Lathe of Heaven & A Wizard of Earthsea By: Ursula K. LeGuin Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

The novel the Lathe of Heaven is based on a boy who was being tortured because of his dreams, that always comes true. The world he saw in his dreams becomes a reality occasionally in a violent way and sometimes in a radical way. For instance, once he saw a dream about his aunt’s death and later he found that his aunt died six weeks prior to, in a car accident. With the passage of time, he becomes tense and horrified with a power he had and make a failed attempt to stop dreaming.

In order to do this, he had started taking pills to stay awake and avoid dreaming. Later in the novel, he met with Dr. Haber, who acted as an antagonist in the novel. He was a psychiatrist and specialist in dream research and sleep disorders. Later on, George realizes that the psychiatrist was trying to use and manipulate his powers, but the fear of his uncontrollable condition forced George to get himself treated from Dr. Haber. After that, George seeks for real help and met a black lawyer and found some chemistry with her, because he dreamt of Heather as being her wife in the future.

She didn’t help George in getting cured instead she used his power in something positive and tried to make his dreams effective. She tried to control population, ecological regulations and disarmament through his powers, but eventually the therapy session had no positive results. This was because of the fact that Haber does not have access to completely control his dreaming power. Later on, Haber proposes him to see a dream that aliens are threatening the earth that, in turn, have united the whole world just to bring peace. On the contrary, George dreams that aliens have attacked earth. In reality, George found these aliens to be harmless. In addition to this, he met with those aliens and found that the aliens knew about the power of dreaming and gave him a word that George can use in case of any help.

In the meantime, the psychiatrist himself was busy in utilizing the augmenter to reproduce and duplicate his waves and utilize it later for the purpose of effective dreaming even in the absence of George as well. At last, the day came when Haber becomes successful in replicating George’s brain waves and almost destroys the world that was saved by George. He saved the world by pulling the plug from the augmenter, but the psychiatrist burned his brain and turned insane.

In the novel, there was a minimal role of technology in it and more philosophical in nature as it has raised the questions about one’s wish to have the power to control his own and everyone’s fate. Haber was more interested in using his powers and manipulate them rather than curing and giving comfort to his patient. The main theme of the novel was based on the fact that despite the efforts made by individuals to manipulate the reality of the world, it can still have drastic and negative consequences.

From the George’s viewpoint, it was not a power to him, but a burden on his shoulders that he wants to get rid of his power because of its negative effects. The main ideas, concepts and themes used by the author is that the novel was related to utilitarianism, positivism and behaviorism. The antagonist in the novel was making best use of his resources to exploit the George’s power and George, on the other hand, was trying to control them to the maximum extent. The “what-if” case scenario in the novel persuaded the reader to think about the power that George had and the things that they can do with those powers in their hands.

In the whole novel, the character of George can be seen as a pity, because he was traumatized and tortured for the reason of the powers he had and his inability to control it. Later in the novel, his character was shown as a puppet that was handled by Dr. Haber. The character of Dr. Haber cannot be seen as negative because he fostered the concept of utilitarianism and tried to make the world a good place to live. One thing that can be learned from this novel is that the power always comes with great responsibilities as someone who has gifted with exceptional powers is not allowed to play with people.

Another masterpiece written by Ursula was “A Wizard of Earthsea”, a fantasy novel that links the story of a young boy named as Ged.................

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Lathe of Heaven & A Wizard of Earthsea By: Ursula K. LeGuin

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