The Club of Eden

The Club of Eden has made a strong come back with their second podcast episode! This weeks topic is looking at the text through the feminist lens. We defined the "two female protagonists" and "the sensitive male character" and how all of their interactions relate back to feminism. In the next podcasts, we will uncover more of the novel and expand our knowledge on the themes mentioned and raise more questions which we will answer as we go! Because this link is on soundcloud and that is blocked on the wifi, to listen, you have to listen on your phone!

Kimberly's Articles

McCormack, Aidan. “The Truth Can Get a Little Hairy: Reflections on Body Hair, Feminism and Trans* Identity.” The Body Is Not An Apology, 21 Dec. 2018, 

“Portrayal of Women in Literature.” Romanticism: Background, Main Features, Romantic Authors from,

The first article is a personal statement from a transgender man regarding his relationship with his gender and his hair/physical appearance. I chose this article to explore how Catherine's perception of her gender and sexuality affects her relationship with David. I'm not sure if this really works with the feminist lens since it is more about gender but I think it will add a lot to our discussions.

I also included a second link which discusses the depiction of women in text throughout history. We can think about the relationship with the author and Catherine and how he chooses to give her basically no personality or interests. This was inspired by the question from OWL, "what does the work say about women's creativity?" Looking back in history and exploring the relationship between Hemingway and Catherine will create a commentary on the feminist lens. 

Amelia’s Article:

Gerdeman, Dina. “Why Employers Favor Men.” HBS Working Knowledge, Harvard Business School, 11 Sept. 2017,

This article written by Dina Gerdeman from Harvard Business Center unpacks the struggles women experience in the workforce. The overall reasoning the article centers on is that employers prefer men not because they are prejudiced against women, but because they have the perception that men perform better on certain assignments. This piece references the published book "When Gender Discrimination Is Not About Gender" by Kathrine B. Coffman and Christine L. Exley, assistant professors at Harvard Business School. Gerdeman also includes direct quotes from both authors which sharpen the idea of statistical discrimination versus taste-based discrimination. This connects well to Ernest Hemingway's novel The Garden of Eden because in the marriage, only David, the husband, has a career as an author of two books. Even twenty chapters into the novel, the readers know nothing about Catherine's life, let alone her career. It is constantly brought up that David writes books for a reason which bring in the money for the house, yet Catherine constantly mentions how rich they are. Do males have a better chance at finding a life career than women? Does this affect who brings in the income in the marriage?

Alex Rivera

Manders, Kerry. “Beyond the Narrow Expectations of Gender.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 16 Oct. 2018,

I believe that this would be a good source for our group to use because it describes the categories people are placed in and the amount of room they are given with gender roles and sexuality. This is written from the point of view of people who have and are going through this. this will help my group explain to the reader more to get an understanding throughout the book, because even throughout the book we found ourselves coming into our book group confused and Catherine wanting to be a boy sometimes and a girl the next, saying she didn't want to kiss Marita and she does and likes it and what that difference between Catherine kissing Marita and David kissing Marita. This article brings up the fact of non-binary people not being accepted because it's hard to understand for people who are not and so its looked at as wrong. This helps with our lens because it shows feminism in a different way exceptionally the 1st wave of feminism back then when this book was written.

Christina Santana

Bayley, Mireia Pavón. The Devilish Ways of Catherine Bourne: Breaking Heteronormative Gender Roles in The Garden of Eden by Ernest Hemingway. Universitat Autònoma De Barcelona, June 2016,  

This analytical essay unpacks the ways in which Catherine, one of the main characters in Ernest Hemmingway’s The Garden of Eden breaks the sterotype for Heteronormative Gender Roles. In the article, the author speaks about how Catherine’s androgynous appearance, gender fluidity, and exploration of her sexuality are parts of her attempt to break free from the concept of normality and heteronormative rules. She writes that “The aim of this paper is to prove that her [Catherine] behavior does not breed from mental illness but rather from frustration and a will to break with the binary terms of gender because she is unable to feel fulfilled in a traditional wife role.” This is an interesting idea because it presents an argument that the reader might not have focused on, and it provides reasoning as to why Catherine allows Marita to be the “wife of the day” in their essentially polygamous relationship with David. Overall, this article gives context and analytical reasoning in support of the gender roles and exploration of sexual identity in The Garden of Eden.

Comments (10)

Afi Koffi (Student 2019)
Afi Koffi

You guys did a good job with this podcast. I think your intro was very strong and engaging. You flowed into the fact that this was centered around the feminist lens very well without making it feel scripty. It felt like a conversation and you took the time to explore each character individually which really helps the listener.

Cynthia To (Student 2019)
Cynthia To

I think that this podcast has done a really good job of establishing how feminism plays in society. Also, I love how there weren't any awkward silences and everyone has spoken equality.

Cynthia To (Student 2019)
Cynthia To

I think that this podcast has done a really good job of establishing how feminism plays in society. Also, I love how there weren't any awkward silences and everyone has spoken equality.

Marcin Czapla (Student 2019)
Marcin Czapla

1) You naturally weaved analysis from the Feminist lens into your conversation, providing the reader with a new look into the types of women we may find in society while keeping the flow of the podcast going. 2) I liked how there were no silent moments and everytime someone talked the others listened and then provided their opinions.

Benjamin Seing (Student 2019)
Benjamin Seing
  1. I didn't think much of how feminism is being played in a society that affects people. There is a discussion of how the character is bringing a lot to other character's lives. Relationships are a big part of knowing who is doing what and how women were treated before. Alex's comment about what her mom told me was shocking tbh.
  2. I love how everyone is contributing and talking continuously to build a huge convo that is filled with an amazing amount of content.
Wedage DeSilva (Student 2019)
Wedage DeSilva

I definitely agree with what Jack said above. Your podcast took apart the idea of feminism in a sense and made more things from it. Not just one blob of stuff. 2. The conversations in this podcast were great. The ideas were expressed well and firmly.

Eric Valenti (Student 2019)
Eric Valenti

I think the podcast did a really great job of making sure to include the lenses without it seeming forced into the conversation. The analysis really showed in the book. It felt like a real conversation.

Julia Hood (Student 2019)
Julia Hood
  1. I feel like I understand more that it’s not just about the women in society but the women in general.
  2. I feel like you guys were lighthearted, able to cover a lot of information while still moving quickly and I really enjoyed that.
John Sugrue (Student 2019)
John Sugrue
  1. This opened up my eyes to an integral part of feminism - not just the roles of women in society, but the types of women, societal or not.
  2. You guys are all contributing equally and efficiently, and I think you all do a spectacular job of analysis in general. The "winners and losers" is a great way of framing the characters in simple terms - and it forces you to think about the characters as a whole.