Gilman On Marriage

594 Words3 Pages
“We can at least give them our names,” Jeff insisted Alima, frank soul that she was, asked what good it would do. Terry, always irritating, said it was a sign of possession. Herland p. 118 I found this quote from Herland particularly interesting because it showcases the men’s attitudes compared to the women’s. We get a comparison of how Jeff, Alima, and Terry’s conflicting personalities affect their outlook on marriage and what it means. Jeff wants to give something to the women since they have nothing else to give them. Terry on the other hand wants to give the women their names to show they have possession over them. And Alima along with the other women of Herland is oblivious to either of these philosophies. The women are unaware of the men’s ideals on marriage and the possession of women as wives. They question everything that the men…show more content…
She makes us question our religion, our education, our agriculture, and our principles. She brings forth the problems we often hide and ignore. Throughout the novel the men keep their society’s downfalls secret from the women much like we try to do ourselves. This quote reveals one of our society’s issues by focusing on our beliefs on marriage. Gilman provides the point of views of these women who know nothing of marriage to allow us to see our own society’s faults in the way we think things should be. By denying the men’s proposition of name change, the women point out the idiocy of the concept we accept to be the norm in our society. This problem of possession and power shows up in Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” as well. The husband in that piece has possession of his wife by controlling her every move. The men in “The Yellow Wallpaper” make the decisions and control their households. This was a common occurrence during this time period. In Herland, Gilman reiterates this societal viewpoint of man’s possession of woman through Terry’s
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