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Discussion on 'A Wizard of Earthsea'.

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'A Wizard of Earthsea' is a compelling story about a powerful and gifted young wizard, tempted by vanity to try a Spell of Summoning which brings into the world a black shadow-beast. Barely escaping with his life the wizard Sparrowhawk at first tries to hide from the evil which he released into the world, before confronting the flaws in his own character which were responsible for the disastrous Spell of Summoning. Not only is this a scouring account of the battle between good and evil, but it is also set in a thoroughly constructed world where the rules of geography apply equally with the rules of magery. ...read more.


She sets up the balance of the dualistic contrast as the ultimate principle in her imaginary world Earthsea. In Earthsea, the evil is not in darkness, but in the minds of those who refuse to accept the equilibrium of the world. In Earthsea, LeGuin uses the archetypes of the ego and the shadow which follow the same pattern as Carl Jung relates to. The archetype of the shadow and the ego normally go hand in hand as a pair and it has been clearly illustrated in A Wizard of Earthsea. Jung's explains the differences between the ego and the shadow in the following lines: "The ego is the fragile, precious light of consciousness that must be guarded and cultivated [whereas the shadow] is our ...read more.


It often represents everything that the conscious person does not wish to acknowledge within themselves. For instance, someone who identifies as being kind has a shadow that is harsh or unkind. Conversely, an individual who is brutal has a kind shadow. For Sparrowhawk [a.k.a. Ged], the shadow represented all the traits of Ged that he didn't want to acknowledge, the traits that he was ashamed of. However, "light and darkness met, and joined, and were one (198). He could not avoid the bad side which was present in him, in everyone, and try to run away from it. In the end, he joined with his shadow, making them one, making himself whole, because only an individual who acknowledges both the good and the bad sides in him, and accepts him for himself can become an independent individual and no one can harm him. ...read more.

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