LITR 5439 Literary & Historical Utopias

Lecture Notes


motivating utopia: pageantry (2.40), spectacle, emulation; property and family

+ (genre); action: formal genre of novel; back to More & Bakhtin

conventions: journey, gardens, uniforms, irony / satire, 

Walden Two + (objs. 1a, 4a) 

labor-credits in Walden Two & Twin Oaks;

property / family as private 7.30, 8.97, 7.82, 9.57 > Woman on the Edge of Time







1. What conventions of utopian fiction continue? Describe Gilman's prose style—what advances in utopian fiction as fiction?

2. Gilman has style, but how is it limited by utopian conventions in characterization, viewpoint, even content? Specifically, the visiting men are far more individualized than the more admirable women: what do we learn about utopian and fictional characterization? Also, how convincing are the domestic or sexual relations? Written in 1915, so what limits to representation?

3. What advantages to telling the story from men's perspective? Satire?

4. Associate Gilman and Herland with the Progressive Era, periods of progress as spawning utopias?

5. Ch.4 describes literature produced by the utopia itself—what misgivings? Compare "Berrian's novels" in Looking Backward, ch. 15. (Instructor will direct.) 3.43; 4.69-4.70, 5.3. 9.46-9 (cf. Equiano 1.3), 9.58, 9.66

6. Herland appears in 1915, a half-century after Darwin's Origin of Species (1859). How does Darwinian or evolutionary thought appear in both the men's and women's attitudes and behavior—e.g., the advent of Parthenogenesis, the women's centuries-long cultivation or breeding, the men's defense of modern American economy as "Social Darwinism," in which an unregulated freemarket creates class struggle & "survival of the fittest."

6a. How may Darwinian utopias be compatible with Behaviorist utopias?


1. What conventions of utopian fiction continue? Describe Gilman's prose style—what advances in utopian fiction as fiction?




2. Gilman has style, but how is it limited by utopian conventions in characterization, viewpoint, even content? Specifically, the visiting men are far more individualized than the more admirable women: what do we learn about utopian and fictional characterization? Also, how convincing are the domestic or sexual relations? Written in 1915, so what limits to representation?




3. What advantages to telling the story from men's perspective? Satire?




4. Associate Gilman and Herland with the Progressive Era, periods of progress as spawning utopias?




5. Ch.4 describes literature produced by the utopia itself—what misgivings? Compare "Berrian's novels" in Looking Backward, ch. 15. (Instructor will direct.) 3.43; 4.69-4.70, 5.3. 9.46-9 (cf. Equiano 1.3), 9.58, 9.66





6. Herland appears in 1915, a half-century after Darwin's Origin of Species (1859). How does Darwinian or evolutionary thought appear in both the men's and women's attitudes and behavior—e.g., the advent of Parthenogenesis, the women's centuries-long cultivation or breeding, the men's defense of modern American economy as "Social Darwinism," in which an unregulated freemarket creates class struggle & "survival of the fittest."





6a. How may Darwinian utopias be compatible with Behaviorist utopias?











Bakhtin re author's voice p. 47

Cf. Adventure stories: old-fashioned diction (borne, jerkin), perils, escapes, men on a mission, exotic names


Texts & textiles
1.46, 3.43, 3.88, 3.106, 9.54, 9.58, 9.66
utopian literature 4.69, drama 9.46, 5.3 "no adventures"

"Berrian's novels" in Looking Backward, ch. 15. (Instructor will direct.) 3.43; 4.69-4.70, 5.3. 9.46-9 (cf. Equiano 1.3), 9.58, 9.66
Millennialism 5.60
utopian motives
utopian love? 9.51
religion 5.96

population control 5.22, 5.45 cats

private family 1.96, 6.69, 7.30, 7.92



Jeff + Celis

Terry + Alima

Van + Ellador

3.101 Mine was named Somel, Jeff's Zava, and Terry's Moadine.


Utopias as hybrid of fiction and history, imagination and experience, idealism and reality.

start thinking like it's real, or lose interest

characterization: problem of extended characterization. Extended dialogues and explication prevents development of character and setting; contrast Skinner.



Herland Notes

1.1 writing, gardens

1.3 for fear some self-appointed missionaries, or traders, or land-greedy expansionists

1.6 Terry rich, mechanical

1.8 Jeff = poet, botanist, doctor

[1.9] As for me, sociology's my major. You have to back that up with a lot of other sciences, of course. I'm interested in them all. [late 1800s, early 1900s Progressive era featured professionalization of human or social sciences like sociology, anthropology, psychology]

[1.11] big scientific expedition.

[1.14]  talk among our guides. . . . legends and folk myths of these scattered tribes.

1.15 savages had a story about a strange and terrible Woman Land in the high distance.

1.17 a Big Country, Big Houses, Plenty People—All Women.

1.23 short river, sweet water, red and blue."

1.34 secretly hoping to have some nice little discovery all to ourselves.

1.35 Terry, with compass and notebook, marking directions and trying to place landmarks.

1.37 saw a quite different country—a sudden view of mountains, steep and bare.

1.42 a quiet marginal pool where there were smears of red along the border; yes, and of blue.

[1.44] "Chemicals of some sort—I can't tell on the spot. Look to me like dyestuffs. Let's get nearer," he urged, "up there by the fall."

[1.45] Jeff suddenly held up an unlooked-for trophy.

[1.46] It was only a rag, a long, raveled fragment of cloth. But it was a well-woven fabric, with a pattern, and of a clear scarlet that the water had not faded. No savage tribe that we had heard of made such fabrics. [Modern feminist theory may associate men’s culture with texts, women’s with textiles]

[1.54] something attractive to a bunch of unattached young men in finding an undiscovered country of a strictly Amazonian nature.

[1.56] "Somewhere up yonder they spin and weave and dye—as well as we do."

[1.57] "That would mean a considerable civilization

[1.74] "A punitive expedition," I urged. "If the ladies do eat us we must make reprisals." [humorous / satirical mix of military and little-boy talk]

[1.82] And Terry, in his secret heart, had visions of a sort of sublimated summer resort—just Girls and Girls and Girls—and that he was going to be—well, Terry was popular among women

[1.91] It was funny though, in the light of what we did find, those extremely clear ideas of ours as to what a country of women would be like.

[1.93] "They would fight among themselves," Terry insisted. "Women always do. We mustn't look to find any sort of order and organization."

[1.94] "You're dead wrong," Jeff told him. "It will be like a nunnery under an abbess—a peaceful, harmonious sisterhood."

[1.96] "Nuns, indeed! Your peaceful sisterhoods were all celibate, Jeff, and under vows of obedience. These are just women, and mothers, and where there's motherhood you don't find sisterhood—not much." [do the men project competitive / Darwinian nature on women?]

[1.97] . . . "Also we mustn't look for inventions and progress; it'll be awfully primitive."

[1.101] "You'll see," he insisted. "I'll get solid with them all—and play one bunch against another. I'll get myself elected king in no time—

[1.105] . . . Jeff idealized women in the best Southern style. He was full of chivalry and sentiment, and all that. And he was a good boy; he lived up to his ideals.

1.106 I always liked Terry. He was a man's man, very much so, generous and brave and clever; but I don't think any of us in college days was quite pleased to have him with our sisters. We weren't very stringent, heavens no! But Terry was "the limit." Later on—why, of course a man's life is his own, we held, and asked no questions.

1.107 Terry's idea seemed to be that pretty women were just so much game and homely ones not worth considering.

[1.109] But I got out of patience with Jeff, too. He had such rose-colored halos on his womenfolks. I held a middle ground, highly scientific, of course, and used to argue learnedly about the physiological limitations of the sex.

[1.124]  well forested about the edges, but in the interior there were wide plains, and everywhere park-like meadows and open places.

[1.125] There were cities, too; that I insisted. It looked—well, it looked like any other country—a civilized one, I mean.

[1.130] a land in a state of perfect cultivation, where even the forests looked as if they were cared for; a land that looked like an enormous park, only it was even more evidently an enormous garden. [cf. “Ecotopia” + gardens in More and Bellamy]

[1.136] "But they look—why, this is a CIVILIZED country!" I protested. "There must be men."



[2.2] Even Terry's ardor was held in check by his firm conviction that there were men to be met, and we saw to it that each of us had a good stock of cartridges [ammunition].

2.3 some kind of a matriarchate, . . . a national harem! But there are men somewhere—didn't you see the babies?"

[2.6] "Talk of civilization," he [Jeff] cried softly in restrained enthusiasm. "I never saw a forest so petted, even in Germany.

2.10 birds, some gorgeous, some musical, all so tame that it seemed almost to contradict our theory of cultivation

[2.18] . . .  something—more than one something— . . . separated into three swift-moving figures and fled upward

[2.22] They were girls, of course, no boys could ever have shown that sparkling beauty, and yet none of us was certain at first.

[2.23] We saw short hair, hatless, loose, and shining; a suit of some light firm stuff, the closest of tunics and kneebreeches, met by trim gaiters.

[2.29] "Celis," she said distinctly, pointing to the one in blue; "Alima"—the one in rose; then, with a vivid imitation of Terry's impressive manner, she laid a firm delicate hand on her gold-green jerkin—"Ellador."

[2.30] "We can't sit here and learn the language," Terry protested. He beckoned to them to come nearer, most winningly—but they gaily shook their heads. He suggested, by signs, that we all go down together; but again they shook their heads, still merrily. Then Ellador clearly indicated that we should go down, pointing to each and all of us, with unmistakable firmness; and further seeming to imply by the sweep of a lithe arm that we not only go downward, but go away altogether—at which we shook our heads in turn.

2.31 a long sparkling thing, a necklace of big varicolored stones

[2.32] . . . Alima, a tall long-limbed lass, well-knit and evidently both strong and agile. Her eyes were splendid, wide, fearless, as free from suspicion as a child's who has never been rebuked. Her interest was more that of an intent boy playing a fascinating game than of a girl lured by an ornament.

2.38 Women like to be run after.

[2.41] Sure enough, close to the town, across a wide meadow, three bright-hued figures were running swiftly.

[2.48] The road was some sort of hard manufactured stuff, sloped slightly to shed rain, with every curve and grade and gutter as perfect as if it were Europe's best. "No men, eh?" sneered Terry.

[2.60] Everything was beauty, order, perfect cleanness, and the pleasantest sense of home over it all.

[2.61] . . . before us a band of women standing close together in even order, evidently waiting for us.

[2.63] They were not young. They were not old. They were not, in the girl sense, beautiful. They were not in the least ferocious. And yet, as I looked from face to face, calm, grave, wise, wholly unafraid, evidently assured and determined, I had the funniest feeling—a very early feeling—a feeling that I traced back and back in memory until I caught up with it at last. It was that sense of being hopelessly in the wrong that I had so often felt in early youth when my short legs' utmost effort failed to overcome the fact that I was late to school. [analogy / metaphor makes unfamiliar familiar]

2.65 not old women. Each was in the full bloom of rosy health, erect, serene, standing sure-footed and light as any pugilist [boxer]. They had no weapons, and we had, but we had no wish to shoot.

2.66 Terry had come armed with a theory.

[2.69] In all our discussions and speculations we had always unconsciously assumed that the women, whatever else they might be, would be young. Most men do think that way, I fancy.

[2.70] "Woman" in the abstract is young, and, we assume, charming. As they get older they pass off the stage, somehow, into private ownership mostly, or out of it altogether. But these good ladies were very much on the stage, and yet any one of them might have been a grandmother.

2.78 We seemed to think that if there were men we could fight them, and if there were only women—why, they would be no obstacles at all.

[2.80] And now here they were, in great numbers, evidently indifferent to what he might think, evidently determined on some purpose of their own regarding him, and apparently well able to enforce their purpose.

[2.92] Never, anywhere before, had I seen women of precisely this quality. Fishwives and market women might show similar strength, but it was coarse and heavy. These were merely athletic—light and powerful. College professors, teachers, writers—many women showed similar intelligence but often wore a strained nervous look, while these were as calm as cows, for all their evident intellect.

[2.98] Then we found ourselves much in the position of the suffragette trying to get to the Parliament buildings through a triple cordon of London police. [In 1908 the Women’s Social & Political Union attempted to enter the British House of Commons in quest of women’s suffrage or right to vote]

[2.100] . . . we were lifted like children


CHAPTER 3 A Peculiar Imprisonment

[3.1] From a slumber as deep as death, as refreshing as that of a healthy child, I slowly awakened.

3.4 absolute physical comfort

3.6 soft green-lit air; a beautiful room, in proportion, in color, in smooth simplicity; a scent of blossoming gardens outside.

3.11 seamless garment . . .  Shoes were beside each bed, also quite comfortable and good-looking though by no means like our own.

3.19 We have been stripped and washed and put to bed like so many yearling babies—by these highly civilized women."

3.27 mighty sensible dress

3.36 [furniture] solid, strong, simple in structure, and comfortable in use—also, incidentally, beautiful. [Modernism?]

3.43 a little book, a real printed book, though different from ours both in paper and binding, as well, of course, as in type.

3.45 indeed to learn the language, and not only that, but to teach our own. [Compare More’s Utopians]

[3.58] "Real girls!" Terry agreed, in immense relief. "Glad you mentioned 'em. I declare, if I thought there was nothing in the country but those grenadiers [soldiers] I'd jump out the window."

3.67 Jeff: "It isn't just that we don't see any men—but we don't see any signs of them. The—the—reaction of these women is different from any that I've ever met."

[3.69] "They don't seem to notice our being men," he went on. "They treat us—well—just as they do one another. It's as if our being men was a minor incident."

[3.76] "If their hair was only long," Jeff would complain, "they would look so much more feminine."

[3.77] Why we should so admire "a woman's crown of hair" and not admire a Chinaman's queue is hard to explain, except that we are so convinced that the long hair "belongs" to a woman.

[3.81] "When I see them knit," Terry said, "I can almost call them feminine." [women + textiles]

[3.97] They had games, too, a good many of them, but we found them rather uninteresting at first. It was like two people playing solitaire to see who would get it first; more like a race or a—a competitive examination, than a real game with some fight in it.

3.101 Our special tutors rose rapidly in our esteem. They seemed of rather finer quality than the guards, though all were on terms of easy friendliness.

[3.115] It was hard on Terry, so hard that he finally persuaded us to consider a plan of escape.

[3.118] "One or another pair of eyes is on us every minute except at night." [cf. Utopia 2.15 "all men live in full view."]


CHAPTER 4 Our Venture

4.4 he'd show us how a Christian meets his death. Luck was with us.

4.7 these women had pockets in surprising number and variety

[4.10] "How are you, Van? Alive yet?" [adept masculine dialogue]

4.21 live off the country as we did. Even that margin of forest seemed rich in foodstuffs.

4.24 We came to that flat space where we had landed; and there, in unbelievable good fortune, we found our machine. [cf. H.G. Wells's The Time Machine (1895) hero's recovery of vehicle]

[4.31] "They've got it sewed up in a bag! And we've not a knife among us!"

[4.32] Then, as we tugged and pulled at that tough cloth we heard a sound that made Terry lift his head like a war horse—the sound of an unmistakable giggle, yes—three giggles.

[4.33] There they were—Celis, Alima, Ellador—

[4.35]  Perhaps they've got knives."

4.45 we just begged for those knives, but they would not give them to us

4.54 our swaddled machine

[4.56] These women evidently relied on numbers, not so much as a drilled force but as a multitude actuated by a common impulse.

[4.58] Back we went, not under an anesthetic this time but skimming along in electric motors [motorcars] enough like ours to be quite recognizable,

4.62 the parklike beauty of our first-seen city was no exception

4.63 a great majority who seemed neither young nor old, but just women; young girls, also, though these, and the children, seeming to be in groups by themselves generally, were less in evidence.

4.63 no boys

4.65 many of those nights we had been seen

4.66 struck me as extremely funny. Here we had been risking our lives, hiding and prowling like outlaws, living on nuts and fruit, getting wet and cold at night, and dry and hot by day, and all the while these estimable women had just been waiting for us to come out.

As to the language—we all fell upon it with redoubled energy. They brought us books, in greater numbers, and I began to study them seriously.

[4.69] "Pretty punk literature," Terry burst forth one day, when we were in the privacy of our own room. "Of course one expects to begin on child-stories, but I would like something more interesting now."

[4.70] "Can't expect stirring romance and wild adventure without men, can you?"

[4.75] "Ladies," Terry began, out of a clear sky, as it were, "are there no men in this country?"

[4.76] "Men?" Somel answered. "Like you?"

[4.77] "Yes, men," Terry indicated his beard, and threw back his broad shoulders. "Men, real men."

[4.78] "No," she answered quietly. "There are no men in this country. There has not been a man among us for two thousand years."

[4.89] "BIRTH, we know, of course; but what is VIRGIN?"

the term VIRGIN is applied to the female who has not mated," he answered.

[4.91] "Oh, I see. And does it apply to the male also? Or is there a different term for him?"

[4.92] He passed this over rather hurriedly, saying that the same term would apply, but was seldom used.

4.96 We have been waiting, you see, for you to be able to speak freely with us, and teach us about your country and the rest of the world.

[4.111] "We have cats," she said. "The father is not very useful."

[4.116] "Whatever do you do without milk?" Terry demanded incredulously.

[4.117] "MILK? We have milk in abundance—our own."



CHAPTER 5 A Unique History

[5.1] It is no use for me to try to piece out this account with adventures.

5.3 no adventures because there was nothing to fight.

5.4 By the most prolonged and careful selection and exclusion they had developed a race of cats that did not sing [yowl?]!

5.6 Terry asked them if they used feathers for their hats, and they seemed amused at the idea.

5.8 for decorative purposes

5.9 asking quite simply if the men wore the same kind. We hastened to assure her that they did not

5.15  the kind, quiet, steady, ingenious way they questioned us

5.17 we don't keep dogs for their USEFULNESS. The dog is 'the friend of man,' we say—we love them."

5.22 many centuries that we have been breeding the kind of cats we wanted

5.27 children were the—the RAISON D'ETRE in this country

[5.32] "Oh—girls—why they like them too," he said, but his voice flatted a little. They always noticed little things like that, we found later.

5.45 "We keep our father cats shut up because we do not want too much fathering

5.51 their country was as neat as a Dutch kitchen

5.52 no young women whatever

[5.56] As to geography—at about the time of the Christian era this land had a free passage to the sea.  of Aryan stock, and were once in contact with the best civilization of the old world. They were "white," but somewhat darker than our northern races because of their constant exposure to sun and air. [Progressives made some advances in multicultural tolerance but many remained embarrassingly "racialist."]

5.57 a bi-sexual race. [= heterosexual?]

5.59 a polygamous people, and a slave-holding people

5.60 an act of God." While the whole fighting force was doing its best to defend their mountain pathway, there occurred a volcanic outburst, with some local tremors, and the result was the complete filling up of the pass—their only outlet. Instead of a passage, a new ridge, sheer and high, stood between them and the sea; they were walled in, and beneath that wall lay their whole little army. Very few men were left alive, save the slaves; and these now seized their opportunity, rose in revolt

5.67 We told them of the belief in the resurrection of the body, and they asked if our God was not as well able to resurrect from ashes as from long corruption.

5.70 then the miracle happened—one of these young women bore a child

5.78 these ultra-women, inheriting only from women, had eliminated not only certain masculine characteristics, which of course we did not look for, but so much of what we had always thought essentially feminine.

[5.80] The power of mother-love, that maternal instinct we so highly laud, was theirs of course, raised to its highest power; and a sister-love

5.96 they lost all interest in deities of war and plunder, and gradually centered on their Mother Goddess altogether. Then, as they grew more intelligent, this had turned into a sort of Maternal Pantheism.

5.101 they grew together—not by competition, but by united action.

[5.102] We tried to put in a good word for competition,

But don't you LIKE to work?"

[5.105] "No man would work unless he had to," Terry declared.

[5.106] "Oh, no MAN! You mean that is one of your sex distinctions?"

[5.107] "No, indeed!" he said hastily. "No one, I mean, man or woman, would work without incentive. Competition is the—the motor power, you see."

[5.108] "It is not with us," they explained gently, "so it is hard for us to understand.


CHAPTER 6 Comparisons Are Odious

6.2 without the slightest appearance of malice or satire, continually bring up points of discussion which we spent our best efforts in evading.

6.8 I explained that the laws of nature require a struggle for existence, and that in the struggle the fittest survive, and the unfit perish. In our economic struggle, I continued, there was always plenty of opportunity for the fittest to reach the top, which they did, in great numbers, particularly in our country; that where there was severe economic pressure the lowest classes of course felt it the worst, and that among the poorest of all the women were driven into the labor market by necessity.

6.10 This inferior one-third have no children, I suppose?" [implications of eugenics, which became popular during Progressive Era]

6.11 the poorer they were, the more children they had. That too, he explained, was a law of nature: "Reproduction is in inverse proportion to individuation."

6.14 "We have no laws over a hundred years old

6.29 eager groups, masses of them who came for the purpose

6.34 At first he used to storm and flourish quite a good deal, but nothing seemed to amuse them more; they would gather around and watch him as if it was an exhibition, politely, but with evident interest. So he learned to check himself, and was almost reasonable in his bearing—but not quite.

6.45 "The danger is quite the other way. They might hurt you. If, by any accident, you did harm any one of us, you would have to face a million mothers."

6.49 Human Motherhood—in full working use," she went on. "Nothing else except the literal sisterhood of our origin

6.56 "Women cannot cooperate—it's against nature."

6.58 This place is just like an enormous anthill—you know an anthill is nothing but a nursery. And how about bees? [analogy]

[6.60] They developed all this close inter-service in the interests of their children. To do the best work they had to specialize, of course; the children needed spinners and weavers, farmers and gardeners, carpenters and masons, as well as mothers.

[6.64] Not by a "struggle for existence" [cf. Social Darwinism] which would result in an everlasting writhing mass of underbred people trying to get ahead of one another—some few on top, temporarily, many constantly crushed out underneath

6.67 the sense of Conscious Makers of People

[6.69] We are used to seeing what we call "a mother" completely wrapped up in her own pink bundle of fascinating babyhood, and taking but the faintest theoretic interest in anybody else's bundle, to say nothing of the common needs of ALL the bundles. But these women were working all together at the grandest of tasks—they were Making People—and they made them well.

[6.70] There followed a period of "negative eugenics" . . . forego motherhood

[6.77] "Destroy the unborn—!" she said in a hard whisper. "Do men do that in your country?"

[6.79] And, making a wide detour, I scrambled back to my question of how they limited the population.

6.85 I think the reason our children are so—so fully loved, by all of us, is that we never—any of us—have enough of our own."

[6.94] They did effectually and permanently limit the population in numbers, so that the country furnished plenty for the fullest, richest life for all of them: plenty of everything, including room, air, solitude even.

[6.95] And then they set to work to improve that population in quality


CHAPTER 7 Our Growing Modesty

7.4 "A less feminine lot I never saw. A child apiece doesn't seem to be enough to develop what I call motherliness."

7.7 a practical intelligence, coupled with fine artistic feeling

7.8 funny to watch Terry and Moadine. She was patient with him, and courteous, but it was like the patience and courtesy of some great man, say a skilled, experienced diplomat, with a schoolgirl

[7.8] He never seemed to recognize that quiet background of superiority. When she dropped an argument he always thought he had silenced her; when she laughed he thought it tribute to his wit.

7.15 "A good many of us have another [name], as we get on in life—a descriptive one. That is the name we earn.

7.21 But as to everyone knowing which child belongs to which mother—why should she?"

7.30  the finished product is not a private one

7.35 the greatest pains to develop two kinds of minds—the critic and inventor

7.40 a population of about three million—not a large one, but quality is something.

[7.41] Terry had insisted that if they were parthenogenetic they'd be as alike as so many ants or aphids;

7.43 all, strong, healthy, and beautiful as a race, but differed individually in a wide range of feature, coloring, and expression.

7.46 "We have always thought it a grave initial misfortune to have lost half our little world. Perhaps that is one reason why we have so striven for conscious improvement."

7.51 Later we were more and more impressed that all this gentle breeding was breeding; that they were born to it, reared in it, that it was as natural and universal with them as the gentleness of doves or the alleged wisdom of serpents.

7.54 To them the country was a unit—it was theirs. They themselves were a unit, a conscious group; they thought in terms of the community.

7.59 refeeding the soil with all that came out of it

7.60 an increasingly valuable soil was being built, instead of the progressive impoverishment so often seen in the rest of the world.

7.62 skeleton chart, on which the things we said and the things we palpably avoided saying were all set down and studied.

7.73 what they do with their criminals—their defectives—their aged. You notice we haven't seen any! There's got to be something!"

[7.80] "We have, of course, made it our first business to train out, to breed out, when possible, the lowest types."

[7.82] "If the girl showing the bad qualities had still the power to appreciate social duty, we appealed to her, by that, to renounce motherhood. Some of the few worst types were, fortunately, unable to reproduce. But if the fault was in a disproportionate egotism—then the girl was sure she had the right to have children, even that hers would be better than others."

[7.85] "Allowed?" I queried. "Allowed a mother to rear her own children?"

[7.86] "Certainly not," said Somel, "unless she was fit for that supreme task."

[7.89] "Motherhood—yes, that is, maternity, to bear a child. But education is our highest art, only allowed to our highest artists."

7.92 you separate mother and child!" I cried in cold horror, something of Terry's feeling creeping over me



CHAPTER 8 The Girls of Herland

8.9 What we had been forced to admit, with growing acquaintance, was that they were ignorant as Plato and Aristotle were, but with a highly developed mentality quite comparable to that of Ancient Greece.

8.16 his suave and masterful approach seemed to irritate them; his too-intimate glances were vaguely resented, his compliments puzzled and annoyed.

[8.28] She [Alima] never gave an inch. A big, handsome creature, rather exceptionally strong even in that race of strong women, with a proud head and sweeping level brows that lined across above her dark eager eyes like the wide wings of a soaring hawk. [characterization]

[8.36] We thought—at least Terry did—that we could have our pick of them. They thought—very cautiously and farsightedly—of picking us, if it seemed wise.

8.40 hold in mind their extremely high sense of solidarity. They were not each choosing a lover; they hadn't the faintest idea of love—sex-love, that is. These girls—to each of whom motherhood was a lodestar, and that motherhood exalted above a mere personal function, looked forward to as the highest social service, as the sacrament of a lifetime—were now confronted with an opportunity to make the great step of changing their whole status, of reverting to their earlier bi-sexual order of nature.

[8.43] "We like you the best," Somel told me, "because you seem more like us." [utopia as sameness?]

8.50 considering these two things: the advisability of making the Great Change; and the degree of personal adaptability which would best serve that end.

[8.63] Celis was a blue-and-gold-and-rose person; Alma, black-and-white-and-red, a blazing beauty. Ellador was brown: hair dark and soft, like a seal coat; clear brown skin with a healthy red in it; brown eyes—all the way from topaz to black velvet they seemed to range—splendid girls, all of them.

[8.69] The "long suit" in most courtships is sex attraction, of course. Then gradually develops such comradeship as the two temperaments allow. Then, after marriage, there is either the establishment of a slow-growing, widely based friendship, the deepest, tenderest, sweetest of relations, all lit and warmed by the recurrent flame of love; or else that process is reversed, love cools and fades, no friendship grows, the whole relation turns from beauty to ashes.

[8.70] Here everything was different. There was no sex-feeling to appeal to, or practically none. Two thousand years' disuse

[8.85] You see, if a man loves a girl who is in the first place young and inexperienced; who in the second place is educated with a background of caveman tradition, a middle-ground of poetry and romance, and a foreground of unspoken hope and interest all centering upon the one Event; and who has, furthermore, absolutely no other hope or interest worthy of the name—why, it is a comparatively easy matter to sweep her off her feet with a dashing attack. Terry was a past master in this process. He tried it here, and Alima was so affronted, so repelled, that it was weeks before he got near enough to try again.

8.97 They had no exact analogue for our word HOME, any more than they had for our Roman-based FAMILY.

[8.105] And the mother instinct, with us so painfully intense, so thwarted by conditions, so concentrated in personal devotion to a few, so bitterly hurt by death, disease, or barrenness, and even by the mere growth of the children, leaving the mother alone in her empty nest—all this feeling with them flowed out in a strong, wide current, unbroken through the generations, deepening and widening through the years, including every child in all the land.



CHAPTER 9 Our Relations and Theirs

9.6 "We cannot live in one place all the time."

[9.9] "Staying in it? All the time?" asked Ellador. "Not imprisoned, surely!"

[9.33] "They've no modesty," snapped Terry. "No patience, no submissiveness, none of that natural yielding which is woman's greatest charm."

[9.37] "HOME!" he sneered. "There isn't a home in the whole pitiful place."

[9.38] "There isn't anything else, and you know it,"

9.46 The drama of the country was—to our taste—rather flat. You see, they lacked the sex motive and, with it, jealousy.

9.48 a most impressive array of pageantry, of processions, a sort of grand ritual, with their arts and their religion broadly blended.

9.49 the drama, the dance, music, religion, and education were all very close together

[9.52] Well, here is the Herland child facing life—as Ellador tried to show it to me. From the first memory, they knew Peace, Beauty, Order, Safety, Love, Wisdom, Justice, Patience, and Plenty. By "plenty" I mean that the babies grew up in an environment which met their needs

9.53  They were People, too, from the first; the most precious part of the nation.

9.54 The things they learned were RELATED, from the first; related to one another, and to the national prosperity.

9.57 The big difference was that whereas our children grow up in private homes and families, with every effort made to protect and seclude them from a dangerous world, here they grew up in a wide, friendly world, and knew it for theirs, from the first.

[9.58] Their child-literature was a wonderful thing.

9.66 The language itself they had deliberately clarified, simplified, made easy and beautiful, for the sake of the children.

9.68 pressure of life upon the environment develops in the human mind its inventive reactions, regardless of sex

9.96 We like to keep on learning, always."

9.99 psychology with history—not with personal life?"

9.100 To see the thousands of babies improving, showing stronger clearer minds, sweeter dispositions, higher capacities—don't you find it so in your country?"

9.119 If I feared at first the effects of a too intensive system of culture, that fear was dissipated by seeing the long sunny days of pure physical merriment and natural sleep in which these heavenly babies passed their first years. They never knew they were being educated.


CHAPTER 10. Their Religions and Our Marriages

[dialogue in this chapter may gain emotional power from being spoken b/w lovers]

10.3 only as I grew to love Ellador more than I believed anyone could love anybody, as I grew faintly to appreciate her inner attitude and state of mind, that I began to get some glimpses of this faith of theirs.

10.5 successive stages of bloodthirsty, sensual, proud, and cruel gods of early times to the conception of a Common Father with its corollary of a Common Brotherhood.

10.7 The story of the Virgin birth naturally did not astonish her, but

10.8 infant damnation

[10.15] "You see, we are not accustomed to horrible ideas," she said, coming back to me rather apologetically. "We haven't any.

10.17 only this—that people who are utterly ignorant will believe anything

[10.23] "Have you no respect for the past? For what was thought and believed by your foremothers?"

[10.24] "Why, no," she said. "Why should we? They are all gone. They knew less than we do. If we are not beyond them, we are unworthy of them—and unworthy of the children who must go beyond us."

10.27 "It's because we began in a new way, I suppose. All our folks were swept away at once [origin story]

10.34 "We do things FROM our mothers—not FOR them. We don't have to do things FOR them—they don't need it, you know. But we have to live on—splendidly—because of them; and that's the way we feel about God."

10.38 "We have no punishments in life, you see, so we don't imagine them after death."

[10.40] "Do you punish a person for a broken leg or a fever?

[10.44] . . . we insist that it is Him, a Person, and a Man—with whiskers."

[10.45] "Whiskers? Oh yes—because you have them! Or do you wear them because He does?"

10.49 we had simply taken over the patriarchal idea

[10.54] "What I cannot understand," she pursued carefully, "is your preservation of such a very ancient state of mind. This patriarchal idea you tell me is thousands of years old?"

10.64 "what I cannot understand is why you keep these early religious ideas so long. You have changed all your others, haven't you?"

10.68 Patience, gentleness, courtesy, all that we call "good breeding," was part of their code of conduct. But where they went far beyond us was in the special application of religious feeling to every field of life.

10.72 clear, simple, rational directions as to how we should live—and why. And for ritual it gave first those triumphant group demonstrations, when with a union of all the arts, the revivifying combination of great multitudes moved rhythmically with march and dance, song and music, among their own noblest products and the open beauty of their groves and hills.

10.73 But—how about death? And the life everlasting? What does your religion teach about eternity?"

[10.74] "Nothing," said Ellador. "What is eternity?"

10.101 Quaker wedding

[10.103] "We can at least give them our names," Jeff insisted.

10.111 "Do your women have no names before they are married?"

10.120 the New Hope for their people—the New Tie with other lands—Brotherhood as well as Sisterhood, and, with evident awe, Fatherhood.

10.121 High Priests of—of Philoprogenitiveness!" he protested. "These women think of NOTHING but children, seems to me! We'll teach 'em!"

[10.125] Somel and Zava and Moadine were on hand; we were thankful to have them, too—they seemed almost like relatives.


CHAPTER 11 Our Difficulties

11.2 no combination of alien races, of color, of caste, or creed, was ever so basically difficult to establish as that between us, three modern American men, and these three women of Herland.

11.3 The Great Adventure

11.5 now, writing after a lapse of years

11.6  the race-mind of this people

11.10 Also, as men, with our masculine tradition of far more than two thousand years, we were a unit, small but firm, against this far larger unit of feminine tradition.

11.13 imagine a male ant

[11.22] "The only thing they can think of about a man is FATHERHOOD!" said Terry in high scorn. "FATHERHOOD! As if a man was always wanting to be a FATHER!"

11.25 even Alima was patience and tenderness and wisdom personified to the man she loved, until he—but I haven't got to that yet.

[11.28] These people had, it now became clear to us, the highest, keenest, most delicate sense of personal privacy, but not the faintest idea of that SOLITUDE A DEUX we are so fond of. They had, every one of them, the "two rooms and a bath" theory realized. From earliest childhood each had a separate bedroom with toilet conveniences, and one of the marks of coming of age was the addition of an outer room in which to receive friends.

[11.30] For food we either went to any convenient eating-house

[11.31] After marriage there arose in us a somewhat unexpected urge of feeling that called for a separate house; but this feeling found no response in the hearts of those fair ladies.

11.33 we had no sense of—perhaps it may be called possession.

[11.46] "We" and "we" and "we"—it was so hard to get her to be personal.

[11.57] "You must take me there someday, darling,"

[11.60] And no child, stormily demanding a cookie "between meals," was ever more subtly diverted into an interest in house-building than was I when I found an apparently imperative demand had disappeared without my noticing it.

11.62 what I had honestly supposed to be a physiological necessity was a psychological necessity

[11.63] The thing that Terry had so complained of when we first came—that they weren't "feminine," they lacked "charm," now became a great comfort. Their vigorous beauty was an aesthetic pleasure, not an irritant. Their dress and ornaments had not a touch of the "come-and-find-me" element.

11.64 she afterward withdrew again into the same good comrade she had been at first. They were women, PLUS, and so much plus that when they did not choose to let the womanness appear, you could not find it anywhere.

11.73 an older, deeper, more "natural" feeling, the restful reverence which looks up to the Mother sex.

11.80 Poor old Terry! The things he'd learned didn't help him a heap in Herland.

[11.82] But the more she kept away from him, the more he wanted her—naturally.

[11.88] The women of Herland have no fear of men. Why should they have? They are not timid in any sense. They are not weak; and they all have strong trained athletic bodies. Othello could not have extinguished Alima with a pillow, as if she were a mouse.

[11.93] There was a trial before the local Over Mother, and this woman, who did not enjoy being mastered, stated her case.

[11.94] In a court in our country he would have been held quite "within his rights,"

11.97 The sentence was: "You must go home!"


CHAPTER 12 Expelled

[12.4] Terry was under guard now, all the time, known as unsafe, convicted of what was to them an unpardonable sin.

[12.6] When Terry said SEX, sex with a very large S, he meant the male sex, naturally; its special values, its profound conviction of being "the life force,"

[12.8] Moadine, grave and strong, as sadly patient as a mother with a degenerate child

12.12] "Why should I want to go back to all our noise and dirt, our vice and crime, our disease and degeneracy?"

12.15 how monotonous our quiet life must seem to you, how much more stirring yours must be. It must be like the biological change you told me about when the second sex was introduced—a far greater movement, constant change, with new possibilities of growth."

[12.16] I had told her of the later biological theories of sex, and she was deeply convinced of the superior advantages of having two, the superiority of a world with men in it.

12.18 our unsolved problems, that we had dishonesty and corruption, vice and crime, disease and insanity, prisons and hospitals; and it made no more impression on her than it would to tell a South Sea Islander about the temperature of the Arctic Circle. She could intellectually see that it was bad to have those things; but she could not FEEL it.

[12.27] And when we say WOMEN, we think FEMALE—the sex.

12.29 the astounding fact—to us—that in Herland women were "the world."

[12.31] This outbreak of Terry's, and the strong reaction against it, gave us a new light on their genuine femininity. This was given me with great clearness by both Ellador and Somel. The feeling was the same—sick revulsion and horror, such as would be felt at some climactic blasphemy.

12.35 Of course we want children, and children come—but that is not what we think about."

[12.39] "I feel it quite clearly," she said to me. "It gives me a deep sympathy with what you feel, no doubt more strongly still. But what I feel, even what you feel, dearest, does not convince me that it is right. Until I am sure of that, of course I cannot do as you wish."

12.42 I begin to see—a little—how Terry was so driven to crime."

12.49 only Celis, her blue eyes swimming in happy tears, her heart lifted with that tide of race-motherhood which was their supreme passion, could with ineffable joy and pride announce that she was to be a mother. "The New Motherhood" they called it,

12.58 We honor them for their functional powers, even while we dishonor them by our use of it; we honor them for their carefully enforced virtue, even while we show by our own conduct how little we think of that virtue; we value them, sincerely, for the perverted maternal activities which make our wives the most comfortable of servants, bound to us for life with the wages wholly at our own decision,

12.59 a queer feeling, way down deep, as of the stirring of some ancient dim prehistoric consciousness, a feeling that they were right somehow—that this was the way to feel. It was like—coming home to mother.

12.63 when he sought by that supreme conquest which seems so natural a thing to that type of man, to force her to love him as her master—to have the sturdy athletic furious woman rise up and master him

[12.65] "She kicked me," . . . And of course a man's helpless when you hit him like that. No woman with a shade of decency—"

12.69 great to-do all over the country about Ellador's leaving them.

[12.71] They were deeply aroused on the subject of evolution; indeed, the whole field of natural science

12.75 With the lightest touch, different women asking different questions at different times, and putting all our answers together like a picture puzzle, they had figured out a sort of skeleton chart as to the prevalence of disease among us. Even more subtly with no show of horror or condemnation, they had gathered something—far from the truth, but something pretty clear—about poverty, vice, and crime.

[12.78] Finally Jeff and I were called in. Somel and Zava were there, and Ellador, with many others that we knew.