Textbook Notes (368,559)
Canada (161,962)
English (65)
ENG237H1 (11)

Left Hand of Darkness NOTES.pdf

3 Pages
Unlock Document

Mike Johnstone

Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness Reading Notes - examination of a sexless androgyny in science fiction - Le Guin describes the book as a “thought experiment” to explore a society without men or women, where individuals share the biological and emotional makeup of both genders - set in the “Hainish” universe - describes the interplanetary expansion started by the first race of humanity on the planet Hain, which leads to the 83-world collective called the Ekumen - it takes place many years in the future - GenlyAi is an envoy from the Ekumen who journeys to Winter (Gethen) to convince the citizens to join the Ekumen - Winter is: - always cold (to humans) - citizens are “ambisexual” - citizens spend most of their time as asexual “potentials”; anyone who is always one sex or the other is a “pervert” - they only adopt genders once a month, during a period of sexual receptiveness and high fertility known as kemmer - they become either male or female depending on the context and relationships - these conditions have affected the development of civilization: for example, there is no war - social aggression and continuous sexual capacity are both attributes of men and no other mammals—so perhaps this is why there is no war on Winter? - or perhaps the lack of masculinity leads to a lack of war? - Gethenians are not very aggressive - the climate could also be a reason for the lack of war - the dominant factor on Winter really is the winter, not their sexuality - “I really don’t see how anyone could put much stock in victory or glory after he has spent a winter on Winter, and seen the face of the Ice” - GenlyAi, a Terran native, is sent to Gethen to represent the Ekumen - he makes little progress during the first while of his stay in Karhide, a Gethenian society, but interests the Prime Minister of the area, Estraven - the night before his audience with the king,Ai begins to doubt Estraven—something about him disturbs Genly - the next day he learns that Estraven has been accused of treason and has fled to Orgoreyn, the neighbouring society - the king decides not to join the Ekumen - Genly goes to Orgoreyn - it is different from Karhide in many ways - shifgrethor, the unspoken social rules and formal courtesy that rule Karhide, seem to have little importance in Orgoreyn - rather society is organized logically and practically - Ai is provided with comfortable living quarters and asked many questions - he presents his invitation before a board of governors - however he senses that all is not right, and Estraven warns him
More Less

Related notes for ENG237H1

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.