Tag Archives: Kingdom

Republic,Kingdom, and Gender Roles

The TvTrope that most interested me was the “Shown Their Work” trope. Writers should write about what they have learned in their novels by incorporating their ideas, philosophies, and criticisms within characters, governments, and plot. I agree that there is a point where the writer may take away from the plot by trying to teach the reader something the author has learned through her/his research. Ursula K. Le Guin is interested in Taoism which enters her novel “The Left Hand of Darkness” in a variety of ways. In the case of her novel I found that she didn’t spend enough time expressing her ideas on Taoism enough and how they relate and contradict to Duality.

For instance you have a culture of Gethenian’s who are androgynous, they find harmony as a whole. The criticism is that as humans we are naturally separated and thus find peace when we are together, Le Guin speaks of extremes in separation in the introduction of The Left Hand of Darkness,“almost anything carried to its logical extreme becomes depressing, if not carcinogenic. Le Guin argues that men and women, when non-androgynous, can be unhealthy and cancerous. We see this also in the governments that rule winter; both have their problems when separate. Could they be fixed when combined? Is Le Guinn attaching gender roles, and sexuality to various forms of government? I wanted more from Le Guin in terms of her ideas. I feel as though Le Guin was trying to make a larger argument on government and Taoism but didn’t want to ruin the plot by focusing too long on drawing out these ideas. I feel as though it hurt the novel. My favorite books seem to have plot lines and characters that work harmoniously with the drawing out of an idea, to see something in a similar way as the author.