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A Wizard of Earthsea

A Wizard of Earthsea


by Ursula K. Le Guin

Coming of Age Quotes in A Wizard of Earthsea

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

He grew wild, a thriving weed, a tall, quick boy, loud and proud and full of temper. (1.3)

Le Guin nicely gives us this snapshot of what Ged is like at the beginning of the book. Notice her list of descriptive adjectives – he's wild, tall, quick, loud, proud, and full of temper. But also notice that she sneaks in a metaphor here: Ged is "a thriving weed." We'll see if he stays that way over the course of the book. (Spoiler alert: he won't.)

Quote #2

It might seem strange that on an island fifty miles wide, in a village under cliffs that stare out forever on the sea, a child may grow to manhood never having stepped in a boat or dipped his finger in salt water, but so it is. (2.62)

Ged has a very limited view of the world at the beginning of the book – and we mean that both metaphorically (Ged doesn't really understand a lot of things) and literally (Ged hasn't seen much of the world yet).

Quote #3

But then he too began to look at the Lady of O, wondering if indeed this was such mortal beauty as the old tales told of. (3.84)

If you read the Harry Potter books, then a lot of A Wizard of Earthsea will seem familiar. Here's one major difference, though: Harry Potter has a love interest (or several), whereas there's no such thing in Earthsea. Ged grows up in several ways, but he only deals very little with something that is part of growing up – sexuality.  Why do you think Le Guin leaves that out?

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