100-year book club 1914: Tarzan of the Apes

index“Ah, John, I wish that I might be a man with a man’s philosophy, but I am but a woman, seeing with my heart rather than my head.

I know, I know, I know. This novel is a product of its period, its writer is only human, and we shouldn’t hold it against a writer that he wrote in a way that reflected the accepted understanding of the world at the time of writing. We should though, reflect on why a novel is so enduring despite being pretty darn offensive. We can talk about racism or sexism in relation to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes, I have a plethora of offensive pull quotes from which to choose. I think Burroughs’ racism is the more obvious problem and the more oft-discussed. That said, I’m apprehensive about the SEO implications of posting Burroughs’ thoughts on race here so let’s discuss gender roles in the book instead, shall we?

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