Study Guide

The Lathe of Heaven Chapter 6

By Ursula K. LeGuin

Chapter 6

  • George goes back to his apartment after the appointment with Dr. Haber… and by that we mean he goes to his new apartment, which is suddenly bigger and fancier than the old one.
  • George starts freaking out. He just killed six billion people with his dream, and he sees no way to get out of Dr. Haber's clutches. He's not sure what to do, or even if he should do anything. Dr. Haber only wants the best for mankind, right?
  • Then Heather Lelache calls. George is happy to hear from her, and not just in the platonic way, if you know what we mean. They make a date to meet each other for lunch on Monday.
  • Even though he was happy at first, by the end of the conversation George is not too happy, because it seems like Heather can't remember anything that happened.
  • To console himself, George has a one-man food-eating contest in his kitchen. He gobbles down an insane amount of food, and that makes him feel a little better. Hey, whatever works, we guess.
  • Before we know it, it's time to go to George's daily appointment with Dr. Haber. On the way there, he thinks about the new world he lives in.
  • George dreamed up a Crash that killed 6 billion people in ten years, but even though so many people died, the world remained fundamentally the same. There was still pollution, and there was still warfare.
  • When he gets to Dr. Haber's office, George asks why the doctor won't admit that he's using George's dreams to change the world. Dr. Haber basically brushes George off, acting as if he's totally crazy.
  • Dr. Haber wants to change things, but George thinks that things should be left alone.
  • The argument doesn't change anything, and George ends up dreaming Haber's dreams anyway. Dr. Haber tries to get George to dream about peace.
  • George dreams about a goose. Then about stars. Then about a giant star that gets bigger and bigger and finally explodes.
  • George wakes up screaming, sweaty and scared. If that's how he dreams about peace, we don't want to see him dream about war.
  • Turns out that the way he changed reality this time was by imagining hostile aliens taking control of the moon and threatening the safety of earth. That's an interesting way of getting humans to play nice…
  • This is the breaking point for George. Seriously, he imagined space aliens. That's like something out of a sci-fi novel or something…
  • Despite George's protests, Haber carries on: he's drunk with power.