Notably, the nuclear family is absent in the society of Herland. As Jennings observes, “They had no wars. They had no kings, no priests, no aristocracies. There were sisters, and as they grew, they grew together, not by competition, but by united action.” (79) Herland is not based on a vertical power structure of possession and domination. In her serious writing, Gilman describes this relationship as ‘masculinist’; characterized by the values of desire, combat, and self-expression.
However, the myth of the grail occurred in many cultures with different themes and stories. This concept according to Gills Morgan, in his book The Holy Grail, had older roots which go back to the pre-Christian epoch. He claimed that if we root back to the Bronze Age (2200-700BC), people of this epoch have made golden vessels, ,such a sacred vessels were given much importance as far as weapons were (5). The thematology of the Holy Grail also took place in the Greek mythology where we
The Necessity of Listening to the Women’s Voice and of Cooperation “We talked and talked. We took long walks together. She showed me things, explained them, interpreted much that I had not understood. Through her sympathetic intelligence I became more and more comprehensive of the spirit of the people of Herland.” (Gilman, Herland 114) This quote from Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland, though indirectly, shows one of the main features of utopian novels, genre to which Herland belongs: the attempt to give voice to the oppressed. In fact, it shows how the male narrator listening and talking to Ellador, one of the women of the utopian world, comes to know and comprehend the women’s viewpoint on things.
The society is isolated from the outside world and the women reproduce through parthenogenesis, or asexual reproduction (“Feminist Ethics”). The society is an ideal social order for women that was free from the domination of men. The novel explores how women’s morality thrives under the ideal societal conditions for women. The novel is written from the perspective of a male explorer by the name of Vandyck “Van” Jennings. Van is accompanied by two other explorers, Terry O. Nicholson, and Jeff Margrave to find and explore the mysterious society that was rumored to be only inhabited by women.
This can be seen in one of her most renowned novels: “The handmaid’s Tale”, published in 1985 and which portrays the life in Gilead, a new society which emerged after a group of rebels assassinated the President. This is an oppressive society, which controls the life of all its citizens, and especially the life of women. As a result of a decline in birth rates, the government decided to designate some fertile women to men of the high society, in order to have children for them and their wives. The novel is a clear example of a dystopian world, in which people have no freedom; individuality is erased, and those who are against the ruling class are murdered. The author presents various themes throughout the novel, using different motifs and symbols.
Faderman’s retelling of the revolution begins in the late 1800’s. She recounts the ideal of “romantic friendships” to describe the love between two women at the time, with Victorian Age thinking not far distant and the idealized images of heteronormativity still rampant, these particular
“For the concept of the monstrous feminine, as constructed within/by a patriarchal and phallocentric ideology, is related intimately to the problem of sexual differences and castration.” (Creed, 1993, p.2) Creed takes an interesting approach to Kristeva theory of abjection and Freud’s theory of castration and applies it to horror film. Taking Kristeva’s theory of the abject and the archaic mother, she constructs monstrous representations of the abject woman. The monstrous womb which is the representation of mans fear of woman’s maternal functions. “Fear of the archaic mother turns out to be essentially fear of her generative power. It is this power, a dreaded one, that patrilineal filiation has the burden of subduing.” (Kristeva, 1982, p.77) Freud argued that woman terrifies because she is castrated.
As stated earlier, sailing expeditions became popular during the Viking Age as the Vikings searched for new lands to conquer and settle in. This led to the discovery of the uninhabitable lands Iceland and Greenland. Iceland was discovered by Naddodd, a Norwegian who was one of the first settlers in the Faroe Islands. Naddodd had set a course back to Norway from the Faroes, but a storm knocked him off course, and he landed in present-day Iceland. He didn’t see anyone else living there and claimed it for Norway.
Perfection in a Society The term “dystopia” derives directly from the word utopian, which first was first noted to have appeared in the year 1516 in Thomas Mores well-known work Utopia (Xiaolan). The word utopia itself refers to a society that is typically set in a distant future and is implied to be the ideal or perfect world for all people in the world to live in. (Xiaolan) On the other hand, the word dystopia is said to be the opposite of utopian, meaning that while it’s still set in a distant future, it is the darker version of society that has begun to crumble at the seams due to the strict regulation of the world. In dystopian novels a society typically originates as a utopian society, with ideas and implications of making the world perfect for all people living, even if that means taking away basic human needs to accomplish their overall goal. However, in dystopian novels while the world may start out as a utopian society, this genre of literature is typically categories by the main character(s) having a sort of realization as to how wrong the world is around them and that perfect is not a world they want to live in for some reason or another.
Radcliffe writings opened floodgates for her female successors to write within that tradition. David Stevens in The Gothic Tradition writes that “[s]everal of the writers associated with the development of the gothic novel were women […] and the very existence of the gothic novel may be seen as dependent on female readers and authors” (23). The “feminization of reading [and writing] practices” of gothic literature contributed