• Ayesha Dhurue

In The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

An intelligent and prolific science-fiction writer at heart, Ursula K. Le Guin wrote The Left Hand of Darkness abiding by an expansive understanding of the universe. The story is tied to the uniqueness as well as the sameness of human nature. How can humanity exist and prosper without gender? How does the understanding of a self dictate one’s existence when it is unified by a construct as concrete as Duality? This book is imaginatively stimulating. It has many underlying themes but what really stands out is the awareness of one’s gender. And, for that matter, the emotional and psychological aspects of man and woman. And while the descriptions remain vivid as ever, there is a sense of lingering ambivalence in the way the characters have been mapped. Depriving humanity of the default templates of gender, the story deepens and navigates the sea of complexity. How, at the core of any human experience, lies genuine exploration and an animated kind of universe. In The Left Hand of Darkness, in Ursula K. Le Guin’s universe, the search for meaning is tied together with a person’s language, expression, and way of being.