Fiction of the Home Place: Jewett, Cather, Glasgow, Porter, Welty, and Naylor

Fiction of the Home Place: Jewett, Cather, Glasgow, Porter, Welty, and Naylor

Fiction of the Home Place: Jewett, Cather, Glasgow, Porter, Welty, and Naylor

Fiction of the Home Place: Jewett, Cather, Glasgow, Porter, Welty, and Naylor

Excerpt

In Herland, Charlotte Perkins Gilman surveys the perimeters of the home place, an ideal pastoral domestic setting. The home place as it appears in the fiction of many American women writers is presided over by an elder wise woman who embodies the care and wisdom associated with maternity:

They had no enemies; they themselves were all sisters and friends. The land was fair before them, and a great future began to form itself in their minds.

The religion they had to begin with was much like that of old Greece-- a number of gods and goddesses; but they lost all interest in deities of war and plunder, and gradually centered on their Mother Goddess altogether. Then, as they grew more intelligent, this turned into a sort of Maternal Pantheism.

Here was Mother Earth, bearing fruit. All that they ate was the fruit of motherhood, from seed to egg or their product. By motherhood they were born and by motherhood they lived-life was to them, just the long cycle of motherhood. (59) . . .

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