Ursula K. Le Guin is considered to be an American writer being well known for her outstanding trilogy A Wizard of Earthsea. This book is the depiction of the fantasy world in which the readers are involved through the adventures of Ged, a young wizard. The traveling across the countries of Earthsea is shown through the heroism of the protagonist and his great desire to see the world and learn its magnificence. This book is about the interactions of magic power, the human desire for uncertainty and true heroism.
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Le Guin managed to create a masterpiece highlighting the magic world with dragons and the power of words. The role of Ged and his courage is of great value for the modern generation. The hero of the story named Duny managed to experience various magic tricks from his aunt being a witch. The author underlined the character’s heroism from the very beginning of the story when he managed to hide people from the enemies at the moment of the village attack by Karges. From that very period Ged becomes more and more proficient in magic and his power is getting deeper. The author introduced the concept of heroism through the mage hood achievements reached by Ged. The moment when Ged was attacked by a black mass shows his curiosity and brevity at the same time. His desire to learn magic completely became the background for major troubles, but it proves Ged’s strong character and heroism. (Bucknall, 1980)
This story is a sophisticated struggle of the good and the evil; the author strived to depict Ged’s desire to save the Earth from black shadow and evil power. The author tried to show the philosophical theory of inactivity meaning that people are to act only in case it is really necessary. This concept is illustrated through the mistakes of the hero whose interest in magic theory far outweighed his fear of unknown danger. The second important principle described by the author is connected with the opposites’ relativity. This theory is considered to be the background of Earthsea stability. Le Guin tried to describe this principle as the basic one showing close connection between opposite things and phenomena and underlining their balance:
“To light a candle is to cast a shadow…” (Le Guin, p. 44).
This feature is aimed at disclosing the connection between good and evil, the light and the dark.
The concept of Ged’s heroic cycle describes in the book is built upon the principles of getting maturity with every new experience got by the character. It should be noted that the character of heroic actions preserved by the hero is changed with time, with every passing moment of his life and with every mistake bringing him wisdom and rich experience. All three books of the trilogy are aimed at showing the gradual growth of the true hero underlining the nature of his heroic actions and the way they changed through the usage of magic power.
So, it is important to stress that the book A Wizard of Earthsea written by Le Guin is an example of a magic world in which people can rule their power. Although the story is a fantasy, the author managed to disclose the true heroism of a true person who knew nothing about the life cruelties strived to save people from enemies and fight the black power. Comparing this story with real life it is possible to stress that in case contemporary words have any power our world would be completely destructed because people cannot rule and control their desires directing them to the prosperity of others. Thus, Le Guin successfully created the tale as being a reality in ancient times.
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- Bucknall, Barbara. American Women Writers. Vol. 2. Frederick Ungar, 1980.
- Le Guin, Ursula. A Whitewashed Earthsea. Commentaries. 2007.
- Le Guin, Ursula. A Wizard of Earthsea. The Earthsea Cycle. Bantam, 2004.