Herland, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is about three men who go explore a society that is only women. Terry, Jeff, and Van have a lot of expectations for the women they meet in Herland. Terry thinks that the women will flock to him and that he will be able to take over their society and be the king. Jeff expects the land to be a garden-like paradise and that all the women will be nice and sisterly. Van is more of a middle ground. He is not sure what to expect from the women. None of the men are sure what to expect of the women and the society of Herland .
Terry does not expect much from the women in Herland. "We mustn't look to find any sort of order and organization- (7). He anticipates complete disorder and chaos. He also expects that the women will be stupid and nave and that he will be able to take over the society and rule as a king-like figure. It turns out that all of his expectations are false. When the men first arrive on the island they are drugged by the women. It turns out that the women are highly civilized and advanced in their thinking. The men also find the education is wonderful and all of the women are educated. Terry's pre-conceived notions for Herland were so at odds with what life was really like, that he never fit in to the society, and ultimately had to leave.
Jeff's hopes for the society vary greatly from Terry's. Jeff expects Herland to be a harmonious garden-like paradise. He expects all the women to be sisterly and caring. "Talk of civilization I never saw a forest so petted, even in Germany. Look, there's not a dead bough-the vines are trained-actually- (11)! The men found that the women had an advanced agricultural system. Jeff's vision is most similar to the reality of the society. .
The narrator of the story, Van, has fewer expectations than the other men. He wants to believe that an all-woman society can exist but he does not accept it as true until he gets there.
Gilman's Use of Masculine and Feminine Traits in Herland Throughout the story, Gilman shows the ideas of masculine and feminine traits in the early 1900's. ... Herland reflects on the conception of society's idea of masculinity and femininity in 1915. ... She had thought that by only having women in Herland and taking the sex appeal away from society. ... She discusses that when the men come to Herland they believe in the very feminine nature that Gilman finds so destructive. ... The book Herland was bounded by masculine and feminine traits to help prove that women are jus...