discussion question Philosophies in The Lathe of Heaven, English homework help

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if you read the book, i would like you to answer the discussion question, for each one 3 – 5 lines.  

Philosphies in The Lathe of Heaven

 Between the main two philosophical currents in the book, which character is the utilitarian and who is the Taoist? Please give an example form the book.

About imagery and symbology

Thinking back to the first chapter, where LeGuin presents us with the very vivid image of the jellyfish floating in the currents, look at the aliens George has conjured to help him navigate through his dreams. Do you think that their appearance (turtles) has anything to do with the symbology LeGuin was using at the beginning of the book (keep in mind most sea turtles eat jellyfish)?

From The lathe of Heaven, p. 130

“he had searched his memory and had found in it no address that had been delivered on the battlefield in Gettysburg, nor any man known to history as Martin Luther King. But such matters seemed a small price to pay for the complete retroactive abolition of racial prejudice, and he had said nothing.

  But now, never to have known a woman with brown skin, brown skin and wiry black hair cut very short so that the elegant line of the skull showed like the curve of a bronze vase –no, that was wrong. That was intolerable. That every soul on earth should have a body the color of a battleship: no!

  That’s why she’s not here, he thought. She could not have been born gray. Her color, her color of brown, was an essential part of her, not an accident. Her anger, timidity, brashness, gentleness, all were elements of her mixed being, her mixed nature, dark and clear right through, like Baltic amber. She could not exist in the gray people’s world. She had not been born.

  He had, though. He could be born into any world. He had no character. He was a lump of clay, a block of uncarved wood.

  And Dr. Haber: he had been born. Nothing could prevent him. He only got bigger at every incarnation.”

 

What has been lost now that humanity is all the same and race was never an issue? Are these losses acceptable in exchange for the things like the Slavery, The Civil War and Segregation never happening?
Why does George think that Heather can’t exist in this world? Based on this passage and everything you’ve read about her in the book so far, how is Heather’s identity linked to her ethnicity?
Why does George think that his existence is possible not only in this, but in any world?
Why does George think that Dr. Haber’s existence is inevitable? What does he mean by “He only got bigger at every incarnation”?

The End

How do you interpret the ending of the novel?

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