Study Guide

The Lathe of Heaven Chapter 8

By Ursula K. LeGuin

Chapter 8

  • Of course, as we all remember, the only part of the American mainland to be attacked during the Second World War was Oregon. Yup.
  • It is also the only part of the American mainland to be invaded by the aliens.
  • Luckily, Earth has a huge network of missiles ready to blow up any alien ship that comes within range.
  • Unfortunately, the alien ships have a device that can take control of the missiles and turn them around so that they explode all over Oregon.
  • Dr. Haber is not having a good day. Portland is on fire, nobody's in the Institute Building, he's all alone, and he doesn't know what to do. He's been trying to find George all day, but he has no luck.
  • After a while, George comes to Dr. Haber. George is bloody, limping, and carrying an almost unconscious woman.
  • George is there to fix this mess, and Dr. Haber couldn't be happier. He's cracked the code to George's dreams, and he plans on fixing the whole alien invasion with a REALLY BIG DREAM.
  • One problem: the entire town is falling down in flames around them. It's not exactly the best time to be dreaming, right? Yeah, they go for it anyway.
  • An alien ship crashes into Dr. Haber's office right in the middle of George's dream. Dr. Haber covers his machine with his own body, trying to protect it while he faces death.
  • Then the unthinkable happens. Er, wait: hasn't the unthinkable been happening since page 1 of this book? But we digress. Anyway, the big scoop is that the aliens are not violent after all. They're just misunderstood.
  • The explosions stop and George wakes up. Looks like he's responsible for ending the attacks.
  • George tells Haber to call the president and let them know that the aliens are totally peaceful. It takes a little convincing, but Haber eventually does it. Meanwhile, he seems to be making some kind of plan that makes us a little bit uneasy. Have any of his plans worked out yet?