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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #4

It was not a ghost of human man, nor was it a creature of the Old Powers of Earth, and yet it seemed it might have some link with these. In the Matter of the Dragons, which Ged read very closely, there was a tale of an ancient Dragonlord who had come under the sway of one of the Old Powers, a speaking stone that lay in a far northern land. (4.106)

Ged tries to find out about the shadow monster while he's still on Roke, but it falls outside the usual categories – not a human, not a dragon, not even one of the Old Powers. Most of the other supernatural stuff has popped up in other fantasy works, but the shadow monster … not so much. So, in some ways, we're in the same position as Ged – the shadow monster is new to all of us.

Quote #5

The stars above the hill were no stars his eyes had ever seen. (5.21)

These are the stars in the land of the dead. We don't see the land of the dead too frequently in fantasy novels, but it's a pretty common thing in earlier mythologies. (For instance, Greek heroes are always going there.) This is another way in which Le Guin plays with our expectations of fantasy – instead of using the traditional fantasy stuff, she uses some earlier mythological stuff.

Quote #6

Just as he turned Ged saw a change in his face, a slurring and shifting of the features, as if for a moment something had changed him, used him, looking out through his eyes sidelong at Ged. (6.60)

We confess that we love when Le Guin describes someone's face as "slurring," which is a word we only use when describing someone who's slurring his or her words. Using it to describe a face blurs the line a bit between stuff and words – which is part of the supernatural in this world.

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