Activity 2: Brook Farm - A Utopian Experiment
Activity time: 20 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Story, "Brook Farm"
Preparation for Activity
- Read the story and arrange with three or four volunteers to read it aloud to the group. Assign each volunteer a section of the story and give all the volunteers a copy of the story in advance.
Description of Activity
Have the volunteers read the story aloud.
Then, lead a discussion with these questions:
- Is it possible to create a community that, in George Ripley's words, "combine(s) the thinker and the worker" and creates "a more natural union between intellectual and manual labor?" What would that community look like?
- Is such a combination desirable? What would be gained or lost?
- Can a community like Brook Farm transform its members? How?
- Putting aside Brook Farm's financial troubles, do you think you would like to live in a utopian community like Brook Farm? If you have you ever had the chance to, what was it like?