Sample Essay

Introduction and Summary

This early 20th century novel takes the reader through a fictional journey that is more akin to the wonderful world of utopia, where social setups are ideal and the system works efficiently to everyone’s benefits. The place is described as the land of women and referred to as Herland, where there is a complete absence of all men and the children are all girls.

The story follows the narrative of Vandyck Jennings who coupled with two of his old school mates Terry Nicholson and Jeff Margrave forms the three leads in the novel casually referred to as Van, Terry and Jeff. Their urge for exploration leads them to this fabled town that exists on its own without intervention from the general population and is comprised exclusively of women and their girl children. Gilman goes on to describe how perfect this place is with no hints of war, violence or disease, the traits that plague the man-made world Van, Terry and Jeff have come from. Those three get immediately fascinated by the flowing rivers, the lack of fascination for material possessions, the environmentally conscious all-vegetarian society and the better-than-your-world sentiments that Gillman exhibits in her depiction of the place. That depiction takes a strongly suggestive narration that imparts her inclinations towards feminism throughout the novel. She is inclined towards gender education engulfing the text with the true potential of women thereby attempting to eliminate their concerns of inferiority.

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