A Wizard of Earthsea Lecture

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11 Jan 2011
School
Department
Course
Sept 29 th
Lecture # 3- A Wizard of Earthsea
Ursula K. Le Guin
- born 1929
-raised and grew up around a famous line of anthropologists, raised with scholars who
express cultures that have both beauty and ugliness about them and thats where most
of her ideas came from
-award winning since 1961
-heavily influenced by Taoism and Indigenous American cultures
- one of the most compelling voices in epic fantasy
Themes to Consider
The powers of names and naming
-“No one knows a mans true name…” pg 71
- the name is apart of you, no one else uses it, if someone else uses it they can control
you
-the old speech is the language of creation and unmaking, you could do anything with
that power
-If you are a stranger to old speech, its unusable
-Naming bonds people together, when you share it with people you show loyalty to that
person
-Its connected to your absolute truth
-You have to know the true name or else it doesnt work
-The more powerful you are, the more restrained you have to be
-You tie into the essential truth of the being but it always comes with a cost and
consequence
Limitations
-The truth can overwhelm you if its not your truth e.g Ged transformed into the Hawk
and it almost killed him
-For every action theres a reaction somewhere else
-Theres a geographical boundary to magic, e.g Ged cant use the magic when he is far
away in the Lastland
- The illusions are only temporary
-The more powerful you are, the more aware you have to become of consequences
-you cannot pass on your name
Protocols around naming magic
-stay in your true form b/c the possibility of being lost in another form is very likely and
therefore you cannot control yourself/the magic
-The Wizard School is all men = there are certain expectations who can use magic
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