Study Guide

A Wizard of Earthsea Choices

By Ursula K. Le Guin

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In A Wizard of Earthsea, Ged has to make a number of hard choices, and also has to deal with several situations where he doesn't really have any choice at all. In fact, in A Wizard of Earthsea, Ged has a lot of responsibilities – because he has so much darn power – so he doesn't always have a choice. And yet, we're calling this theme "Choices" rather than "Fate" because Ged really does have one big fat guiding choice – he can decide to do good or bad. It's just that once he understands what's good and bad, if he wants to do good, then there's only one path he can take.

Questions About Choices

  1. What kinds of choices and decisions does Ged face?  Would you say his life is guided more by his choices or by fate?
  2. Is it ever appropriate to make a choice for someone else or to try to influence someone's decisions? For instance, Ogion won't make a choice for Ged about whether he stays on Gont or goes to Roke. Why won't he?
  3. How does Ged make decisions when his various responsibilities come into conflict? For instance, when Ioethe is dying, Ged is torn between his friendship for Pechvarry and his duty as taught by the Master Herbal. Do you agree with his decisions?
  4. Do we ever see other characters making hard choices? For instance, when Vetch wants to go with Ged to hunt the shadow, is that a tough decision for him?

Chew on This

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