1. I think that the past or pastoral world of a rural and farming lifestyle is viewed as utopian because it is very simple and well defined. In this type of world you worked and were part of a community that relied on each other for goods and services and they were just about the only people you were concerned with. This type of life is only utopian if you look past all the disease and poor living conditions that was present during this time, but the structure of living is utopian because of how independent you and your community would be in their own world. The lifestyle is simple and and most importantly it was a time free from capitalism as we know it today. Success in this time was also well defined and simple without constant outside forces like media and social networks that get in our way nowadays. In a way the rural and pastoral type of life is utopian because of how much it is the antithesis of how we live currently.
2. I really like both fantasy and science fiction but I prefer fantasy because of how its not grounded in reality and you are only limited by your own creativity with fantasy. I think this definitely has to do with the utopian impulse of the genre as these fantasy worlds will never exist and this fits with the literal definition of utopia which is "no-place" or "no-where". Fantasy has well defined heroes and villains and in these worlds the heroes always win which is also utopian. Most fantasy worlds are actually built on the basis of being a utopia and
their only flaw is the addition of a villain or an evil force, which the hero then defeats. The fantasy world does build off of the past and it is actually related to the first question, where the fantasy genre use the idea of how many people look at the pastoral life as utopian. The genre uses the aspects of rural life and adds utopian elements to explain the unexplained and make a perfect world out of what would normally be boring.