Study Guide

The Lathe of Heaven Chapter 3

By Ursula K. LeGuin

Chapter 3

  • George leaves work at 3:30 and heads home.
  • On the way, we learn a lot about George's world. It's overcrowded, there are tons of subways, war is happening in the Middle East, and global warming has finally screwed up the environment beyond repair. Entirely new cities have formed where other cities had turned into wastelands. No city in this world seems like a great place to live.
  • It's back to Dr. Haber's office, and this time George is not as impressed as he was before. He realizes that everything about the office is fake, cheap, and faux-fancy. Not only that, but Dr. Haber is also not exactly what he appears.
  • George talks about the war that seems to be happening with Afghanistan, and Haber asks if it worries him.
  • After that conversation, it's time for another round of hypnosis. Haber tells George to dream about horses again, and he does. Only this time, the horse takes a giant poop in the shape of Mount Hood. Yeah, you read that right. And guess what? When George wakes up, the mountain is on the mural again.
  • So Mount Hood is actually a pile of horse poop?
  • Anyway, for some reason this is really exciting for Dr. Haber.
  • George, on the other hand, doesn't feel as happy as Haber does. He tries to talk Haber into stopping his dreams, but the doctor won't have it; for him, dreams are a necessity.
  • Okay, time for a new dream. George dreams of John F. Kennedy bumping into Dr. Haber, and then he dreams about the rain stopping. And guess what? It does.
  • After all this, George feels tired and goes home. On his subway ride, he thinks about the absurdity of his life.
  • Soon, George starts thinking about his therapy sessions with Dr. Haber. He wonders why he can't remember anything, and then he starts thinking that Dr. Haber must be instructing him to dream about specific things.
  • Which means that Dr. Haber somehow knows the truth.
  • George is so excited that even the people next to him can feel his happiness.
  • George heads home, full of this brand-new news. But once he gets to his apartment, he has second thoughts. If Dr. Haber knows, why hasn't he said anything? What will he do now that he knows?
  • Those are some pretty good questions, and we sure don't trust this doctor guy at all.