Compare themes regarding rejection of tradition in Gilman Perkins book “Herland and Related Writings” to the theme of a heightened awareness of marginalised people in Nella Larsen’s book called “Passing”.
In “Herland and Related Writings,” Gilman Perkins imagines a utopian society in which the all-female inhabitants of a secluded valley have rejected traditional patriarchal structures and have developed their own way of life. This rejection of tradition is driven by a belief in the superiority of their own values and the belief that traditional societal structures are oppressive and limiting. Gilman Perkins critiques the traditional gender roles and expectations of her time, and advocates for women’s rights an
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Similarly, in “Passing,” Nella Larsen explores the rejection of traditional societal expectations through the lens of race. The novel focuses on the lives of two biracial women, one of whom “passes” as white in order to escape the limitations and discrimination of the African American community. The novel explores themes of racial identity, social mobility, and the impact of race on individual lives. Larsen’s novel critiques the social and economic limitations placed on African Americans during the early 20th century, and highlights the ways in which traditional societal structures can be oppressive.
Both works also explore themes of heightened awareness of marginalized people. In “Herland and Related Writings,” the all-female society has developed a heightened awareness of their own experiences and perspectives, and this awareness allows them to reject traditional patriarchal structures. Similarly, in “Passing,” the two main characters have a heightened awareness of the ways in which their biracial identity and social position impacts their lives, and they are forced to navigate societal expectations in order to survive.
Overall, while Gilman Perkins’ “Herland and Related Writings” and Nella Larsen’s “Passing” explore different forms of rejection of tradition, both works advocate for a greater awareness of the limitations of traditional societal structures and the need for change.