Herland is an example of utopian fiction.


The narrator of the novel is Vandyck Jennings.

Point of View

The story of Herland is told in the first person.


The novel has a politically earnest tone, with elements of humor and satire.


Herland is told in the past tense.

Setting (Time & Place)

The novel, which was published in 1915, is set in the early 20th century. Herland is set in a hidden plateau, somewhere in the unexplored tropics, where an all-female society has been thriving in isolation.


Vandyck Jennings, a sociologist and amateur explorer, is the protagonist of the novel.


Van drops several hints about Terry’s final explosion and the ugly end of their stay within the all-female society throughout the story.

Major Conflict

The major conflict of the novel is the struggle of Van and his friends Jeff and Terry to come to terms with the all-female society, which challenges their sense of identity and their understanding of relations between the sexes.

Rising Action

The rising action occurs from the entry of Van, Jeff, and Terry into the all-female society through their education and their deepening relationships with Ellador, Celis, and Alima.


The climax of the novel is Terry’s thwarted assault on Alima.

Falling Action

The falling action of Herland is the subsequent division of the group, and the departure of Terry, Van, and Ellador.