Analyze and assess the significance of Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis

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The New Atlantis may not be considered as a work of literature comparable to the classics that were produced during that time. However, the Baconian or scientific method which it asserts on is the most important content that has been serving as the framework for the succeeding experiments and practical scientific activities. It is apparent that without the Baconian method explicitly outlined, The New Atlantis would certainly be less relevant as a book of science. Neither would it even be significant as a literary work of fiction. The focal point that Bacon wishes to portray in The New Atlantis is that if his scientific method is applied scientists, it would be possible to construct a society similar to that in a fictional land which he called Bensalem. Such a society as described by Bacon is actually a utopia. Nevertheless, it clear that what he wants to impress on the readers is that a utopian society is possible for as long as the scientific method that he is proposing would be put to practice in all fields of science, be it natural, physical, or social. It is apparent in the novel though that even as Bacon insists on a certain framework for establishing scientific truths, he never goes to the extent of negating the very essence of the supposed antithesis of science: religion. In fact, even as Bensalem’s inhabitants and leaders follow a precise scientific method, they retain their belief in the supernatural. As a consequence of adhering to a system of studying scientific truths and applying these in governing Bensalem, the inhabitants in this society are described by Bacon to be very contented with their lives. The problems of hunger and strife common in societies in Europe are virtually non-existent. a utopia no less. In the world outside Bensalem, people have to work in order to obtain the most basic necessities. Satisfied with their economic conditions, they no longer desire to earn more than what they are already getting. A Bensalem inhabitant who welcomed the sailors said that he must not be twice paid for one labor (Bacon, 2007, p.7). Since he is already paid by the State for the service he offers to the guests, he explains that he should no longer accept anything from the guests themselves. Such gesture may be construed as honesty but such attitude would certainly not be developed if want and misery exist in Bensalem. It is clear that the society of Bensalem as described by Bacon is governed by what may be considered as an ideal welfare state. There are no private businesses mentioned all throughout the story. It is the state that ensures that the people are provided for according to their needs. The office governor of the House of Strangers articulates this when he tells the sailors that ye shall also understand that the strangers’ house is at this time rich and much aforehand. for it hath laid up revenue these thirty-seven years, for so long it is since any stranger arrive in this part. and therefore take ye no care. the State will defray you all the time you stay (Bacon, 2007, p.11). It is evident here that Bacon’s utopian Bensalem bears the semblance of the society dreamt by the early socialists. However, it is also important to point out that this kind of society would not be possible if its level of economic advancement has not been bolstered by an accurate system in discovering scientific tru