Questions and Answers for The Left Hand of Darkness

The Left Hand of Darkness

Why does Estraven commit suicide?

Estraven commits suicide because he is out of other options. It's a cultural taboo for Estraven to commit suicide; he does it because he sees no other way out. By the time he rushes toward the...

Latest answer posted December 30, 2019 6:44 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Left Hand of Darkness

What are the main conflicts in The Left Hand of Darkness?

Two of the major conflicts in The Left Hand of Darkness center around social prejudice. The first is the conflict between the two lead characters of the book, Genly Ai and Therem Harth rem ir...

Latest answer posted December 30, 2019 8:26 pm UTC

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The Left Hand of Darkness

In The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, how does cognitive estrangement function most significantly...

The term cognitive estrangement comes from Darko Suvin and goes hand-in-hand with its key element called "novum." Together, they form the distinctive features of what "true" science fiction is (at...

Latest answer posted December 3, 2018 8:52 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Left Hand of Darkness

What is the metaphor contained in the title of The Left Hand of Darkness?

The title comes from one of the mythical tales enriching the book; the complete sentence is: “Light is the left hand of darkness, darkness is the right hand of light.” Light and darkness are...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2011 6:53 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Left Hand of Darkness

What is one of the central conflicts in the story?

Numerous conflicts come to mind in Ursula LeGuin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, but the one in particular that dominates the novel centers on cultural proficiency. Cultural proficiency goes beyond...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2012 2:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Left Hand of Darkness

In The Left Hand of Darkness, what's the difference between the two countries? How is the unknown explored in these...

In Orgoreyn, you might have noticed there tends to be greater order. There seems to be a logic and reason in the way the country is composed. There are thirty-three districts. Each district is...

Latest answer posted November 8, 2020 4:33 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Left Hand of Darkness

How is the theme of unknown exposed in The Left Hand of Darkness?

You could claim the theme of the unknown is exposed in The Left Hand of Darkness via gender. Remember, the Gethenians do not have a knowable or precise gender. They’re not assigned male or female...

Latest answer posted November 8, 2020 3:49 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Left Hand of Darkness

What is the significance of spirituality in The Left Hand Of Darkness? 

I think a better question is what is the significance of religion in The Left Hand of Darkness. Spirituality is tied with religion, yes, but spirituality connotes a much more personal and...

Latest answer posted April 7, 2015 12:58 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Left Hand of Darkness

How is the theme of sacrifice exposed in The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin?

In The Left Hand of Darkness, several of the characters must make sacrifices to achieve their goals. Genly Ai, for instance, must sacrifice a lifetime away from his home planet, essentially losing...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2015 10:06 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Left Hand of Darkness

How does Gehenian society provide a critique of our sexual/gender stereotypes?

Wow. That's a big question. Almost the entire novel is devoted to critiquing our stereotypes and assumptions in these areas. That said, the first way it critiques them is by denaturalizing our...

Latest answer posted April 21, 2008 2:24 am UTC

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The Left Hand of Darkness

In the novel of The Left Hand of Darkness, does the female gender actually have a role in the novel? Also, does it...

The Left Hand of Darkness is a 1969 science fiction novel by Ursula Le Guin. While it is not her first novel, and it is the one largely considered her first major success as a writer. It coincided...

Latest answer posted November 27, 2018 8:10 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Left Hand of Darkness

Is fear the underlying cause of conflict in The Left Hand of Darkness?

Fear is a major factor in many of the conflicts in the novel, but I don’t think it’s the sole cause of conflict. Fear predominates the first part of the story, when Genly is in Karhide. Genly’s...

Latest answer posted May 28, 2018 11:21 pm UTC

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The Left Hand of Darkness

Do you see a relation between the planet of Gethen and North and South Vietnam in the late 60s?

Ursula Kroeber Le Guin (October 21, 1929–January 22, 2018) was an American author of speculative fiction. She published The Left Hand of Darkness in 1969 at the height of the Vietnam War and the...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2020 6:36 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Left Hand of Darkness

To what extent does the novel, by telling "lies" or "fables," provoke us to reimagine our own world? And does this...

The title of Ursula Le Guin's 1969 novel, The Left Hand of Darkness, is a nod to the dualism that the novel embraces with respect to gender. The poem which gave the novel its title is recited by...

Latest answer posted November 28, 2018 6:02 am UTC

1 educator answer