If Utopia means “an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect,” then this does not fit this Black No More by Schuyler. And if Dystopia means, “a community or society, usually fictional that is in some important way undesirable or frightening” then, Black No More fits this definition. I am trying to see which definition fits Schuyler’s work best because this novel is ironic and could be seen from many different angels. However in general, the society that has been created by almost eliminating one race and makes the world has “almost only” one race is defiantly “a community…that is… undesirable or frightening.” Thus, I can say this is a great and dystopian novel by Schuyler.
Obviously this work by Schuyler is different from the previous works by Gilman and Bellamy, but in what ways? Bellamy’s escaped in time and found his utopian world ready; and his job was only describing how that utopian world is “economically” successful. Gilman, did the same thing, escaped not in time, but in map to find her utopian world ready; and her job was to describe how that utopian world function perfectly without “male” element. However, Schuyler does not escape to find his utopian world ready and describes how it functions without race differences or race discrimination. On the contrary, he invites the reader to the “process of creating utopian world” and sees how that goes. First of all, he assumes that if he was able to make all people have the same race he would find the ultimate solution for this world’s problems. He says that “if one could discover some means of artificially inducing and stimulating this nervous disease, one might possibly solve the American race problem.” And for him the solution for he Black race in Americans is “to either get out, get white or get along” (8). Max Disher agrees with this and thinks that if he could get white, “there would be not more discrimination” (14). What happens next is that the good news comes and getting white becomes possible, and Max “at last [feels] lime an American citizen” (23). Till this moment, in the reader’s mind utopia is being created. However, as the novel goes on, they discover how complicated is this.
Again, how this work is different? It is different in the way it takes the readers in a very long tour letting them experiencing the difficulties of reaching the utopia. Moreover, it suggests that every attempt of making the world utopia actually works the opposite way; it makes the world more complicated. Which is to say, Utopia is to leave the world as it is; otherwise we will have dystopia.
For me, this novel says, there will be never be a utopian world if we keep thinking that utopia is the elimination of the “causes” of our problem. What I mean is that Bellamy eliminated money in order to kill the violence motive and have a better world. And Gilman eliminated males and sex desire to have a better world. And Schuyler tries to eliminate race problems to reach a better world. It indicates that human nature is the basis of the dystopia. The human nature always creates new problems and makes the world even more complicated and that is obvious in the consequences of the Black No More treatment. When all people become white, they looked for another ways to label each other. And a good example of this is the looking for family tree to distinguish between the real white and the newly whitened people. And this is the real problem; it is deep in the human nature. What is the solution and how to reach a real Utopia? I think I will go with Gilman’s idea of EDUCATION and taking care of the FUTURE’s elements: children and environment.