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. What is the gender of the inhabitants of Gethen?

2. What does Genly learn during his lunch with the local politicians?

3. What are the two themes that are introduced in Chapter 1?

4. What is Estraven II known throughout history as for his actions?

5. The relationship between which two characters is introduced in Chapter 1?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Estraven enter dothe after he arrives at the farm where Genly is being held?

2. What does Estraven do to make Genly angry with him? What is the significance, to Genly, of Estraven's behavior?

3. What does Genly do during the time it takes him to journey to the border between Karhide and Orgoreyn? How is he treated during his travels?

4. What theme is brought out in Chapter 11, and how is it brought out?

5. 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?

6. What does Sorve, Estraven's son, ask Genly to tell him about?

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

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

9. What behavior exhibited by Genly in chapter 19 when he goes into town to make a transmission to the Star Ship, shows that he has grown in his ability to be patient?

10. What does Estraven accomplish in Chapter 6 concerning Genly Ai?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Chapter 10, Slose wants to make a religion out of Genly. What led him to this odd request, and how would this have benefited, or harmed, both Genly Ai and Orgoreyn?

Essay Topic 2

In Chapter 14, Genly's prejudice against the Gethenians is plainly apparent. How does this prejudice hamper his mission to convince Gethen to become part of the Ekumen of Known Worlds? Please provide examples from the novel that illustrate his prejudice, and that show how his prejudice keeps interfering with the accomplishment of his mission.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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