The Word for World is Forest Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Word for World is Forest

Humans try to colonize a forest planet and enslave the native inhibitants. The Athsheans are fed up with the situation and led by one of them they rebel.
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The review of this Book prepared by irina

By the time LeGuin wrote this novella, first published in _Again, Dangerous Visions_ in 1972 and awarded the Hugo the following year, she was firmly in control of her themes. Small military and logging colonies have been established by humans on what they call "New Tahiti" in order to send wood back to Earth, 27 light-years distant. Macho Captain Don Davidson runs roughshod over the slave labor employed to build settlements and help with harvesting the dense forests that cover the small amounts of land surrounded by oceans on the planet, which the small green furry creatures native to the planet know as Athshea. A rebellion by the Athsheans, who possess the ability to dream while awake and sing in contest and triumph, and whose towns are run by the women, leads the two species to the brink of all-out war. LeGuin presents a parable of colonial imperialism, with muted echoes of Vietnam and My Lai, and a tribute to the great forests of her beloved Pacific Northwest, in this proto-feminist eco-novella that includes plenty of action.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of The Word for World is Forest

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 15%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 25%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   very upbeat FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Explore/1st contact/ enviro story    -   Yes Explore:    -   colonizing/homesteading another planet Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Cultural problems, alien culture    -   Yes Culture clash-    -   one culture tries to impose its culture on another group

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   slave


Terrain    -   Forests A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   humans in a futuristic society    -   humans in a primitive/fantasy society    -   inhabited by friendly aliens    -   primitive aliens    -   empty, or nearly empty world Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   moderately detailed references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed    -   some scientific explanation Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   rape/molest (yeech!) How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Ursula K. Le Guin Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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