Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Herland

(312 words)
  • Denise Knight (SUNY, Cortland)

First serialized in Gilman's self-published magazine, The Forerunner, Herland has been praised as an important feminist utopian romance since its recovery and republication in 1979.

The novel begins with three male explorers discovering a lost civilization inhabited only by women who reproduce parthenogenetically. The men hold traditional views about the inferiority of women, opining that “there must be men” in Herland since it becomes apparent that they have arrived in a “civilized country”. Their conventional assumptions are quickly put to the test when they are captured and arrested by a group of Herlander women, who subdue the men with chloroform, undress them, and put them to bed. Since gender roles are …

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Knight, Denise. "Herland". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Utopias/ Utopian Thought and Fiction