How people of Oneida viewed their community

From the primary sources, I can see that the average person of Oneida dealt with significant stress of daily life before they came to the community. To them Oneida wasn’t a utopia, it was how a community should be. They were all ready predisposed to the ideas of a utopia. As I said in my paper, the individuals of Oneida and attempts at utopia in general, tend to be disillusioned with the world around them, and were¬†easily swayed to the idea of a perfect community.

Organization of my paper

When organizing the structure of my essay, I plan on focusing more on the primary sources the most. The primary sources give me more valuable and more direct evidence to back my claims. Other sources may have direct evidence, but will primarily be used to give background and introductory information to lead into the claims.

Post 3

What interests me about the Oneida community and utopian communities as a whole, is that the failures of each demonstrate the limits of putting restrictions on individuals. As in my topic, the limit on marriage had a significant impact on the longevity of the community.

Reaching my research question

When I first came up with my initial research question, I began looking through the primary sources to see one that fits best. However, looking at the sources made me realize my initial question “how did Noyes’ idea of Heaven on Earth lead to the initial success but ultimate failure of Oneida” was too broad for any of the sources to be able to give a significant answer. So, I focused on one part of Noyes’ ideas instead: his views on marriage. Then, looking through the sources about the diary of a resident of Oneida, I found quality evidence to help answer this question.

Oneida Community

When reading about the Oneida community, I found the most interesting part to be the leader himself, John Humphrey Noyes. I find his thought process of attaining “perfectionism” in complete avoidance of sin interesting. Though, I did find his belief in sharing one’s body with everyone else in the community strange, it is also interesting that he came up with such a radical, yet unique idea, and believed it to be a part of his “heaven on Earth.” ¬†Another reason I find Noyes interesting is how he viewed himself as all but God. Although in most situations such narcissism would prove ineffective, when recruiting members of the Oneida community his narcissism and charisma allowed the community to grow for a time. A possible research question I would like to pursue is how Noyes was viewed by outsiders and how Noyes viewed outsiders.