In 1975, fantasy author Ursula K. Le Guin delivered a lecture discussing a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale she remembered from childhood. In this story, a man burdened by cowardice could not gather the courage to visit the house of the pretty woman that lived across the street. His shadow; his dark desires and guilty pleasures, wanted the man to go across the street. Yet, the man did not want to for he was afraid, this fear caused him to tell the shadow to leave. Thus, the shadow left. The shadow goes on to explore the house of the pretty woman, and accordingly strays unaccompanied and unattended through the world. Years later, the man and the shadow reconnect. The man discovers that his actions have now caused his shadow to become his “master”, and missing that part of himself, the man is executed. Le Guin uses this dark tale in combination with Jungian psychology and Daoism philosophy to illustrate that a person and their shadow must interact and coexist with each other to survive. Without this balance, life will be impossible. Throughout “The Child and the Shadow”, Le Guin makes eloquent points about the importance of a person’s shadow, Carl Jung’s archetypes in relation to the shadow, and how fantasy novels help children adapt to the traumatic events of reality. In Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, the man is executed. The man had rid himself of his shadow, attempting to hide the flaws that were lurking inside. For, in the words of Le Guin, “The shadow is the
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I lacked for nothing except confidence. I suffered nothing except the routine terrors of childhood.” Indeed, he was a brooder. As a small child, he threw screaming tantrums, begging to stay home in his beloved family castle instead of entering kindergarten. He suffered for years from the fear of having to speak in the school assembly, although he was saved by the terminal alphabetic position of his name from having to speak more than once. He worried about many other things, including how to make a living after he graduated from high school into the scary world of adulthood, marriage, and profession. His self-consciousness later was the subject of several widely anthologized pieces—“The Door” and “Second Tree From the Corner”—and the need to overcome it was perhaps the source and end of his offhand, self-mocking
The science-fiction thriller “The Veldt”, by Ray Bradbury is about a family of four who live in a very futuristic house that makes their way of living much easier. George and Lydia Hadley own the house and are also the parents of ten-year-old Wendy and Peter - two kids who are a little too spoiled in this story. In the Hadley household there is a nursery where Wendy’s and Peter’s thoughts are brought to life by way of crystal walls. The Veldt can be understood better using psychological and Marxist criticism. Specifically through Carl Jung’s theory, all people have three elements in them: Shadow, Persona, and Anima/Animus in which Wendy and Peter evidently show some sense of Jung’s Shadow in them. While looking the story through the psychological
When there is light, there is shadow. This is true with William Shakespeares Macbeth as the main character of the same name is slowly transformed into a malevolent person that can only be stopped by the “light” of another character, Macduff.
In “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” by Ursula Le Guin, the informally-speaking narrator depicts a cookie-cutter utopia with perpetually happy citizens that sing and dance in the music-filled streets during the Festival of Summer. However, under one of the beautiful public buildings lays a child, no older than ten years-old, who lays in its own excrement. Although the citizens know the emancipated child is there, they refuse to act upon the child’s suffering, for their happiness depends entirely on the child’s abominable misery. Through ethos, the narrator illustrates this utopian society with a casual tone and frequently asks the audience for their input. Le Guin’s fairy-tale introduction of the story establishes her credibility through her extensive knowledge and understanding of the people of Omelas. Le Guin utilizes logos through the narrator’s second person point of view which incites the audience to draw their own conclusions about the city of Omelas and question their own justifications of the child’s existence. The concept of the happiness of many relying on the necessary suffering of one forces the reader to question their own morals and their justifications for the child’s physical and mental condition. Through ethos, logos, and pathos, Le Guin presents the contrast and divide between the citizens of Omelas and the child in the cellar in order to challenge the reader’s capacity for moral self-conception.
Ursula K. Le Guin is an award winning author who has made great contributions to the science fiction genera. Le Guin’s stories often evoke readers to view society through a different lens. In the short story The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas Le Guin challenges societies conventions of imagination and believability within a narrative. I will argue, that the story The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin, intertwines two contradictory story worlds in an attempt to critique the limitations we impose on our imagination due to the understanding that we have never experienced a society that does not poses evil. I intend to analyze the rules of the two following story worlds that Le Guin presents; the first story world where happiness is the only thing that the inhabitants experience and the second story world where happiness is experienced when evil presents itself in the society. The two story worlds come together to push the readers to accept a world that simply functions on its own without evil.
In the short story, the theme of fantasy versus reality plays a major role in the story, further proving its classification as psychological horror. Before the story
Thus, in order to fill the void, the girl created a world of her own, a world that helped her forget much and feel more. Bruno Bettelheim also touches on this subject in his piece Fear of Fantasy, where he talks about fantasy stories for children and what the importance of the former are to the latter. As Bettelheim says, “This is where the fairy tale [helps the child the] most: it begins exactly where the child is emotionally, shows him where he has to go, and how to do it”(Bettelheim 4). In other words, Bettelheim is arguing that every child has their own life, their own problems, and thus their own personal fairy tale. This line of thinking goes hand in hand with the revelation made at the end of Arthur Machen's book when after Machen writes about this incredibly imaginative young girl who essentially created a world of her own, it only made sense that the girl had a troubled childhood with little exposure to her much-needed
Edgar Allan Poe skilfully crafts two separate layers of meaning into his works; an exoteric level that is meant for casual consumption by the masses, and a second esoteric sub-level that involves heavy use of symbolism to tell a second deeper story and reserved only for the particularly astute literary elite. While Poe explores many reoccurring themes throughout his writing, one of the more common is guilt. By comparing the tale of “The Tell-Tale Heart” with “Eleanora”, the repetitive image of eyes becomes apparent. Through intertextuality and the symbolic representation of eyes, Edgar Allan Poe evokes feelings of guilt in the narrator. A guilty narrator is important for eliciting
One can unknowingly suffer for the sake of society’s convenience. Both authors, Ray Bradbury and Ursula Le Guin, demonstrate the suffering that the protagonist endures in order to serve their society. A variety of rhetorical strategies and modes contribute to the overall role of the protagonists. Ray Bradbury uses personification and the rhetorical mode of pathos to convey the oblivious suffering that the protagonist, the “smart house”, undergoes. Ursula Le Guin utilizes diction and the rhetorical mode of pathos to demonstrate the society’s dependency on the life of a young, hopeless boy. Through the authors’ use of diction, personification, and the rhetorical mode of pathos, readers can view both short stories in a new criticism lense and juxtapose two societies that feature a suffering aspect in each story.
In a tale like “The Goblin Market,” it is easy to stop at the surface for a moral story – a young woman risks her life to save her sister. But with the imagery and language
‘”So only he saw the lump of shadow that clung the Ged, tearing at his flesh. It was like a black beast, the size of a young child, … and it had no head or face, only the four taloned paws with which it gripped and tore’”(Le Guin, 67).
The golden shimmering crown was dimmed to silver as darkness encompassed the now forgotten light. Accompanying this shade was an ominous call from a crow that echoed in the hall. The room, rectangular and narrow, yearned for company. In the middle of this room was a now silver throne, and lying on it, a skeleton, regally posed with a goblet in grip. Chairs were home to cobwebs, their antiquate designs, never exposed to light. Years of absence showed in the walls, and the once purple tapestry, black as the heart of a raven. The door creaked open to muster a gust of light – the room welcomed this newfound hope with lust, and so followed this light, a domineering shadow. A man clad in dark armour, aura of sin, dominantly made his way to the crown. He brushed the skeleton into dust and claimed the royal jewels.
Imagine waking up in the middle of the night thinking there is someone in your bedroom while you are sleeping. Do you turn a light on? Do you forget about it and go back to sleep? In The Tell Tale Heart, Edgar Allan Poe creates fear and dread through the use of characters, sound effects, and violence. The narrator of this story has an obsession with an old man’s vulture-looking eye, and his long nights of stalking the old man helps us understand Poe’s intentions of fear and dread in this story.
This essay will discuss the themes in Poe’s writing that mirror his personal life and, in addition, the fear and supernatural motivators for his characters. First, I will discuss Poe’s background and explore how he became best known as a poet for his tales of mystery and macabre.