More knew a lot about these BIG QUESTIONS because he was a very close advisor and friend to the King of England, Henry VIII. Yeah, that king. The one with six wives who killed and/or divorced four of them. So, as you can imagine, thinking about how one person can influence the moral and political well-being of a country would have been a part of More's day-to-day job. And considering that after More wrote Utopia , Henry VIII ended up breaking with the Pope, starting his own Christian church, and executing poor Thomas More for his lack of support, you can really get the idea that this book explores questions that would have been—and still are—a matter of life and death.
Back from lunch, Hythloday describes the geography and history of Utopia. He explains how the founder of Utopia, General Utopus, conquered the isthmus on which Utopia now stands and through a great public works effort cut away the land to make an island. Next, Hythloday moves to a discussion of Utopian society, portraying a nation based on rational thought, with communal property, great productivity, no rapacious love of gold, no real class distinctions, no poverty, little crime or immoral behavior, religious tolerance, and little inclination to war. It is a society that Hythloday believes is superior to any in Europe.