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 does Estraven do once he learns of his exile?

2. What is the Sarf?

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

4. What is the purpose of the parade upon which Chapter 1 opens?

5. What is the significance of the title of Chapter 4, "The Nineteenth Day?"

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does darkness follow each child born to Edondurath and his partner?

2. 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?

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

4. What are the primary themes of Chapter 3?

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

6. Who is really in control of Orgoreyn? Is it the Commensals and the Thirty-Three? How does this bode for Genly?

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

8. How does Chapter 7 tie into Genly's story?

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

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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)?

Essay Topic 2

Once again, Genly is asked in Chapter 16 (this time by Estraven) about gender distinction in humans. Genly explains that gender on Earth determines one's activities, outlooks, ethics, manners, and clothing. It's clear that the issue still remains somewhat of a mystery to Estraven, even after Genly explains it, if not also to Genly.

Based on your personal experiences, please explain how, if you were Genly, you would expand upon his explanations of how gender determines one's activities, outlooks, ethics, manners, and clothing. Use the answers he gives in not only Chapter 16 but elsewhere in the novel where others ask him about this, and expand upon them to better explain the concept of gender distinction to Estraven.

Essay Topic 3

Much of Chapter 18, which bears strong themes of isolation, revolves around Genly and Estraven in their tent. Please explain whether or not you believe the tent is an illustration of, or a haven from, the isolation and why. Use passages from the novel (not just Chapter 18) to back up your statements.

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 971 words
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