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 do the Investigator's field notes say about being a First Mobile on Winter?

2. What is the nineteenth day of the month known as?

3. What does Genly do during his time in Otherhord, while he is waiting to be taken to the Foretellers?

4. What happens for the first time in Chapter 6?

5. What does Estraven do once he learns of his exile?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is the significance of the completion of the Arch of River Gate?

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

4. Why does Herbor, Lord Berosty's kemmering, offer his life for a Foretelling by the Weaver Odren after Berosty locked himself away?

5. The Pering Ice and Gobrin Ice are mentioned in Chapter 2. What significance does this have?

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

7. Why does the First Ekumen send only one representative (Genly) to King Argaven to conduct negotiations with him on its behalf?

8. 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?

9. 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?

10. Is the information presented in Chapter 7 presented as fact, or as the investigator's opinion?

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

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.

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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