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Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Herland (original 1915; edition 2013)

by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Author)

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1,959564,927 (3.42)145
Authors:Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Author)
Info:Aziloth Books (2013), 122 pages
Collections:To read

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Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1915)


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English (52)  Finnish (2)  Hungarian (1)  German (1)  All languages (56)
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
Herland is an interesting take on what used to be a popular subject for books: male explorer stumbles upon the perfect society and describes his time there in detail. These stories are often just essays on what the author thinks we need to change in our society clumsily masquerading as a novel. In that sense, Herland is no different; however, Gilman provides a feminist view of this idea by having the protagonist stumble upon a society that is comprised of all women.

As a story, Herland is only okay, but you probably won’t read this for entertainment value; as said before, it’s really there for the criticism on patriarchal society. I particularly enjoyed what this story says about motherhood and our role as adults in being the guardians of the world and helping children find their own place in it. That was the strongest message in this book for me.

I also really liked the fact that the women live completely harmoniously with each other once men are removed. It’s a common joke for people to say that women don’t get along, but Gilman suggests that it’s men who are the problem. Once men are removed, women are completely happy and friendly with one another.

Overall, this has interesting ideas and it’s certainly worth a read, but you definitely have to be in the right mood for it. This isn’t the sort of book you wind down the day with to get your mind off the world. It’s meant to provoke thought, and for me, achieved its purpose.

Also posted on Purple People Readers. ( )
  sedelia | Aug 9, 2018 |
4 stars for the concept, but ultimately 2 stars ("It was okay") for the execution. The last few chapters were more interesting than the book as a whole, but I am slightly intrigued to read the sequel. ( )
  omgitsafox | Jul 23, 2018 |
Very interesting early feminist novel about how a land of all woman might develop and how it might differ in both large and small ways from the world we know. In this story 3 men discover this remote and new land, and spend some time learning its language and customs, while also teaching them ours, with varying degrees of acceptance depending on their personalities. ( )
  RivetedReaderMelissa | Mar 22, 2018 |
I honestly couldn't get all the way through it. I'm not sure if the point of view changes, but I only made it to the second chapter and called it quits. The writing style wasn't that good and the ideals these men have in the beginning about women just kill me. Not something I would try to pick up again. Sorry, not sorry. ( )
  SLevasse | Mar 20, 2018 |
I like this book as a work of early feminism, but I can't recommend it for sheer storytelling. ( )
  LaurelPoe | Dec 25, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (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.

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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.
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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