Quotations for The Left Hand of Darkness
1. "But I do fear you, Envoy. I fear those who sent you. I fear liars, and I fear tricksters, and worst I fear the bitter truth. And so I rule my country well. Because only fear rules men. Nothing else works. Nothing else lasts long enough" (ppk 40; 43 hdk).
2."To exhibit the perfect uselessness of knowing the answer to the wrong question" (70).
3. "The unknown, the unproven, "That is what life is based on. Ignorance is the ground of thought. Unproof is the ground of action" (71).
4. "Perhaps it was Estraven's own character, in w hich candor and reserve were both strong: every word he said rose out of a deeper silence. He heard my voice bespeaking him as a dead man's, his brother's voice. I did not know what, besides love and death lay between him and that brother, but I knew that whenever I bespoke him something in him winced away as if I touched a wound. So that intimacy of mind established between us was a bond, indeed, but an obscure and austere one, not so much admitting further light (as I expected it to as showing the darkness" (??) This quotation touchees upon a number of issue/themes that are important to the novel, but how does it specifically speak to the duality between fact and imagination, or actuality and reality?
5. "I [Genly] said, without sincerity, but with absolute truth, 'It is a marvelous thing indeed for them as well, the coming to a new world, a new mankind'" (297).
6. "It is a terrible thing, this kindness that human beings do not lose. Terrible, because when we are finally naked in the dark and cold, it is all we have. We who are so rich, so full of strength. We end up with that small change. We have nothing else to give" (170).
7. 'To oppose something is to maintain it" (153).
8. "The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next" (71).
9. "Even in a bisexual society the politician is very often something less than an integral man" (15).
10. "In kemmer all the time. . . . Is it a place of reward, then Or a place of punishment?" (183) Asra to Ai in prison.
11. "Light is the left hand of darkness and darkness the right hand of light. Two are one, life and death, lying together like lovers in Kemmer, like hands joined together, like the end and the way" (??).
12. "I'ts found on Earth, and on Hain-Davenant, and on Chiffewar. It is yin and yang. Light is the left hand of darkness . . . how did it go? LIght, dark. Fear, courage. Cold, warmth. Female, male. It is yourself, Therem. Both and one. A shadow on snow" (267).
13. "I felt as he [Estraven] did. It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end" (220).
14. "In such fortunate moments as I fall asleep I know beyond doubt what the real center of my own life is, that time which is past and lost and yet is permanent, the enduring moment, the heart of warmth" (240).
15. "The first Mobile, is one is sent, must be warned that unless he is very self-assured, or senite, his pride will suffer. A man wants his virility rregarded, a woman wants her femininity appreciated, however indirect and subtle the indications of regard and appreciation. On Winter they will not exist. One is respected and judged only as a human being. It is an appalling experience" (95).