M.A. (Master of Arts)
Department of English
The society of women is a trope of feminist utopian fiction in which a group of women live together in harmony without the influence of men to disrupt their society. This trope functions on five criteria: 1) The society must be able to defend itself and replenish itself without the assistance of men. 2) It must be fully isolated and nearly impenetrable from the outside world 3) It must have a utopic order of society untroubled by ambition. 4) It must be infiltrated and challenged by a man during the course of the story. 5) It must grapple with the tension between the identity of woman as mother, sister, and individual. Texts that use the society of women trope also often employ the metaphor of imperialism to describe how women are subjugated in Western patriarchal society. This study follows two examples of texts using the society of women trope and the metaphor of imperialism to present feminist ideology in two different ages: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland deploying first wave feminist philosophy, and Patty Jenkins’s 2017 film Wonder Woman, appealing to the modern audience. The society of women trope, in these two examples, is proven to be a popular and enduring tool for storytellers to communicate a feminist agenda in popular fiction.
Jankovsky, Anna, "Herlands: Imperial Feminisms from Charlotte Perkins Gilman to Wonder Woman" (2021). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 7225.
Northern Illinois University
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