This is a story of three men who decide to explore women land. Them civilization, strength and wisdom dazzles the men, except for Terry. Afterwards, Terry the stubborn manly one tries to assault his wife and the council decides to deport them.
The main story idea is equality. The author illustrates a communist state where all citizens are the same even by gender. And this equality is they key to Utopia.
"They had no kings, and no priests, and no aristocracies. They were sisters, and as they grew, they grew together — not by competition, but by united action. " 2
Proletarians (workers) saved the country at first when no one survived, " Some of the remaining slave women rendered invaluable service, teaching such trades as they knew. " ch5
No individual property3 , no poverty4 ; the country is their home .
They act together just as one with high sense of group " as a multitude actuated by a common impulse."ch5
Everything in Herland is the inverse of our world.
- Men in Herland are the minority group.
- Eve lives in place of Adam, she is the first adult female who was virginally pregnant, she is the holy mother sacred at Temple of Maya.
- The application of Engels' theory 5 is reversed in Herland, by rolling back time to the age of women' glory through Genetic mutation, the scientific concept underlying the miraculous event of Parthenogenesis reproduction.6
This story discusses frankly,our culture, economical motivation, adult male-women equality even Beauty. " to the conviction that those "feminine charms" we are so fond of are not feminine at all, but mere reflected masculinity — developed to delight us "7
The paradox here, that the author clearly resolved the gender conflict through fiction. But, in the same time, she devilish men as responsible for all evils. She implicitly compares them to dogs : "This animal is kept shut up, or chained.", " They fight when they meet ", as aggressive attackers by nature And that's what Terry and the others do while imprisoned.
Gilman, like many feminine activist lives and dies battling windmills, and many years after her death some of her demands are achieved. But , can anyone blame her tormented soul for being such biased?
1- Herland - Gilman (HTML edition) 2- ch5 , Herland 3- " What is ‘the home'?" asked Somel." - ch5 4- " What is POOR, exactly?" - ch6 5- Friedrich Engels , The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. 6- P66 , Richard Dawkins: the selfish gene 7- ch5 , Herland