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The Left Hand of Darkness

The Left Hand of Darkness

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Duty Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"Yes indeed, yes indeed! And gratitude's a noble, rare emotion, much praised by the poets. Rare above all here in Erhenrang, no doubt because it's impracticable." (1.31)

One would think gratitude would almost be a duty. Someone does you a favor, hey, be a little grateful. But Tibe finds the practice impractical. What can you say; he's a politician through and through.

Quote #2

There is only one First Mobile. The first news from the Ekumen on any world is spoken by one voice, one man present in the flesh, present and alone. […] One voice speaking truth is a greater force than fleets and armies, given time; plenty of time […]. (3.1)

Here, we get a nice little glimpse at Ai's duty and just how much responsibility is on his shoulders. Also, can you imagine how lonely he is?

Quote #3

It is hard, I found, to be called traitor. Strange how hard it is, for it's an easy name to call another man; a name that sticks, that fits, that convinces. I was half convinced myself. (6.7)

Estraven was only doing what he felt his duty was, but he was dubbed a traitor. We also find it interesting at how one man's traitor is another's dutiful hero. It's weird how the two mix. How do you know who's right?