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 bridge on the river Ey?

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

3. Could the Foretellers answer the Lord of Shorth's question? What happened?

4. What does Genly carry in the case that he brings to his meeting with King Argaven?

5. Who finds Getheren on the ninth day after he leaves his homeland?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Genly's impression of Orgoreyn?

2. Why are the non-human prisoners drugged, aside from interrogation purposes?

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

4. 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?

5. What is the date of the parade?

6. What is kemmering?

7. Investigator Oppong makes a comment about First Mobiles, specifically that they must be self-assured because their pride will suffer. How does this comment relate to Genly?

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

9. What is the Thangering Fastness?

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

Compare and contrast kemmering and love, as explained in "The Left Hand of Darkness," with marriage and love in today's society.

Essay Topic 2

Think about the way Genly and other political prisoners are treated, how they are transported, how they are fed, and how--as well as where--they are housed. What real-life groups of people who behaved and were treated similarly, during what period of history, do the Orgota and their prisoners resemble? In your response, make sure you quote passages from Chapter 13 and show how they parallel the real-life event or events you choose to discuss.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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