The Left Hand of Darkness Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 68 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Left Hand of Darkness.
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Growth and Development

In establishing the basic facts of life on Gethen, this novel raises the fundamental question of "nature" versus "nurture": which cultural traits are learned and passed on from generations, and which are direct results of one's immediate surroundings? Since the people on this planet have no gender distinctions, their society is less restrictive about where citizens can go and what jobs they can take; the phrase "The king is pregnant" may sound strange to Earth ears because the associations that go with the word "king" are not the same as those that go with "pregnancy," but nobody on Gethen is fazed by the announcement. What does startle them is that humans are capable of sexuality every day, instead of being on monthly cycles. The effects of having sexuality kept aside for certain occasions are, first, that when they are in their "kemmer" or their sexual cycle...

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This section contains 1,086 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Left Hand of Darkness Study Guide
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Novels for Students
The Left Hand of Darkness from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.