Theme Of Education In Herland

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Education is the ‘highest art’ in Herland and has been the reason why the country has flourished. When the three male explorers are imprisoned by the Herlanders, their hair grows long, which Gilman does to symbolically link them to women kind. Throughout the novel, Gilman reverses the gender roles: the women have short hair, the men have long hair; the women teach while the men learn; the women are physically stronger than the men.
In Herland, her all female utopian novel, Gilman suggested how society and education might be different if motherhood rather than manliness became the cultural ideal. In a land where neither the private home nor the nuclear family existed, the characteristics of love, service, ingenuity, and efficiency became the
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Notably, the nuclear family is absent in the society of Herland. As Jennings observes, “They had no wars. They had no kings,, 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. In Herland, Gilman echoes this theme. The second of the three male adventurers--Terry O. Nicholson--remarks that he finds this world of women an irritating and uncomfortable place, for it is a world without ... Love, Combat, and Danger.
Gilman also challenges notions of “sociological superiority” (10) and civilization. At the beginning of the novel, Jennings glibly comments, “Why this is a civilized country! ... there must be men.” (44) In Herland, without the markers of love, combat, and danger, the male protagonists expresses the sense of being hopelessly in the wrong and out of place. Jennings

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