Early this week I finished the book: Looking Backward, by Edward Bellamy. The book itself is about a man named Julian West who lives in the year 1887. West falls asleep one day and is awoken in the year 2000, he has slept for over a hundred years. The rest of the novel is about him learning about this completely different society which happens to be a perfect socialist society. Near the end of the book West awakes back in the year 1887, which makes him realize that all of his time in the year 2000 was a dream. But then he realizes that his return to the year 1887 was a dream, and he is then awoken in the year 2000. Now the most realistic dream out of the two: West’s return to 1887, or when he was awake in the year 2000? Now as a sane person I would have to say that the dream of him returning back to the year 1887, was far more realistic than the other one, and here’s why.
Well first off, West’s new “life” in the year 2000, is like a dream. This is because everything about the way the year 2000 is depicted in the book, is a complete and utter fantasy or dream, completely unrealistic. So it would be completely understandable if West was dreaming about the year 2000, and would just wake up. But it was not a dream, and West’s return to the year 1887 was a dream. Everything about the way the year 1887 was depicted in the book made sense, even the dream, it was pretty accurate to how the year 1887 was like.
Another reason why his return to 1887, dream was more realistic is the fact that the dream itself felt really real, and West couldn’t identify it as a dream. Usually you can tell if you are dreaming or not, dream’s usually never feel that real, at least for me. But the year 2000 is very much like a dream far more so than the 1887 dream. These are the reasons why I believe that waking up in the year 1887, dream was far more realistic than the main character waking up in the year 2000.
Reading, Looking Backward, has been a pretty interesting ride. It has sincerely tested my understanding on how illogical a person’s imagination could be, or how absurd a book could be. But nevertheless this novel is a Utopian novel, which “technically” explains why the novel does not make too much sense.