Study Guide

The Lathe of Heaven Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

By Ursula K. LeGuin

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Under the Dark Shadow

In this part of the rebirth story, the hero falls under the shadow of the dark power. Well, guess who that is? Dr. Haber? Ding ding ding.

George falls under Dr. Haber's spell when he is forced into therapy. Haber is kind of sketchy, but George is not really sure what's sketchy about him yet.

The Threat Recedes

After a while, Dr. Haber doesn't seem so bad. We mean, all he wants is to improve humanity, right? How bad could that be?

At this point, everything seems to be going remarkably well. Maybe there was no problem to begin with? And hey, maybe Dr. Haber really will cure George. That would be cool…

The Hero Is Imprisoned

Well, there goes any hope we had for Dr. Haber being a good guy. It becomes clear that he's manipulating George and changing the world to suit his own fantasies. Sure, he's doing some things that help, but his changes seem to make things worse rather than better. Still, there's nothing George can do; he feels completely frozen in Dr. Haber's grip.

The Dark Power Triumphs

This is what we were all worried about: after researching George's dreams, Dr. Haber has finally figured out the secret to having effective dreams, and now he can dream for himself. Yeah, well, when he does, it's basically the worst thing that has ever happened. Reality starts to melt, people and buildings are sucked up by an empty void, and it looks like the world is about to end.

Yeah, not exactly a rosy picture.

The Miraculous Redemption

But suddenly George is imbued with a strength that we've never seen in him, thanks to a psychic meet-up he has with some aliens. George uses this newfound power to stop Dr. Haber and return the world to a state of normalcy. Well, normal in a relative sense, that is—this world is still kind of messed up by our standards.

So, yeah, George is finally out of Dr. Haber's grip. He gets to do a job that he enjoys, and the rule of nature is restored. But the best thing of all is that Heather Lelache is back. Now she and George can finally have that date.