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. Are there any long-term effects of Getheren's long exposure to the cold?

2. Why does Berosty kill his kemmering after his return from Thangering Fastness and Weaver Odren?

3. What happens to Estraven when he tries to leave Kuseben by boat?

4. Why does Genly return to Erhenrang in Chapter 8 after spending his summer on the Eastern Coast?

5. When does the story in Chapter 2 take place?

Short Essay Questions

1. With what does this story say that Lord Berosty is obsessed with?

2. How are Genly and Estraven's sense of personal responsibility for their fellow man different?

3. Why is the Shath Domain, Getheren's homeland, experiencing poverty and widespread illness near the end of Chapter 2?

4. In Chapter 18, what effect does Genly say that Estraven's being in kemmer hadson him?

5. Why does Herbor, Lord Berosty's kemmering, offer his life for a Foretelling by the Weaver Odren after Berosty locked himself away?

6. What happens to a pregnant Gethenian's body?

7. What are the primary themes of Chapter 3?

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

9. What does Genly say to the Commensals that he never mentioned to King Argaven?

10. What piece of advice does Estraven give Genly while explaining to him what the king will do once he receives word of Genly's capture?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

In Chapter 6, we realize that Estraven is on Genly's side and is trying to advocate for him. This contradicts what the king told Genly during his meeting with him in Chapter 3, which was that Estraven had been counseling the king against cooperating with Genly. Please compare and contrast, using examples from the book, what King Argaven told Genly during his meeting about Estraven, as well as what Estraven told Genly in Chapter 1 about no longer being able to help him, with what Estraven has actually been doing to help Genly. As we know, sometimes words and actions don't always match up. Additionally, explain why you believe Estraven continued to help Genly even though he told Genly he could not do so.

Essay Topic 3

Think about Estraven's statement regarding patriotism, "What is love of one's country; is it hate of one's uncountry? Then it's not a good thing." How do the inhabitants of Orgoreyn, and those of Karhide, show their patriotism for their respective countries? Back your statements up with excerpts from the novel, then compare and contrast both Orgoreyn and Karhide's expressions of patriotism with how patriotism is expressed and displayed in your own country. What do you think is good about how Orgoreyn and Karhide express their patriotism that perhaps should be adopted in your country, and what about how patriotism is expressed in your country should be adopted by Orgoreyn and Karhide (if that were possible)?

(see the answer keys)

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