Nov 10, 2017 in Analysis

Left Hand of Darkness

Gender refers to the characteristics defining a person as either being male or female (Evans141). Gender roles on the other hand refer to social and behavioral customs that are taken to be particular to either a male or a female. Gender roles in a society are manly defined by the culture of that society and its cultural values. Gender is important in culture because different cultural duties should be done by a specific gender. In The left hand of darkness, Le Guin creates a society that has no gender difference. In this society, sexual difference has no role, though there is still a lot of love and jealousy. The point that Le Guin is driving home is that gender difference is not a hindrance to the living of people in a society, and that it is a way through which gender biasness can be eliminated.

The fear of the other is displayed where we see that the Gethenians are afraid of Genly Ai since they see him as a stranger who might cause a war in their land. Estraven tells Genly that… “There are some persons in court who are, in your phrase, in favor of the king, but who do not favor your presence or your mission here.’’ On the other hand, Genly Ai is also afraid of the Gethenians. We see him thinking to himself that “Some Gethenians, I thought, are like such animals (a cat) with deep bright eyes that do not change expression when they speak (Le Guin 4).

As a film director, I would cast Genly Ai in the lead roles because he is the main character of the story. The parts that would be include keeping it a true adaptation would be when Genly faces difficulties and hardships in living with the Gethenians. I would film this section in an environment where there is cold and freezing to illustrate Genly’s struggle to adapt to the planets climate. Society might not appreciate the part of having gender indifference in the planet because it is used to the two the two genders being clearly distinct (Evans 156).

At the end of the novel, there is hope for Genly to achieve his goal, especially being in partner with Estraven. He goes to see Estraven’s son because the family is distraught since Estraven is still considered a betrayer. Estravens’s son embodies human progress in the novel, as he seems curious just like his father. He asks Ai to tell him about other worlds and lives that he has seen. This hope represents completion of Ai’s mission.

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