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. Why does the Ekumen send only one representative to Karhide?

2. Is it possible for a Gethenian to change gender from one period of sexual activity to another?

3. Whose name comes up during Estraven's dinner conversation with Commensals Yegey and Obsle?

4. What themes are highlighted in the story told in Chapter 4?

5. What is the nature of the request made by Genly Ai in Chapter 6?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why is it wise for Estraven to obtain his hunter's license and learn how to hunt while en route to the farm where Genly is imprisoned?

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

4. What is the date of the parade?

5. What is the nature of the relationship between Karhide and Orgoreyn?

6. When Getheren 'took back his name and shadow,' what effect did it have on Shath and why?

7. What does the answer given to Genly by the Foretellers foreshadow?

8. What themes are present in Chapter 5?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Why do you believe that the King chose to ask the Prime World, Hain, the question, "What makes a man a traitor?" Back up your opinion with passages from the novel.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Explain how the different viewpoints concerning good and evil expressed by the Orgota religion, Yomesh, and the Karhidish religion, Handdara, affect how each country treats Genly Ai, at least on the surface.

(see the answer keys)

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