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47 pages 1 hour read

Ursula K. Le Guin

The Lathe Of Heaven

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1971

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Themes

The Will to Power

The conflict between George and Haber is a debate between two distinct views of the acquisition and use of power. Typically, a narrative about struggle over the will to power focuses upon two different characters or forces, each of which desires to possess some type of power. One of the two main characters in the narrative, George, possesses vast power and does not want it or intend to use it. The other character, Haber, wants to use the power George has and ultimately attempts to possess that power for himself. Le Guin endeavors to show that the distinction between them is vast. Haber is a large, bearish, voluble person who is convinced from the outset that what he is doing is for the betterment of others. He is certain his judgments and direction are correct even when the pursuit of them has catastrophic results. In contrast, George is an average, unassuming, passive individual. In the face of Haber’s complete certainty, George has only doubt: he wonders about his mental state and reliability ; he wonders if Haber understands that his dreams change things; he wonders if Haber really means to cure him; and he wonders if he should comply or resist.

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