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History Literature / TheDispossessed

27th Jan '16 8:31:17 PM GrammarNavi
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The novel won both the {{Hugo|Award}} and NebulaAward.

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The novel won both the {{Hugo|Award}} and NebulaAward.UsefulNotes/{{Nebula|Award}} Awards.
25th Nov '15 12:02:40 PM Bezy
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* DebateAndSwitch: The book can be read as a dramatized debate over the question of whether anarchism, represented by the "Odonian" philosophy practiced on the planet Anarres, or liberal democratic capitalism, represented by the nation of A-Io on Anarres' sister-planet Urras, is better. Though [=LeGuin=] clearly prefers anarchism, for most of the book the question is dealt with subtly, with the failings of Anarresti society and the successes of the society of A-Io both being shown. Then, practically out of the blue, A-Io massacres peaceful protesters by the thousand. The whole philosophical debate is tossed aside and replaced by Baddies Are Bad. Well, duh, Anarresti anarchism is better than ''that''. So, for that matter, is the United States of America in the 1970's, for which A-Io was obviously meant to be a loose analogue. Hell, by the 1970's even the real-world analogue of Thu, the USSR, was not mowing down protesters in such numbers that the closely-packed dead bodies were left jammed in a standing position. The whole philosophical debate is tossed aside and replaced by Baddies Are Bad. In an interesting case, the A-Io's actions are understandable, though not justified - they remember what the last strike led to, and they are all out of moons to bribe dissidents with. It's also probably worth noting that, while massacres of striking workers weren't common in 1970s America, they ''were'' common in America at the turn of the century, so this could also simply be a case of AnachronismStew, but it seems probable that A-Io is meant to represent an older US, as the US of the 1970s certainly also did not prohibit women from universities, for example-much the opposite.

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* DebateAndSwitch: The book can be read as a dramatized debate over the question of whether anarchism, represented by the "Odonian" philosophy practiced on the planet Anarres, or liberal democratic capitalism, represented by the nation of A-Io on Anarres' sister-planet Urras, is better. Though [=LeGuin=] clearly prefers anarchism, for most of the book the question is dealt with subtly, with the failings of Anarresti society and the successes of the society of A-Io both being shown. Then, practically out of the blue, A-Io massacres peaceful protesters by the thousand. The whole philosophical debate is tossed aside and replaced by Baddies Are Bad. Well, duh, Anarresti anarchism is better than ''that''. So, for that matter, is the United States of America in the 1970's, for which A-Io was obviously meant to be a loose analogue. Hell, by the 1970's even the real-world analogue of Thu, the USSR, was not mowing down protesters in such numbers that the closely-packed dead bodies were left jammed in a standing position. The whole philosophical debate is tossed aside and replaced by Baddies Are Bad. In an interesting case, the A-Io's actions are understandable, though not justified - they remember what the last strike led to, and they are all out of moons to bribe dissidents with. It's also probably worth noting that, while massacres of striking workers weren't common in 1970s America, they ''were'' common in America at the turn of the century, so this could also simply be a case of AnachronismStew, but it seems probable that A-Io is meant to represent an older US, as the US of the 1970s certainly also did not prohibit women from universities, for example-much the opposite.
13th Nov '15 11:32:38 PM Fireblood
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* DebateAndSwitch: The book can be read as a dramatized debate over the question of whether anarchism, represented by the "Odonian" philosophy practiced on the planet Anarres, or liberal democratic capitalism, represented by the nation of A-Io on Anarres' sister-planet Urras, is better. Though [=LeGuin=] clearly prefers anarchism, for most of the book the question is dealt with subtly, with the failings of Anarresti society and the successes of the society of A-Io both being shown. Then, practically out of the blue, A-Io massacres peaceful protesters by the thousand. Well, duh, Anarresti anarchism is better than that. The whole philosophical debate is tossed aside and replaced by Baddies Are Bad.

to:

* DebateAndSwitch: The book can be read as a dramatized debate over the question of whether anarchism, represented by the "Odonian" philosophy practiced on the planet Anarres, or liberal democratic capitalism, represented by the nation of A-Io on Anarres' sister-planet Urras, is better. Though [=LeGuin=] clearly prefers anarchism, for most of the book the question is dealt with subtly, with the failings of Anarresti society and the successes of the society of A-Io both being shown. Then, practically out of the blue, A-Io massacres peaceful protesters by the thousand. Well, duh, Anarresti anarchism is better than that. The whole philosophical debate is tossed aside and replaced by Baddies Are Bad. Well, duh, Anarresti anarchism is better than ''that''. So, for that matter, is the United States of America in the 1970's, for which A-Io was obviously meant to be a loose analogue. Hell, by the 1970's even the real-world analogue of Thu, the USSR, was not mowing down protesters in such numbers that the closely-packed dead bodies were left jammed in a standing position. The whole philosophical debate is tossed aside and replaced by Baddies Are Bad. In an interesting case, the A-Io's actions are understandable, though not justified - they remember what the last strike led to, and they are all out of moons to bribe dissidents with. It's also probably worth noting that, while massacres of striking workers weren't common in 1970s America, they ''were'' common in America at the turn of the century, so this could also simply be a case of AnachronismStew, but it seems probable that A-Io is meant to represent an older US, as the US of the 1970s certainly also did not prohibit women from universities, for example-much the opposite.
13th Nov '15 11:27:43 PM Fireblood
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* DebateAndSwitch: The book can be read as a dramatized debate over the question of whether anarchism, represented by the "Odonian" philosophy practiced on the planet Anarres, or liberal democratic capitalism, represented by the nation of A-Io on Anarres' sister-planet Urras, is better. Though [=LeGuin=] clearly prefers anarchism, for most of the book the question is dealt with subtly, with the failings of Anarresti society and the successes of the society of A-Io both being shown. Then, practically out of the blue, A-Io massacres peaceful protesters by the thousand. Well, duh, Anarresti anarchism is better than that. The whole philosophical debate is tossed aside and replaced by Baddies Are Bad.



* PerfectPacifistPeople: Played with. Anarres is pacifist, but they do maintain an armed defense force, and the society is neither perfect nor is it entirely peaceful - human beings are still human beings, and there are plenty of people who are possessed of prejudice, jealousy, ignorance, malice, or corruption, which occasionally results in small-scale violence.
* PropertyOfLove: Discussed. Naturally, this attitude is frowned upon on Anarres and and people don't openly refer to their partners as "mine", but a minor character brings up the idea that an attitude of possessiveness incompatible with Anarresti ideals is inherent in monogamy.

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* PerfectPacifistPeople: Played with.{{Played with}}. Anarres is pacifist, but they do maintain an armed defense force, and the society is neither perfect nor is it entirely peaceful - human beings are still human beings, and there are plenty of people who are possessed of prejudice, jealousy, ignorance, malice, or corruption, which occasionally results in small-scale violence.
* PropertyOfLove: Discussed. {{Discussed}}. Naturally, this attitude is frowned upon on Anarres and and people don't openly refer to their partners as "mine", but a minor character brings up the idea that an attitude of possessiveness incompatible with Anarresti ideals is inherent in monogamy.
11th Jul '15 6:43:44 AM tesseract732
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* MissingMom: Shevek's mother leaves Shevek and his father when Shevek is two years old. Although this is accepted practice in Annaresti society, Shevek never really forgives her for it.



* SpiritualAntithesis: To ''Literature/Anthem'' by Ayn Rand. Like Prometheus, Shevek struggles with the pain of being a genius in a deeply communal society. He leaves that society and experiences capitalism for himself, rejects it, and chooses to return to Annaresti society to reform it.

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* SpiritualAntithesis: To ''Literature/Anthem'' ''Literature/{{Anthem}}'' by Ayn Rand. Like Prometheus, Shevek struggles with the pain of being a genius in a deeply communal society. He leaves that society and experiences capitalism for himself, rejects it, and chooses to return to Annaresti society to reform it.
11th Jul '15 6:35:55 AM tesseract732
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Added DiffLines:

* SpiritualAntithesis: To ''Literature/Anthem'' by Ayn Rand. Like Prometheus, Shevek struggles with the pain of being a genius in a deeply communal society. He leaves that society and experiences capitalism for himself, rejects it, and chooses to return to Annaresti society to reform it.
11th Jul '15 6:29:55 AM tesseract732
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Added DiffLines:

* LibertyOverProsperity: The settlers of Anarres chose to live on a barren, barely habitable planet so they can form a society where everyone is radically free.


Added DiffLines:

* TallPoppySyndrome: Anarresti people who are extraordinary or unusual tend to get the cold shoulder from their peers. Much milder case than in sci-fi dystopias.
29th Jun '15 6:06:33 PM tesseract732
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Added DiffLines:

* BaldWomen: It's fashionable in A-Io for women to shave their heads.
1st Jun '14 2:59:03 PM KronosKid
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A 1974 ScienceFiction novel by [[UrsulaKLeGuin Ursula K. Le Guin]]. Subtitled ''An Ambiguous Utopia'', it tells the story of Shevek, a brilliant physicist from the planet Anarres, traveling to the world of Urras to complete his work on the theory of time, which would make [[SubspaceAnsible instantaneous interstellar communication]] possible. The planet Anarres, arid and barely habitable, was colonized by refugees from Urras who established an anarcho-syndicalist society there. Urras, by contrast, is a lush, rich world but the two superpowers on the planet, A-Io and Thu, are in a state of cold war. The even-numbered chapters describe Shevek and his family's life on Anarres while the odd-numbered chapters tell the story of his adventures on Urras.

As the story goes on, Shevek comes to realize that his society is beginning to stagnate and the 'permanent revolution' envisioned by its founders is grinding to a halt. Power structures are beginning to exist where there were none, an ObstructiveBureaucracy is starting to form, and some people are gradually falling into reactionary close-mindedness, traditionalism, and proto-nationalism. He and some of his friends form an initially-small movement, the 'Syndicate of Initiative', to try to keep their society on the right track; Shevek eventually returns to his home at the end of the book to rejoin this movement, which turns out to have grown steadily in his absence.

to:

A 1974 ScienceFiction novel by [[UrsulaKLeGuin Ursula K. Le Guin]]. Subtitled ''An Ambiguous Utopia'', it tells the story of Shevek, a brilliant physicist from the planet Anarres, traveling to the world of Urras to complete his work on the theory of time, which would make [[SubspaceAnsible instantaneous interstellar communication]] possible. The planet Anarres, arid and barely habitable, was colonized by refugees from Urras who established an anarcho-syndicalist society there. Urras, by contrast, is a lush, rich world but the two superpowers on the planet, A-Io (capitalist) and Thu, Thu (state-socialist), are in a state of cold war. The even-numbered chapters describe Shevek and his family's life on Anarres while the odd-numbered chapters tell the story of his adventures on Urras.

As the story goes on, Shevek comes to realize that his society is beginning to stagnate and the 'permanent revolution' envisioned by its founders is grinding to a halt. Power Informal power structures are beginning to exist where there were none, an ObstructiveBureaucracy is starting to form, and some people are gradually falling into reactionary close-mindedness, traditionalism, and proto-nationalism. He and some of his friends form an initially-small movement, the 'Syndicate of Initiative', to try to keep their society on the right track; true to its anti-authoritarian principles; Shevek eventually returns to his home at the end of the book to rejoin this movement, which turns out to have grown steadily in his absence.
10th Jan '14 1:51:25 PM TheyKilledFritz
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* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Much as in real life, the various political ideologies of Tau Ceti's far left are represented by colored banners. Unlike in real life, the color of communism and socialism in Cetian culture is white, rather than red, and anarcho-syndicalism is represented by blue and green, instead of the red-and-black color scheme it has traditionally used in real life.



* {{Expy}}: Laia Odo and her lover are very obvious stand-ins for the real-life historical figures Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, respectively (albeit with a few changes, such as this world's Berkman-equivalent being murdered by the government).



* HistoricalInJoke: A very subtle one - the 'Syndicate of Intiative' founded by Shevek and his friends is almost identical in form and function to the real-life FAI (Federation of Iberian Anarchists), an organization founded in Revolutionary Spain in the 1930s in order to keep the revolution on an anarchist track and oppose the development of authoritarian institutions.

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* HistoricalInJoke: A very subtle one - the 'Syndicate of Intiative' founded by Shevek and his friends is almost identical in form and function to the real-life FAI (Federation of Iberian Anarchists), an organization founded in Revolutionary Spain in the 1930s in order to keep the revolution on an anarchist track and oppose the development of authoritarian institutions. Another, slightly less subtle, one is that the color associated with communism in Cetian politics is ''white'', a color strongly associated with right-wing anti-communist movements on Earth.
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