University of Oulu

Karhu, Mikko & Ridanpää, Juha (2020) Space, power and happiness in the utopian and anti-utopian imaginations. Literary geographies 6(1): 119-137.

Space, power and happiness in the utopian and anti-utopian imaginations

Saved in:
Author: Karhu, Mikko1; Ridanpää, Juha2
Organizations: 1University of Vaasa
2University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Literary Geographies, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-02-17


This article discusses how utopian and anti-utopian literatures offer alternate visions to find connecting links between the control of space, power and happiness. The focus is on three classics of utopian and dystopian literatures: Thomas More’s Utopia (1516), Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932), and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). Through the analysis of these works it is pondered how utopian and anti-utopian societies offer freedom or restrict inhabitants moving and actingin their worlds, and how this is portrayed as a means to measure the quality of life. The article contributes to socially critical literary geography by envisioning various options to imagine the relationship of space and power. The starting presumption in the article is that both utopian and anti-utopian imaginations suggest that freedom to use space is a key factor when defining human happiness.

see all

Series: Literary geographies
ISSN: 2397-1797
ISSN-E: 2397-1797
ISSN-L: 2397-1797
Volume: 6
Issue: 1
Pages: 119 - 137
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
6122 Literature studies
Copyright information: © 2020 Mikko Karhu, Juha Ridanpää.