Monday, February 16, 2009


Of all the characters in Le Guin's Dispossessed, I'd have to say Shevek is by far the most fascinating and well thought out one. I'm continually fascinated by the notion of unrealized ambition despite evidence of natural talent and drive. Unfortunately, this is the way of the world -- both this one and those of a fictional variety. As has been pointed out in previous posts, the fictional world parallels the one we actually inhabit. Consequently, readers can tap into the power of recognition when we encounter the logic that Le Guin to point us toward.
For instance, Le Guin's concerns about the presence and functions of power seem to be a constant theme actoss the SF genre when we consider the possibility of topics.

Can we really live in a world without government? It seems most difficult to imagine. Some may argue that we are moving towards this self-governing, anarchic frame through virtual worlds. This mirroring of worlds in the case of Annares, establishes limits within themselves -- limits that have been set up by the Other -- Urras. One can only know the other through the exclusion of what is defined as opposite. This is an illusion, though, since they live a shared history that is radically suppressed. Hence Vea's fascination with the Odonians: "The same old hypocrisy. Life is a fight, and the strongest wins. All civilization does is hide the blood and cover up the hate with pretty words" (Le Guin 176). This passage highlights the view that despite the utopic intentions of Annares, social flaws persist.

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