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A Wizard of Earthsea

A Wizard of Earthsea


by Ursula K. Le Guin

Choices Quotes in A Wizard of Earthsea

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #7

"But I know this, the Old Powers of earth are not for men to use. They were never given into our hands, and in our hands they work only ruin. Ill means, ill end: I was not drawn here, but driven here, and the force that drove me works to my undoing. I cannot help you." (7.52)

We like the distinction that Ged draws here between being drawn and being driven. We're fans of it because it may be true (he's driven by the shadow monster), but it also shows the way he's thinking about choice now, which is that he thinks he doesn't have any choice: he's either pulled to the stone or pushed by the shadow. When, in fact, as Ogion will point out, he can also do some pushing of his own.

Quote #8

There was a great wish in him to stay here on Gont, and foregoing all wizardry and venture, forgetting all power and horror, to live in peace like any man on the known, dear ground of his home land. That was his wish; but his will was other. (8.3)

Ged may want to live a normal life, but he chooses not to right here (after he's scared away the shadow). And why does he choose not to? Because he feels as if he has some responsibility to fix what he messed up in Chapter 4.

Quote #9

On the dock Yarrow stood and watched them go, as sailor's wives and sisters stand on all the shores of all Earthsea watching their men go out on the sea. (9.84)

We're mostly interested in what choices Ged makes (or what choices get made for him), but let's not forget that other people also experience these same choices. For instance, Ged wants to go shadow-hunting, so Vetch chooses to go shadow-hunting (or perhaps Vetch feels compelled to go shadow-hunting). As a result, Yarrow feels compelled (or perhaps chooses) to wait and watch for them. 

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