The Word for World Is Forest Questions and Answers
by Ursula K. Le Guin

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How does Le Guin’s The Word For World Is Forest use alien contact to explore themes of imperialism, violence, and war? How does it work as a kind of political communication?  

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Madelyn Truitt eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This novella is definitely my favorite piece of work by Ursula LeGuin. The themes regarding war, imperialism and violence are connected to alien contact because of the complex setting LeGuin has constructed. The story is less "science fiction" than speculative fiction, despite its use of science-based tropes to explain how things function.

Because the setting posits a planet that has to be colonized due to Earth's being made uninhabitable, the worldview of the Terrans (the ones seeking to colonize Athshe) is that they have dominion over the solar system. The Terrans' ability to navigate space travel as a way of colonizing other planets...

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