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reading response - Freshman Essays

reading response



(1) Read pages 103-155 of Le Guin’s

The Word for World is Forest


(2) While you read, think about how Le Guin writes dialogue. Are the conversations

believable, impactful, and/or compelling? Do the characters’ actions always correspond

to their words?

(3) Do some research and come up with working definitions of

indirect discourse


direct discourse

. What features stand out for these two forms of dialogue? Can you

think of examples of both forms of discourse in the novel?

(4) Read the following two excerpts of dialogue and write a short analysis (approx. 100

words) for each. Consider: Who is speaking – and to whom? What is each character’s

motivation for speaking? Does the dialogue help the plot develop or reveal information

about characters’ thoughts? Does the dialogue contradict the internal thoughts of these

characters? When you read between the lines, can you determine any subtle or

unspoken meaning?

“I am like them. A man. Like them. Like you.”

“No. You are different –”

“I am like them. And so are you. Listen, Selver. Don’t go on. You must not go on

killing other men. You must go back… to your own… to your roots.”

“When your people are gone, then the evil dream will stop”


,” … (p. 134)

“We had already ‘promised’ not to hurt any of your people. It’s why the workers

were sent home. It did no good, you didn’t listen –”

“It was not a promise made to us.”

“How can we make any sort of agreement or treaty with a people who have no

government, no central authority?”

“I don’t know. I’m not sure you know what a promise is. This one was soon broken”

(p. 140-141).