The Left Hand of Darkness - progress. Since no fundamental...

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Daniel Pearson Ms. Shackelford Journal Entry Gender Dichotomy as a Societal Driving Force Typically, one thinks of emphasizing the differences between men and women as an inherently sexist task. Ursula K. Le Guin, however, reveals the importance of this fundamental gender dichotomy in her novel The Left Hand of Darkness – without the antagonistic pairing, people would lose the ambitious, progressive qualities that characterize society. Le Guin’s thought-experiment novel depicts a society consistently entirely of hermaphrodites. As a society without gender differences, Gethenians lack a concrete us versus them mentality, which leads to a more stable world. There are no wars, though skirmishes and murder both still exist. Along with a lack of war comes a lack of desire to
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Unformatted text preview: progress. Since no fundamental competition exists, suggesting an improvement on an already successful aspect of life yields variants of the question Why would we do that? This societal hesitance, Genly finds, forms the primary reason behind Gethenian resistance to joining the Ekumen. Furthermore, it forms the Gethenian philosophy that idealizes ignorance and shies away from discovery. Although a subjective matter, most people would agree that a progressive society has more positive attributes than a content one. As such, Le Guin demonstrates the necessity of a fundamental gender dichotomy to fuel a progressive, ambitious society in its unending quest to improve upon itself....
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This note was uploaded on 03/18/2008 for the course ENGL 191 taught by Professor Shackelford,laura during the Fall '04 term at Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

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The Left Hand of Darkness - progress. Since no fundamental...

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