Books and Movies Reviews

Herland

Herland is the story of three men who stumble upon a society populated entirely by
women. This culture is superior in virtually all ways to the world of the men. The narrator
of the book is one of the visiting men , and he is constantly in awe of the perfection of the
country. In writing Herland , Gilman attempted to address the problems that go hand in
hand with gender roles. By creating a female utopia, Gilman shows the flaws in our
society created from these distinct roles. She takes the women of Herland and creates an
atmosphere where no men exist , and where women live in harmony and sisterhood. She
draws a picture of what she thinks an ideal unisex society would be like, and shows what
happens when men are brought into such a society. (Clemons 1)
The Herlanders have invented a language which is both easy to learn and beautiful.
Tammy Clemons states that "Without learning the language of the Herlanders , Van, the
book's narrator, would not be able to tell their story. Gilman was obviously aware of the
power of language to shape and reflect society, and in creating this utopian vision, she
acknowledges that a language invented solely by women would possess very different
qualities than a language of a patriarchal origin."By learning the language of Herland Van
is empowered to become educated about the Herland culture and preferred
style of education. He comes from a world in which education is regimented into its
respective buildings, grades and classes, thus preparing children for the inevitable
hierarchy they encounter as adults. He is surprised to hear that the children of Herland
love to challenge their minds and bodies. He understands why for each generation of
Herlandthe intelligence of the women surpasses the intelligence of the previous
Herlanders have no concept of worship, no eternal punishment , and no fixed,
unalterable religious dogma. (Gilm…

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