The Left Hand of Darkness
How we cite our quotes:
"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.
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?
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?