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This engaging summary presents an analysis of Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, which tells the story of an imagined society of women who live entirely apart from men and reproduce asexually. Their country (the Herland of the title) is harmonious and highly developed, with a strong sense of community and widespread happiness, which shocks the three men who have taken it upon themselves to visit it. This clash of cultures reveals a series of unexamined prejudices around gender and results in drastic changes in the lives of everyone involved. Charlotte Perkins Gilman is perhaps best-known for her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”; feminist critics’ interest in this text spurred a critical appraisal of the rest of her work, including Herland and its sequel With Her in Ourland.
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Liczba stron: 16
AMERICAN NOVELIST, SHORT STORY WRITER, POET AND NONFICTION WRITERBorn in Hartford, Connecticut in 1860.Died in Pasadena, California in 1935.Notable works:‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ (1892), short storyWomen and Economics (1898), nonfiction bookThe Home: Its Work and Influence (1903), nonfiction book
Charlotte Perkins had an impoverished childhood, as her father had abandoned the family and her mother struggled to raise Charlotte and her older brother alone. At the age of 24 she married Charles Walter Stetson. After the birth of her daughter she suffered from severe postnatal depression, which began to lift when she separated from her husband in 1888, an unusual step for a woman to take at the time. Perkins then enjoyed an initially satisfying, but ultimately doomed, relationship with a woman, Adeline Knapp. Later Perkins made a happy marriage to Houghton Gilman in 1900, which lasted until his death in 1934. The following year she committed suicide when she was diagnosed with cancer. In addition to her novels and nonfiction books, Perkins Gilman also produced short stories, poetry and articles. Much of this material appeared in her magazine, The Forerunner, which she edited herself. Furthermore, Perkins Gilman was highly regarded as a lecturer on social reform. Her work is characterised by her concern for women’s issues and she is regarded as a key American feminist.
FEMINIST UTOPIAGenre: novelReference edition: Perkins Gilman, C. (1979) Herland. New York: Pantheon.1stedition: 1915Themes: feminism, utopia, social reform, femininity, relationships
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