The Dispossessed

by

Ursula K. Le Guin

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The Dispossessed Terms

Urrasti

The people of the planet Urras, a paradise-like world of plenty which is marred by deep social and economic inequality. The Urrasti upper classes enjoy lives of wealth and privilege, while the lower classes, brimming… read analysis of Urrasti

Anarresti

The people of the planet Anarres, the moon of Urras. Anarresti defected to the desert-climate moon almost two centuries ago, shepherded there by their leader Odo, who envisioned an anarcho-syndicalist s society free of the… read analysis of Anarresti

Pravic

The language spoken on Anarres, which is free of any possessive language. For instance, an Anarresti would never say “my head hurts”; they would say “the head hurts.” read analysis of Pravic

Iotic

The language spoken on Urras. read analysis of Iotic

Odonians

Odonians, an anarchist group originally from Urras, formed over one hundred and fifty years under their compassionate and idealistic leader, Odo. Eventually the Odonians defected to Anarres, where they were able to develop and put… read analysis of Odonians
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Propertarian

The Anarresti refer to the moneyed, land-owning inhabitants of their twin planet Urras as “propertarians,” and often use the word to speak derogatively or accusatorily about someone who has displayed an egoistic or selfish thought… read analysis of Propertarian

Syndic

A member of an Anarresti syndicate. In place of a government or specialized professions, Anarres is organized into syndicates which each are responsible for a different aspect of supporting Anarresti life. Anarresti rotate through many… read analysis of Syndic

Decad

An Anarresti unit of time measurement consisting of a period of ten days. read analysis of Decad

Holum

A kind of tree which grows on the desert planet of Anarres. Holum trees provide grain, wood, food, alcohol, and fibers for making clothing and paper. read analysis of Holum

Cetian

The race of the Urrasti and Anarresti people. Cetians are, from Le Guin’s descriptions, humanoid, but are hairier and taller than Terrans or Hainish. read analysis of Cetian

Terrans

Terrans are humans from Earth. Their world has been largely decimated and plummeted into crisis, and the population, which peaked at nine billion, has dropped to less than half a billion. read analysis of Terrans

Hainish

Another race within the galaxy of The Dispossessed. The Hainish are known throughout space as altruists, and it is due to their charity that the decimated populations of Earth—or Terra—were able to survive their… read analysis of Hainish

DivLab

The Division of Labor office on Anarres, which assigns individuals to syndicates and oversees rotation of roles. read analysis of DivLab

PDC

The Production and Distribution Coordination, a coordinating system for all syndicates, federatives, and individuals who do productive work on Anarres. Shevek, Bedap, Takver, and their group of friends slowly begin to realize… read analysis of PDC

Archist

The opposite of an anarchist. Shevek refers to many Urrasti as “archists,” who attempt to stamp out revolution and contrarian thought. read analysis of Archist

A-Io/Ioti

A-Io is the capitalist state on Urras, and their people are the Ioti. read analysis of A-Io/Ioti

Thu/Thuvian

Thu is the socialist state on Urras, and their people are the Thuvians. read analysis of Thu/Thuvian

Ansible

A device envisioned by an Urrasti engineer which would allow for instantaneous communication throughout the galaxy. The engineer releases the designs for the ansible in an academic paper, but does not yet have the necessary… read analysis of Ansible