Utopian Communities came into existence mainly in the early 19th Century. Most of the utopian communities were the outcome of the disruption caused in the society because of the development in commercialism and capitalism. The main idea behind forming these communities was to form an ideal and perfect society, which would act as a role model for the world.These utopians were condemned as heretics and were looked down upon by the other members of society. Yet these people were not discouraged and strove hard to run it.Utopian communities disintegrated after few years as their lifestyle was strongly opposed by the other members of society. One such example is of Brook Farm, a utopian community, which was formed by a group of transcendentalists who were great scholars and personalities of high demeanor. They too wanted to set an example of a perfect society by experimenting to form a community.Although, the Brook farmers did not leave their traces behind, we learn about their lives at Brook Farm, from the memoirs written by the members of Brook Farm. The members like Margaret Fuller, Elizabeth Peabody, Mr. Dwight, Mr. Emerson and Mr. John Van had written biographies or articles in journals that became the primary sources of knowledge about Brook Farm. It is because of these great literary people or scholars that we readers have got the benefit of knowing about the Utopian Community.
The articles written by these members gives detailed accounts of how the community was formed, what were the reasons that prompted the head of the community to take such an extreme step of separating from the society and forming a different world.
According to these sources, Brook Farm was founded by George Ripley, a transcendentalist from Boston. The community was formed as a joint stock company. In the book written by Rose, Anne titled 'Transcendentalism as a Social Movement,' we find a detailed account of the social reform movement initiated by the transcendentalists and also about how the Brook Farm Community was formed.
Before the community was formed George Ripley was a Minister of 'The Purchase Street' in Boston. He was against the views of Andrew Norton, a biblical scholar, of separating the pastor of the church from the sympathies of the people and confining him to a sphere of thought far off from his interests and reducing his services to being a mere educationist (Gordon). Norton too was against the idea of Ripley forming a new Church of his own. He considered this act of Ripley as injurious to the religious belief of the people. But Emerson supported Ripley's decision of forming a new church because he thought that Ripley's church would be "something more than mere Sunday gathering place" (Gordon). He decided to resign from the ministry. In his letter to the Congregational Church in Purchase Street, George Ripley clarifies his aim of breaking free from the hypocritical American Society, which has lot of vices like discriminations and inequalities, false pride, lack of concern for common man, unhealthy competition, lack of desire for the redemption of the masses and tendency of fulfilling selfish motives in the name of God.
Thus Brook Farm was established by a group of seventeen members including George Ripley and his wife Sophia Ripley. In his letter to Emerson, he has stated his goal of establishing Brook Farm. In this letter he has very clearly stated that the transcendentalists in this community had dreamt of living a life, which would be devoid of prejudices, and there would be no discrimination as such. All the members, no matter to which fraternity they belonged to, be it writer or poet had to labor in the field. They will get the much-desired mental freedom and will be given an opportunity to