Thinking about the title of the novel and chapters 1–3, what do you think the main concern of the text is? (For example, do you think Le Guin’s main concern is women? Workers? Minorities? Or something different?)

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Considering the title of the novel, along with the events that transpire within the first three chapters, Le Guin's main concern is possibly the negative consequences of industry for nature. This idea encompasses the treatment of women, the treatment of workers, and the perception of minorities as a civilization moves...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Considering the title of the novel, along with the events that transpire within the first three chapters, Le Guin's main concern is possibly the negative consequences of industry for nature. This idea encompasses the treatment of women, the treatment of workers, and the perception of minorities as a civilization moves from one era of its existence to the next.

Let's reflect on the climaxes of each of the first three chapters. In chapter 1, Davidson has discovered Smith Camp smoldering, while the forest remains lush. This discovery is followed by Davidson being pinned down and taunted by four of the Athsheans, one of whom he had almost killed in a previous confrontation.

In the second chapter, we find Selver has returned to his native lands, but he is unable to dream as he once did before he was enslaved by the Terrans. Selver's inability to dream like the rest of the inhabitants of Cadast shows what could happen to the planet's native inhabitants—the loss of their natural abilities—if they were to be overtaken by the Terrans.

At the conclusion of chapter 3, we see Lyubov, Selver's former master, confront and deeply implore Lepennon, an authority within the Colonial Administration, to "save the forests, the forest people" at the adjournment of the meeting of Centralville's authorities. The fact that Lyubov's adamant appeal appears at the chapter's close shows that Le Guin wants the reader to be left with this important message going into the next chapter of the novel.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team