The Dispossessed


Ursula K. Le Guin

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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 theory—the General Temporal Theory—to bring it into existence. When Shevek eventually completes the Theory, he hands it over to the Terran embassy in hopes of making the ansible a reality.
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Ansible Term Timeline in The Dispossessed

The timeline below shows where the term Ansible appears in The Dispossessed. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9
Freedom Theme Icon
Individualism and Isolation vs. Collectivism and Solidarity Theme Icon
The People vs. the State Theme Icon
...article in a Space Research Foundation paper—an engineer has developed plans for something called an ansible, an instantaneous communication device. According to the engineer’s research, if a temporalist can work out... (full context)
Chapter 11
The Failure of Utopian Ideals Theme Icon
The People vs. the State Theme Icon
...matter across space, or transilience. With the help of Shevek’s equations, he admits, the telephone-like ansible will be possible, though transilience remains far-off according to his calculations. Though men and matter... (full context)