Rated: 17 times Rate It
Author: Charlotte Gilman
In this feminist Utopian novel, Vandyk Jennings and his friends set out to determine whether a community comprised entirely of women exists.
This is more a text on Utopia than a novel. There is a little plot and some characters but they are only a vehicle to wrap the info in. I believe this is actually an old book and not just set in the 1920's, because some of the aspects of society that the author wished for have come to pass.
The society described is what could result if people devoted themselves to making life better instead of advancing their own social position. Male or female would actually make little difference, although we do see that it is incompatible with the alpha male. Like all utopia's, it suffers from boredom and like all utopias, one person's heaven is someone else's hell, as one of the main characters finds out.
I WANTED to like this book. It dragged on. I kept at it. I loved the images and the whole construct of a society built on humane and individual actualizing principles. It was just too slow and cumbersome. With a good editor, this could rally be a statement about society.
Interesting concept on the Lost World. Looking forward to book 2
Herland is only the first half of the story that Charolotte Perkins Gilman is telling. The rest of the story is in the sequel, With Her in Ourland, which is available for free download from Feedbooks. Before you make a judgment on the story from reading Herland, you should read the sequel, where Gilman's characters visit the rest of the world, particularly the United States.
The plot was slow and lacking. I enjoyed the pshycological information about the people of Herland, but there was no real action or resolve.
An interesting take on what a purely feminine society might be like. However, the flow of the story is poorly executed, and the ending is atrocious. Give it a try if you like philosophy, but don't expect the best story you've ever read.
A person must keep an open mind while reading this book as it may cause you to rethink many things that you take for granted in our society. An fascinating look at what is basically an alien, alternative culture and even an alien race of humans. I think our culture could definitely borrow a few things from this culture and be the better for it (not that I would ever want to live in a land bereft of men!).
Feminism at its finest...or worst. Depends on your point of view. But don't waste your time on this book.
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