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A Wizard of Earthsea

A Wizard of Earthsea


by Ursula K. Le Guin

Supernatural Quotes in A Wizard of Earthsea

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

Now dread came into the Kargs' hearts and they began to seek one another, not the villagers, in the uncanny mist. (1.35)

Thankfully, our protagonist isn't one of these Kargs, because then the book would be mostly about them running away from unexplained supernatural things. But it's useful to start out the book with an example of someone (the Kargs) facing the supernatural and reacting as we probably would. Even when Ged gets betters at magic and is using it just for fun, it's good to remember that some people aren't so used to magic.

Quote #2

As he read it, puzzling out the runes and symbols one by one, a horror came over him. His eyes were fixed, and he could not lift them till he had finished reading all the spell. (2.40)

Even though Ged is a powerful magician, it's useful to remember that he's not totally in control of the supernatural business. Here, he starts to read a spell that forces him to finish reading it.

Quote #3

As their eyes met, a bird sang aloud in the branches of the tree. In that moment Ged understood the singing of the bird, and the language of the water falling in the basin of the fountain, and the shape of the clouds, and the beginning and end of the wind that stirred the leaves: it seemed to him that he himself was a word spoken by the sunlight. (3.13)

Language is a very important part of the supernatural in A Wizard of Earthsea – for instance, you have to know a true name to work a spell. Here's a moment where we see language sort of break out in a supernatural fashion – Ged seems to understand the language of the bird and the water. Later, when talking to Yarrow, Ged will describe the world as a word, so this is a slight foreshadowing of that idea.

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