wizard of earthSea: the styLe of writing

What stood out the most about Le Guin’s overall writing style in Chapter 1 of the novel?

In Ursula Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea, I notice how concisely she jumps from scene to scene, leaving only the essential portions of the story to be heard. She describes Duny’s life by only describing certain events in detail and filling the void in the timeline with a few sentences of description. For example, when the entire learning of magic scene from Duny’s aunt was summarized with “she taught him honest craft;” the book went into no detail about how the process happened or any character development between the two characters, but merely that the event had occurred (7). Another instance of this happening is when we see that “the witch was one who fled, hiding alone in a cave,” we have only the essential bit of information that we need, which is the location of the witch. Ursula Le Guin wastes no sentences to describe the events of the internal conflict of the witch or any hesitations she had, but only focuses on crucial parts of the story which progress the plot (10). One of the most obvious uses of this technique is right at the start of the story where Le Guin foreshadows the plot by saying “His life is told of in the Deed of Ged and in many songs, but this is a tale of the time before his fame before the songs were made,” which provides us with something to look forward to even though it is vague and short. Consequentially, I notice Le Guin enjoys telling a story by giving in-depth segments and short lines to fill in the blanks, which adds a sort of mystical feel to the readings.

the wise man is not so wise

Statement: The wisest person is the person who admits he knows nothing.

I disagree with this statement because the wisest person would know that he does know something. How can you even admit to knowing nothing if you know nothing? If you knew nothing, that would mean you could not speak or even comprehend thought because you do not know how. It is not possible for someone to know absolutely nothing due to the nature of knowing something. Even seeing a picture allows you to know that there is a certain colour in front of you, a certain shape, and even a certain pattern. The person who claims to be a person who knows nothing is either overly modest or pretending to be modest. Truly believing that you know nothing is not wise, but foolish because you misinterpret fundamental laws of knowing that society has established.