Prompt:The readings for this week emphasize the fiction of ideas. What ideas or mind experiments were explored in the works you read for this week? What were some of the implications or consequences of those ideas for those of us living today?
Le Guin's novel tells the story of one Genly Ai, a human whose job is to convince the people of the planet Gethen to join the Ekumen . The Gethenians are an androgynous race, neither male nor female but capable of being both (and neither), depending on the lunar cycle. Genly Ai's struggle is to connect his own understanding of culture and society with one utterly foreign and alien to him, i mean it doesn't get much more foreign than androgynous aliens from a different planet. Ai must learn to communicate and interact with the Gethen as they would expect him to. Of course he has to be willing to be changed by their differences and integrate those differences into his new and expanding view of the universe. If he can't, he'll fail at his mission and no one , neither the Gethenians, the Ekumen, nor himself, will have benefited from any of this experience and the mission would have been a complete failure. In Guins writing we're faced with countless themes , such as : language and communication , religion , gender , politics , the other , duty, man and the natural world (more or less), warfare, and finally love.