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 answer (in part) does the king receive?

2. What is the Gethenians' sexual orientation, according to Chapter 3?

3. What is the bridge on the river Ey?

4. Between which two domains is the blood feud in Chapter 9?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. How does betrayal figure in Chapter 9?

2. Isolation is once again highlighted in Chapter 15, and is now shared between Genly Ai and Estraven. What Native American saying fits this chapter, and what does the shared isolation force Genly and Estraven to do for the first time?

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

4. What is the date of the parade?

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

6. What does the story in Chapter 9 foreshadow?

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. Why does the Lord of Estre decide to raise the baby that was given to the warder as a son of the hearth?

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 Chapter 3 reveal to us about Genly's nature?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

How does Estraven continue to work to help Genly see the truth of what he is telling him, as well as to convince Genly that Estraven is on his side? Back your statements up with excerpts from the novel.

Essay Topic 3

Think back on the various dichotomies presented in "The Left Hand of Darkness," such as Gethenian's dual sexuality; the coldness of the landscape vs. the warmth of Genly and Estraven's tent; betrayal and love, etc. How do these tie into the theme of light and darkness, and how do they tie into the title of the book, which is part of a Gethenian poem that states light is the left hand of darkness and darkness is the right hand of light? Additionally, what is the poem just quoted trying to say? What does it mean for light to be the left hand of darkness and darkness the right hand of light?

(see the answer keys)

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