Looking Backward: 2000-1887 Criticism

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While Looking Backward may have sold millions of copies and had worldwide influence, its enthusiastic reception in 1888 was based on the ideas for social and economic reform Bellamy proposed, not the book's literary merit. As a treatise on social reform, the book is generally admired. However, negative criticism abounds concerning Bellamy's omissions and misinterpretations.

Gail Collins points out in her 1991 article for The Nation that, although Bellamy believed technology would make life easier in the year 2000, he fails to show anything but a few innovative gadgets, and the rest is much the same as it was in 1887. "We learn that factories are no longer dirty but we never see them in action.... The industrial army does the washing and the cooking, not washer-dryers and microwave ovens," says Collins. Collins also notices that, "Throughout the book, West manages to tour the city . . . without ever speaking to anyone...

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This section contains 725 words
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Buy the Looking Backward: 2000-1887 Study Guide
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Looking Backward: 2000-1887 from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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