Ursula K. Le Guin's Choice Term Paper

Length: 5 pages Subject: Literature Type: Term Paper Paper: #10146925 Related Topics: Dystopia, Utopia, Narrative, Science Fiction
Excerpt from Term Paper :

The light shines through it, and the dark enters it. Borne, flung, tugged from anywhere to anywhere, for in the deep sea there is no compass but nearer and farther, higher and lower, the jellyfish bangs and sways; pulses move slight and quick within it, as the vast diurnal pulses beat in the moondriven sea. Hanging, swaying, pulsing, the most vulnerable and insubstantial creature, it has for its defense the violence and.power of the whole ocean, to which it has entrusted its being, its going, and its will.[...]What will the creature made all of seadrift do on the dry sand of daylight; what will the mind do, each morning, waking?"(Le Guin, 3)

Thus, there are some parts in which the narrator gives her point-of-view directly, like the one quoted above, but it is essentially the same as George's and Heather's. Although dreams and the unconscious do influence reality, this is positive as opposed to the willed, forced influence proposed by Haber. According to George, "everything dreams," matter itself dreams by the play of forms and substances. However, it is vital that a conscious mind be a part of the whole, that is of the unconscious itself, and not try to manage it:

Everything dreams, 'George warns Haber, as the psychiatrist prepares to produce effective dreaming in himself: 'The play of form, of being, is the dreaming of substance. Rocks have their dreams, and the earth changes.... But when the mind becomes conscious, when the rate of evolution speeds up, then you have to be careful. Careful of the world. You must learn the way. You must learn the skill, the arts, the limits. A conscious mind must be part of the whole, intentionally and carefully -- as the rock is part of the whole unconsciously.'" (Le Guin, 132)

Thus, whenever his dreams fail to become effective George is capable to be satisfied with what is actually there: "He was living almost like a young child, among actualities only" (Le Guin, 125). Thus, George's point-of-view denies the utilitarian one expressed by Haber:

Things don't have purposes, as if the universe were a machine, where every party has a useful function. What's the function of a galaxy? I don't know if our


What does matter is that we're a part. Like a thread in a cloth or a grass-blade in a field. It is and we are. What we do is like wind blowing on the grass."(Le Guin, 103)

The last and perhaps most effective point-of-view is that of the female character in the novel, Heather. George's wife sees her husband as a strong man, counteracting thus Haber's view. He is everything, because he is not willful, and because he does not attempt to be more than he is. Thus, Heather emphasizes the main idea of the novel and shapes the reader's response to the book: the world should be seen it its wholeness, and not fragmentary and willfully: "It was more than dignity. Integrity? Wholeness? Like a block of wood not carved. The infinite possibility, the unlimited, and unqualified wholeness of being of the uncommitted, the nonacting, the uncarved: the being who, being nothing but himself, is everything. Briefly she saw him thus, and what struck her most, of that insight, was his strength. He was the strongest person she had ever known, because he could not be moved away from the center." (Le Guin, 155)

Heather is probably the character that wins the reader most with her point-of-view, as she expresses love and interest for the actual world and for the actual humanity as they are known, also revealing the complexity and profundity of all the things in the universe: "Are there really people without resentment, without hate, she wondered. People who never go cross-grained to the universe? Who recognize evil, and resist evil, and yet are utterly unaffect by it? Of course there are. Countless, the living and the dead. Those who have returned in pure compassion to the wheel, those who follow the way that cannot be followed without knowing they follow it, the sharecropper's wife in Alabama and the lama in Tibet [...]and all the others. There is not one of us who has not known them.." (Le Guin, 160)

In the Lathe of Heaven, the narrator makes the reader respond to her work by using three points-of-view, intercepted by a few direct observations from herself. Haber's point-of-view is used to show that the attempt to control reality with the aid of the mind is essentially wrong and usually results in a dystopia. As opposed to this Heather and George hint that the world is a whole, in which the human mind combines with everything else indeed, but in its unconscious form, deprived of will. These are the "normal dreams" which change nothing, but exist as part of the whole: "They danced the dance among all the other…

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