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Research Papers on Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy

Research papers on Looking Backward discuss the utopian novel that is an original literature classic as the first novel of its kind. Our literary writers can explicate the elements of Bellamy's novel in a custom research project.

Edward Bellamy’s book “Looking Backward”, written in 1887, was the first utopian novel of its kind.  It became a best seller because of Bellamy’s style in expressing contemporary problems in a way that was perceived as non-controversial.  It became very influential with its views on poverty, unemployment, conflicts within the classes, and various social issues.  As a critic of capitalism, Bellamy’s visions of an impartial economy prove accurate against the assumptions of progressive social reform.

Looking Backward

Edward Bellamy became an activist for social reform that spawned the movement of the Nationalist Clubs.  These reformers pushed for social order with the use of social work in the frame of the progressive era that was underway at that time.  This platform was in answer to the social revolution also taking place.  According to the reformers of the Nationalist Clubs, if social order would be reformed, social revolution would be unnecessary.

The utopian vision of Bellamy’s “Looking Backward” begins with the anticipation that the future America is outlined with the following:

  1. Without class divisions
  2. Wealth is equally divided
  3. Industry is a nationalized entity
  4. People view competition as an evil
  5. Cooperation is everything in this utopian society

It seems clear that Bellamy believed people would opt for cooperating in order to fill a new social order.  State run programs eliminate the tedious strife of a competitive world, which offers security and efficiency in all of social functioning.

Bellamy’s and the other Nationalists’ beliefs contrasted sharply with the Industrial Revolution taking place in America at this time.  This progressive era was riddled with poverty, factory work that bordered on slavery, and was an age where the rich just got richer.  In 1890, 11 million families out of the 12 million that lived in the United States, were living below the poverty line.  The captains of industry lived lifestyles of superfluous wealth.  It was this tiring of the corruption of a greedy social class that sparked the reform movement and elevated Bellamy’s views to that of a cult following. 

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