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Left Hand Of Darkness Essay, Research Paper

Humanity is the condition, quality, or fact of being a human within a community. The definition of truth is things as they are, things as they have been, and things as they are to come. Truth cannot change because it does not reflect any personal perspective. The Left Hand of Darkness illustrates how humans relate towards themselves, friends, and enemies.

Truth cannot be changed by man but can only be distorted. “The shortcomings are in the messenger, not the message.” (106) Genly Ai knew that sometimes when the responsibility of the truth is on one person, it became distorted. The truth can also turn out to be distorted when the people holding the power are in charge of keeping the truth. When truth is unclear, one loses the freedom to decide if they want to support truth or untruth.

A friend fills many roles from tormenter to follower, but serves the main purpose of helping a person survive. In The Left Hand of Darkness, Estraven steals food and supplies for Genly Ai and himself even though he knew stealing is not accepted. “Stealing is a vile crime on Winter; indeed the only man more despised then the thief is the suicide.” (205) Estraven betrays Genly Ai when he abandons him after their long journey by purposely allowing himself to be shot. “‘He could have stopped. He saw the guards. He ran right into the guns.’(Genly Ai) The young physician said nothing for a while. ‘You’re not saying that he killed himself?’ ‘Perhaps-’ ‘That is a bitter thing to say of a friend.’” (286)

This novel proves that the death sentence is not a necessary way to punish one?s enemies. Life on Winter is hard to live. “And I really don’t see how anyone could put much stock in victory or glory after he had spent a winter on Winter, and seen the force of the ice.” (97) As life is not easy, it is sufficient penalty to live on Winter. There is no need to condemn someone to death. “The death-sentence is rare in Karhide. Life on Winter is hard to live and people there generally leave death to nature or to anger, not to law.” (41)

Being part of a group can bring hardships and lack of thinking. When one is part of a large group it can take away his individual rights. Being part of a group requires allegiance or love of a country, which can cause hate for another country. Therefore, by loving one?s country, a person brings hardships to himself. This novel shows that while the relationships between humans may be different, their principals are the same. These principals include the fact that humans will stand-alone when they have the truth on their side, because truth cannot be touched. The relationships throughout The Left Hand of Darkness depend on these truths.


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