"Hatred was also left outside": Journeys into the Cold in Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness
2009 (English)In: Cold matters: cultural perceptions of snow, ice and cold / [ed] Heidi Hansson, Cathrine Norberg, Umeå, 2009, 141-155 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
In Ursula K. Le Guin’s science fiction novel The Left Hand of Darkness cold is used on both literal and metaphorical levels as the main character, sent to the planet of Gethen, or Winter, undertakes an inner journey of self discovery. The first part of the article analyses the novel as a fictional travelogue to establish how the boundaries between Self and Other, between observer and studied, are constructed. Animal imagery, adaptation to the cold and the Gethenian’s androgynous sexuality are aspects at focus. The second part of the article centres more specifically on how the cold functions on several levels in the novel. The harsh climate initially works as a divider between Self and Other, and the central themes of fidelity and betrayal are connected to the cold on both literal and metaphorical levels. However, the essentializing aspects of the cold come to erase these and other binaries and enable the protagonist’s understanding of both himself and the encountered culture.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå, 2009. 141-155 p.
, Northern Studies Monographs, ISSN 2000-0405 ; 1
boundaries, self, other, cold, winter, travelogue, science fiction
General Literature Studies
Research subject Literature
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-25654ISBN: 978-91-88466-70-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-25654DiVA: diva2:232923