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Lecture 5

ENG 503 Lecture 5: ENG503_Lecture-5_07-02-2014.docx

Course Code
ENG 503
David Copeland

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ENG 503 Lecture 5 07/02/14
Lecture 5 07-Feb-14
Vea – femininity in its object form
-Invested w/ power by males,
-But limited in her power
-An an exciter of male attention (the male gaze),
-And confined to an essentially social role as hostess, etc
-She could be so much more
oAllows herself to be objectified.
-Object in other light
oHer swallowing whole social Darwinist male ideas
oAbout the social necessity of Survival of the Fittest
Ideas which she argues for with some heat at the party
And which she allows her to further underestimate and so dismiss
Shevek… who seems less than a man to her at their parting
Takver – multifaceted character with as many social roles as there are private sides to her
-Female scientist with a meaningful job
-A lover
-A mother
-A partner in political (even revolutionary) activity
-And one of perhaps two people (Bedap s the other) who understands Shevek – often
better than he understands himself
Through all three characters Le Guin argues for the imp of women given the contribution they
make in these societies, esp. Annarian society, for reminding us of ways women willingly limit
themselves in relations with men, for promoting womens role in the process of scientific (and
political) advancement.. and for advancing the cause of female/male equality
Rulag is seen as cold.
-Indebted to 19th century C Russian anarchist, Prince Alekseevich Kropotkin (1842-1921)
oPublished ‘Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution in 1902
-Le Guin recognized other influences on her political though in the evolution of her
utopian novel
oincluding the Taoist philosophy of Chuang Tzu (a disciple of Lao Tzu)
oAnd the English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (see his poem “The Mask
of Anarchy” as well as “Queen Mab” and his pamphlet The Declaration of Rights)
[Shelley was firmly opposed to authoritarian gov’t]
-LG writes “Odonianism is anarchism. Not the bomb in the pocket stuff, which is
terrorism…; no the social Darwinist ‘libertarianism’ of the far right, but anarchism, as
prefigure in early Taoist though…
-For Pt. 2 (allusions to Kropotkins Mutual Aid) nothe following passages in the
Ch. 4 pg 117 His unhappy re with Sabul
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