Study Guide

A Wizard of Earthsea Coming of Age

By Ursula K. Le Guin

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Coming of Age

Ged's coming of age – his transition from kid to adult – is packed with drama: he fights off raiders, goes to a magic school, unleashes a shadow monster, defeats a dragon, and sails to the end of the world. We guess growing up is rough for everybody. Ged starts as a proud and dangerous kid, and over the course of the novel, learns to be a little more humble and thoughtful (while still kicking dragon butt, of course). Through his trials, Ged learns what his place is in the world.

Questions About Coming of Age

  1. Ged does the most growing up, but does the book show anyone else growing up too? How else does it show time passing? Is there one particular way that people come of age? Or are there several different ways?
  2. The novel follows Ged from his birth until he's around nineteen or twenty years old, and the book hints at other adventures he gets into after. But do you think that Ged has finished coming of age? Or does he have more growing up to do?
  3. How does Ged change as he gets older? Why does Ged change – is it just because he gets older, or is it because of some events he experiences?
  4. How does the theme of "Coming of Age" relate to the other themes, such as "Education," "Duty," and "Friendship"? For instance, does Ged treat his friends differently as he grows up?

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