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 name of the Investigator who documents Gethenians' androgyny?

2. How far is Rer from Karhide?

3. How does Genly Ai spend the summer?

4. Do Gethenians become pregnant as males, or as females?

5. It's been pointed out many times in "The Left Hand of Darkness," thus far, that the Gethenians are androgynous. What does "androgynous" mean?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

3. Why, in Chapter 15, are Genly and Estraven still calling each other by their last names (respectively, Ai and Therem)?

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

5. How does betrayal figure in Chapter 9?

6. What does Argaven do when he learns of Genly's whereabouts in Chapter 20?

7. In Chapter 19, how is betrayal portrayed?

8. 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?

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

10. As the ice melts and runs into the mouths of sleepers, what substance does it become?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Near the end of Chapter 5, Faxe tells Genly that the "uncertainty of life makes life possible." Think about what this means, and explain how the uncertainty of life makes life possible. Use examples from the novel, as well as an uncertain time in your own life, as an example.

Essay Topic 2

Chapter 9 contains an element of mystery regarding Estraven I, as well as the origins of Estraven II and the identity of the man who left Estraven II with the warder at Estre Gate. In your opinion, did Estraven I really die? Who are the parents of Estraven II? What is the identity of the man who left Estraven II with the warder? Back up your opinion with proof from Chapter 9.

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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