Tuesday, August 30, 2011

LHoD -- Shadows!

You didn't think that I'd forgotten that I was writing about Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Shadows, did you? Well, I hadn't forgotten, I just got slightly side tracked.

I'm back to look at more references to shadows!

SPOILERS

"Dark, in dark clothing, still and shadowy, he sat at my elbow, the specter at the feast" (122).

Description of Estraven.

"Rich land is scarce in Kerm, and a Domain's pride is in the length of its borders, and the lords of Kerm Land are proud and umbrageous men, casting black shadows" (124).

In the chapter "Estraven the Traitor" chapter 9. I'm not sure what to make of it.

"Each of htem was comely, strong of frame and fine of features, straight and dark" (125).

Same chapter as before...Arek and Therem are described as dark. CH 9

Fire... (126)

The fire of kemmer. Casting shadows, I guess. Chapter 9.

"[...] he was dark of nature and silent [...]" (128)

The young Therem in chapter 9.

"The bleak even light from outside fell on his dark face" (131).

No longer chapter 9.

This is the light of Orgoreyn falling on Therem's face...Orgoreyn being light, and Therem being naturally dark.

"Everything had gone all right, I thought, until Estraven had appeared shadowlike at my side last night. [. . . .] I saw that in the light of our brief morning interview it wasn't very odd" (145).

Again, Therem described as being dark, and then the "interview" being described as being in the light. Sorta.

"The great buildings [. . .] were so blurred by rain in the liquid glare of the high streetlights that they looked as if they were melting" (146).

This seems to be indicating that even though light can enlighten someone, it can also blind or wash away things. Might it also suggest a connection between light and the element of water?

"It was, I thought, as if they did not cast shadows" (147).

Perhaps, if they're so surrounded by light, they don't cast shadows...and what are shadows...what makes life possible to live.

"[...] perhaps I do not really want Orgoreyn to prove more enlightened than Karhide, to take the risk and win the priase and leave Karhide in the shadow" (150).

Surprising, considering that those of the Handdara seek out the shadows.

"He is infinitely a stranger, and I a fool, to let my shadow cross the light of the hope he brings us" (151).

So Therem definitely seems to be seeking out the light...maybe that's why on page 233 he refers to the Handdara as "they" and not "we"? That might finally be making sense to me now...and it gives his character a whole new angle.

"To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not tot answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness" (153-4).

Here we see darkness being listed alongside stress. Does that mean that there's a connection?

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