Evolution of Ambiguous Literary Utopias: Comparative Analysis of Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness and The Telling

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In this paper, I propose an analysis of the evolution of ambiguous literary Utopias using as terms of comparing two of Le Guin’s utopias, published with a thirty-year gap between them: The Left Hand of Darkness and The Telling.The aim is to analyse how these two literary utopias try to respond and/or react to real specific social, cultural, and political conditions. Every literary utopia is an artistic and political reaction to reality. At the same time, both these Ursula Le Guin’s works are open utopias, that is, projects of societies that tend to evolve believing they are the best possible answers to a specific time and culture, and assuming the need to transform and improve previous premises. The goal of the paper is to try to reach some conclusions regarding several issues: a) How these utopias suffered the influence of different political and cultural realities (both the world and author evolved during the thirty-year gap between novels). b) How the genre itself evolved from a fixed, rigidly structured society frozen in time to an evolutionary one. c) What kind of compromises are assumed to ensure the future of these utopian worlds. d) Which are the political and philosophical ideas that stand as foundations to Le Guin’s utopian thought and see if they also evolved in time.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventCAPPE 10th Annual Conference: Utopias - The University of Brighton, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Sep 20154 Sep 2015


ConferenceCAPPE 10th Annual Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Urusla Le Guin
  • The Left Hand of Darkness
  • The Telling
  • Utopia
  • ambiguous utopia

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