The Left Hand of Darkness Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who is waiting for Estraven at the city gate when he arrives in Kuseben?

2. When a Gethenian becomes sexually active and finds a partner, what happens?

3. What is the Foretellers' answer to the question that Genly asks them?

4. What is the result of Genly's meeting with the king?

5. Why does Genly wind up on a communal farm?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the date of the parade?

2. What themes are present in Chapter 5?

3. What communicates the imagery of facade and veneer in Chapter 10?

4. What is different about the love in the fable told in Chapter 9?

5. What does the story in Chapter 9 foreshadow?

6. What "tale" of his planet does Genly tell Asra?

7. In Chapter 5, Genly frets about the slowness of the boats and complains about how long his mission is taking. Why do you think Genly is so impatient throughout Chapter 5?

8. In Chapter 16, Genly keeps Estraven from falling during the earthquake and teaches him to play a game. Estraven restores the skin on Genly's face when it becomes frostbitten. What does this show about their relationship?

9. Why is Genly's decision to take money to Estraven on Ashe's behalf significant?

10. After the reception for Genly is called off, what is the advice Estraven gives to him?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Why is weather so important, both metaphorically, and literally, as explained in "The Left Hand of Darkness?"

Essay Topic 2

Was it a necessary or a needless thing for Estraven to allow Tibe's men to kill him? Why or why not? Did Estraven allow his death to happen in order to protect Genly, or did he commit suicide to avoid deportation to Orgoreyn? Please support your answers with specific references to the text.

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter 17, it is once again stated that death is the only constant in life and that every child has a shadow following it.

1) Do you agree with the idea that death is the only constant in life? Why or why not? Whichever your position, back it up with quotes from or references to the novel.

2) What does "every child has a shadow following it" mean? What is the shadow? Support your statement with excerpts from the novel.

(see the answer keys)

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