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Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
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Herland (1915)

by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Herland (1), Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Utopias (2)

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2,033614,915 (3.42)146
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» See also 146 mentions

English (57)  Finnish (2)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  All languages (61)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
While clearly not an inclusive utopia, I loved Herland's ideals of harmonious living. This classic introduced me to both utopian writings and feminist thought when I began my MAT. The ideas she introduces persuaded me that Constructivist teaching methods could be more useful than traditional teaching pedagogical methods. I loved the concept of all adults and children as a community of learners. Even though 'the sargents' were the de facto leaders.

Shira
MEOW Date: 9 September 12014 H.E. (Holocene/Human Era)
( )
  FourFreedoms | May 17, 2019 |
Adventure story, which fits in well with Doc Savage, with enough lecture to keep Herland from being a page-turner, Herland as a whole does an excellent job of presenting women as equals to men. If reading the Pantheon Ann J. Lane edition, I would read the Introduction last. ( )
  DromJohn | Mar 16, 2019 |
While clearly not an inclusive utopia, I loved Herland's ideals of harmonious living. This classic introduced me to both utopian writings and feminist thought when I began my MAT. The ideas she introduces persuaded me that Constructivist teaching methods could be more useful than traditional teaching pedagogical methods. I loved the concept of all adults and children as a community of learners. Even though 'the sargents' were the de facto leaders.

Shira
MEOW Date: 9 September 12014 H.E. (Holocene/Human Era)
( )
  ShiraDest | Mar 6, 2019 |
A neglected work by the author of The Yellow Wallpaper. Opinions here are split on Herland, recognizing it as a seminal (uh) work of feminist thought at the start of the 20th century and yet ultimately limited in its vision of female freedom. Too, as an adventurer's tale of Utopia its awfully dry and didactic.

I agree with most of that, but when it wasn't lecturing you, Herland was a riot. I wish it had seen a wider publication then in the pages of Gilman's magazine, because I would like to know how contemporary men viewed the work. The preconceived notions of gender - a hundred times more rigid then compared to now - are constantly challenged. Vandyk, our sociologist narrator, Edwardian 'bro' Terry, and sensitive guy Jeff (but not too sensitive, you understand) at the start of their expedition all scoff at the idea that any group of women could ever agree enough to accomplish anything before tearing each others eyes out over a man or shoes or something.

When they breach the borders of Herland and view the tamed landscape and superior infrastructure they know a man must be nearby. It perhaps takes months for even gentle Jeff to believe the Herlanders tales of asexual reproduction. The men, mostly led by the dissatisfaction of Terry at these cold matrons refusing to fall breathless at the sight of his sparkly baubles, are foiled at every turn in their efforts to escape, or even hide some of the truths about their male-dominated world. Vandyk is forced to admit that in every way the women of Herland are superior to the leaders of the outside world. Surprisingly, the area they're most deficient in are the arts which, without war or romantic motives, are reduced to insipid pageants celebrating children.

The women of Herland demonstrate strength, coordination, dramatic vision in civil planning, and advanced agriculture and breeding programs. That last thought leads to some troubling conclusions about eugenics enthusiastically embraced by two of the three adventurers. Vandyk assures the reader that these women of distant Aryan origin despite their South American location. In another less-flattering monument to equality Gilman proves that women are as susceptible to the prejudices of their time as any men.

With these flaws, Herland is still a marvelous achievement in raising questions against the assumptions of gender in a, yes, entertaining way. There is a sequel, [b:With Her in Ourland|16945852|With Her in Ourland|Mary Jo Deegan|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/book/50x75-a91bf249278a81aabab721ef782c4a74.png|23233490], but I've heard it lacks this one's charm. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Like most utopian classics, not much of a plot, but a worthwhile read as a look into early 20th century feminist thought. ( )
  Unreachableshelf | Nov 25, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
Charlotte Perkins Gilmans Sozialutopie "Herland" ist ein reines Lehrstück. Die Figuren sind nicht plastisch gezeichnet, auch die Umgebung bleibt seltsam farblos. Es geht der Autorin offensichtlich vor allem darum, aufzuzeigen, welche Möglichkeiten in der weiblichen Hälfte der Menschheit stecken. Deshalb bleibt eine schwarz/weiß, gut/böse Einteilung nicht aus.
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charlotte Perkins Gilmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lane, Ann J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Charlotte Perkins Gilman is not ordinarily thought of as a humorist, but her feminist utopia, Herland, is a very funny book.
This is written from memory, unfortunately.
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We were not in the least "advanced" on the woman question, any of us, then.
They were inconveniently reasonable, those women.
They said: "With our best endeavors this country will support about so many people, with the standard of peace, comfort, health, beauty, and progress we demand. Very well. That is all the people we will make."
You see, they were Mothers, not in our sense of helpless involuntary fecundity, forced to fill and overfill the land, every land, and then see their children suffer, sin, and die, fighting horribly with one another; but in the sense of Conscious Makers of People.
We are used to seeing what we call "a mother" completely wrapped up in her own pink bundle of fascinating babyhood, and taking but the faintest theoretic interest in anybody else's bundle, to say nothing of the common needs of all the bundles. But these women were working all together at the grandest of tasks — they were Making People — and they made them well.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0394736656, Paperback)

On the eve of World War I, an all-female society is discovered somewhere in the distant reaches of the earth by three male explorers who are now forced to re-examine their assumptions about women's roles in society.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:21 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

One the eve of WWI, three American male explorers stumble onto an all-female society somewhere in the distant reaches of the earth. Unable to believe their eyes, they promptly set out to find some men, convinced that since this is a civilized country--there must be men. So begins this sparkling utopian novel, a romp through a whole world "masculine" and "feminine", as on target today as when it was written 65 years ago.… (more)

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