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"Hatred was also left outside": Journeys into the Cold in Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
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)
Abstract [en]

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.
Series
Northern Studies Monographs, ISSN 2000-0405 ; 1
Keyword [en]
boundaries, self, other, cold, winter, travelogue, science fiction
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-25654ISBN: 978-91-88466-70-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-25654DiVA: diva2:232923
Available from: 2010-02-25 Created: 2009-08-26 Last updated: 2010-02-25Bibliographically approved

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"Hatred was also left outside"(191 kB)412 downloads
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Lindgren Leavenworth, Maria
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf