Sample Term Paper

Term Paper: Prior to the advent of twin sex families in Herland, the women only had daughters. Gillman depicts these children as the main purpose of existence for the women of that place, highlighting their maternal inclinations. Women are essential ingredients to the family and their instincts drive them to extreme measures to look out for the betterment of their offspring. Thus, a society comprised entirely of women would render the infant a perfect upbringing environment.

The world around would be completely devoid of hatred, conflicting differences, war, gender inequalities and even meat (since it’s a vegetarian society, eliminating the need for the slaughtering of animals). As a result, none of the societal influences would be incorporated as personality traits for the young child. This sets out an important message as Gillman tries to educate women (and men as well) that the society is responsible for the upbringing of the child not the parents (Simone). Thus, arguably, since much of the childhood is spent in acquiring education from external sources, bad parenting can result in a seemingly misplaced child and the society can play its educational part in making up for that where as the counter side of it may also be true, since bad societal influences can be made up for by good parenting. Thus the responsibility is equally divided.


Gillman infuses many ideas into this writing through careful analogies with the present world as it exists. Her style of portraying the story through Van depicts the need to relate with men while making such suggestions about the potential of women. It’s also particularly important to take into consideration the concept of recreational sex depicted by her, as she deems it unnecessary while the men are all for it. This is indicative of the one-track minds of men who respond more to their nature than to their brain. She reinvigorates the feminist viewpoints as she points out the effectiveness with which Herland was run and in early 20th century, was not just a bold measure to take but an enlightening one as well.

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