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TABLE OF CONTENTS • The Left Hand Of Darkness: Its Place In The History Of Science Fiction • Ursula K. LeGuin's Life And Work: An Interview • Characterization in the Novel • Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis • Critics Respond to the Novel • Glossary of LeGuin's Invented Words • Ideas for Discussion
THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS: ITS PLACE IN THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION
Background of The Left Hand of Darkness.
In the light of this history, Ursula LeGuin's Left Hand of Darkness, first published in 1969, presents a real change. Human relationships take center stage; everything else is subordinate to the development of a profound and meaningful …ver más…
Being a novelist, her explorations of these questions are the basis of The Left Hand of Darkness.
To be precise, the book does not offer ultimate answers, and readers will not find there the answer to the basic question of "What is a woman?" Actually, when the male Envoy from Earth is asked by his friend from the new planet to explain what a woman is, he embarrassedly hesitates, fails, and finally admits that he does not know what a woman is. But more important than the answers are the questions and the hypothesis that LeGuin offers, in her "thought-experiment," as she calls the novel in her intriguing introduction. The book offers alternative modes of thinking not about the future but about ourselves in the present.
However, LeGuin has been frequently criticized for making her Gethenians, although they are menwomen, too much like men. Feminists have accused her of not going far enough and for using male protagonists.
:: URSULA K. LEGUIN'S LIFE AND WORK: AN INTERVIEW ::
The writer and the woman.
Ursula K. LeGuin draws a sharp line between herself as a person, woman, wife and mother and herself as a writer. An introvert, she jealously keeps her private life to herself, shielding her family and her private self from the limelight.
In her entire body of stories and novels nothing is