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A Wizard of Earthsea

A Wizard of Earthsea


by Ursula K. Le Guin

Education Quotes in A Wizard of Earthsea

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

Much of her lore was mere rubbish and humbug, nor did she know the true spells from the false. (1.19)

This is Ged's aunt – and it could be Ged if he were left alone, just to learn by himself or from other minor witches and wizards. This kind of makes it seem like this book has a pro-education stance.

Quote #2

"When you know the fourfoil in all its seasons root and leaf and flower, by sight and scent and seed, then you may learn its true name, knowing its being: which is more than its use. What, after all, is the use of you? or of myself? Is Gont Mountain useful, or the Open Sea?" Ogion went on a halfmile or so, and said at last, "To hear, one must be silent." (2.15)

Education is tied up with several of the other issues, like language and identity. That is, in order to cast his spells, Ged needs to learn true names for all the things in the world – he has to understand what they are, not what they're good for. Ogion also reminds Ged that he needs to be a little more patient, which is not exactly Ged's strong suit at school.

Quote #3

So bolstering up his pride, he set all his strong will on the work they gave him, the lessons and crafts and histories and skills taught by the grey-cloaked Masters of Roke, who were called the Nine. (3.54)

Le Guin comes out and tells us very clearly about the school and how it's set up – which is good because it's not like she can just say, "Oh, it's just like the magic school you went to." Because we've never been to magic school, she has to tell us that there are nine masters and what they teach. (Which is why it's so funny to us when she's describing the Master Patterner and says that no one knows what the Patterner teaches (4.107).)

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