The Left Hand of Darkness

The Left Hand of Darkness


Ursula K. Le Guin

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Sinoth Valley Term Analysis

A contested region on the Orgoreyn/Karhide border. Disputes over this land almost lead the two nations into war.

Sinoth Valley Quotes in The Left Hand of Darkness

The The Left Hand of Darkness quotes below are all either spoken by Sinoth Valley or refer to Sinoth Valley. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Truth and Storytelling Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ace Books edition of The Left Hand of Darkness published in 1987.
Chapter 8 Quotes

Argaven was not sane; the sinister incoherence of his mind darkened the mood of his capital; he fed on fear. All the good of his reign had been done by his ministers and the kyorremy. But he had not done much harm. His wrestles with his own nightmares had not damaged the Kingdom. His cousin Tibe was another kind of fish, for his insanity had logic. Tibe knew when to act, and how to act. Only he did not know when to stop.
Tibe spoke on the radio a good deal. Estraven when in power had never done so, and it was not in the Karhidish vein: their government was not a public performance, normally; it was covert and indirect. Tibe, however, orated. Hearing his voice on the air I saw again the long-toothed smile and the face masked with a net of fine wrinkles. His speeches were long and loud: praises of Karhide, disparagements of Orgoreyn, vilifications of “disloyal factions,” discussions of the “Integrity of the Kingdom’s borders,” lectures in history and ethics and economics, all in a ranting, canting emotional tone that went shrill with vituperation or adulation. He talked much about pride of country and love of parentland, but little about shifgrethor, personal pride or prestige. Had Karhide lost so much prestige in the Sinoth Valley business that the subject could not be brought up? No; for he often talked about the Sinoth Valley. I decided that he was deliberately avoiding talk of shifgrethor because he wished to rouse emotions of a more elemental, uncontrollable kind. He wanted to stir up something that the whole shifgrethor-pattern was a refinement upon, a sublimation of. He wanted his hearers to be frightened and angry. His themes were not pride and love at all, though he used the words perpetually; as he used them they meant self-praise and hate. He talked a great deal about Truth also, for he was, he said, “cutting down beneath the veneer of civilization.”

Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:
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Sinoth Valley Term Timeline in The Left Hand of Darkness

The timeline below shows where the term Sinoth Valley appears in The Left Hand of Darkness. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 
Duty and Loyalty Theme Icon
Otherness and Connectedness Theme Icon
...favor because of his attempt to mitigate a conflict between Karhide and Orgoreyn in the Sinoth Valley . Ai thinks this information irrelevant, and is frustrated that an issue he sees as... (full context)
Chapter 5
Sex, Gender, and Behavior Theme Icon
Duty and Loyalty Theme Icon minister, is often discussed, as is his desire to reclaim land in the contested Sinoth Valley . Ai reflects that anywhere else, this behavior would lead to war, but Gethenians, lacking... (full context)
Chapter 6
Duty and Loyalty Theme Icon
...his shifgrethor, was evicted from Karhide. Estraven explains that his fear of conflict in the Sinoth Valley outweighed his caution. Obsle wonders if Estraven liked “Karhide better than its king,” and Yegey... (full context)
Duty and Loyalty Theme Icon
Otherness and Connectedness Theme Icon
...war with Orgoreyn. Obsle fears the same thing, as does Yegey. All three see the Sinoth Valley dispute as a potential catalyst for further conflict. (full context)
Chapter 8
Duty and Loyalty Theme Icon
Otherness and Connectedness Theme Icon
...intentional, forcing listeners to become fearful and angry on Karhide’s behalf. He frequently discusses the Sinoth Valley conflict, referring to Karhidish farmers as “true patriots,” and discussing his plans to escalate the... (full context)
Chapter 10
Duty and Loyalty Theme Icon
Otherness and Connectedness Theme Icon
Light and Dark, Religion and Spirituality  Theme Icon
...the Open Trade faction, a non-nationalistic minority in Orgota government that wants to end the Sinoth Valley dispute.   (full context)