakened in this new year by Dr. Leete who immediately offers a scientific reason for how this extended sleep is possible.After some convincing that it is not a practical joke West proceeds to learn about his new society, one that has changed drastically while he slept.Through much discourse with Dr. Leete and his family West discovers that the labor and economic trouble that West calls "The Sphinx's Riddle" of the nineteenth century have been entirely solved.Instead of his old industrial society he finds a new socialist coun…

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