Ursula K. Le Guin: Author, Award Winning Novelist, Inspirational Female Writer, and my Eminent Person. Born October 21, 1929, she has written over 34 books, many of them bestselling award winners. She is one of the few female writers that were awarded the title of ‘Grandmaster of Science Fiction’. Ursula K. Le Guin has also won a plethora of awards including the World Fantasy Award, the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the Locus Award, and the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
Before Eminent even started, I knew I wanted to do a writer; someone in the fiction and fantasy genre of books. As an aspiring author, I wanted to learn about someone in my dream career. The only question was, who to pick? There are a lot more male fantasy writers than female fantasy writers, and any woman writers I knew had either been the ‘easy choice’ or had too little information on them for the project. I stumbled onto Ursula K. Le Guin by recommendation from my English teacher, and decided to do a bit of research to see what she was about.
Information? Check. Eminent? Check. Inspirational woman author? Check. Someone who I would enjoy researching for eminent? Check! Ursula K. Le Guin became my Eminent Project focus, and it’s been a blast learning about her. We have a lot more similarities in common then I expected, as seen in the chart above, and other than a bit of trouble on research as her life is very private, there seem to be very little barriers in learning about her.
In the little time I have gotten to know her at this time in the Eminent project, Ursula K. Le Guin has become a role model and inspiration to me. She has achieved a position of a famous female fiction/fantasy writer, and my dream career is becoming a fantasy writer that can inspire others through my novels and create something many readers will enjoy. I’ve only read the first chapter of the first book of Ursula K. Le Guin’s arguably most famous series, The Wizard of Earthsea, and I have already gotten hooked into the story. The same has happened with my research; I learned a small bit about Ursula K. Le Guin, and I am left with a desire to learn more about her, and hopefully more about myself as a writer. One of my overall goals is to practice my writing skills, and what better way than to research a famous writing and learn some tips and tricks about how someone as famous and inspiring as Ursula K. Le Guin reached where she is today. I hope that I can do Ursula K. Le Guin justice with my Eminent Project.
At the beginning of “Dad is Dying,” McLean mentions that Sam’s lie ends up “rescu[ing] his mother and father” (139). To what extent is this true? In other words, how does Sam’s decision to lie positively impact those around him? Do the benefits of Sam’s lie outweigh the issue of the lie itself?
Sam’s lie resulted in positive impact on his parents at the end of the story, causing his mom to be more relaxed and socially connected and his dad to feel more self confident. In this case, the lie ends up “rescu[ing] his mother and father” (139). However, it is possible that the lie could have ended very badly, and had the events differed slightly, caused a severe negative impact on Sam and the people around him, including:
- Morley’s social standing plummeting, leaving her a social outcast/reject. Her friends believe Sam’s lie that his father, Dave, is dying, but Morley believes they are talking about the dying dog, so her responses to conversations surrounding the lie are misunderstood and concerning. The community would think of her as manipulative/controlling with Morley saying, “But this time,” […] “I am going to get a younger one. They’re easier to train when they’re younger” (147). Bernie is afraid of Morley and thinks that she is a possible murderess, saying, “But wouldn’t that be . . . murder?” (…) “You can’t just kill without asking,” (…) “Can you?” (150). Morley could be thought of as ‘unappreciative’, ‘cold-blooded’, and ’emotionless’. Her boss might even fire her from her job based on the ‘rumours’.
- Dave’s self confidence would plummet after he found out that the community ‘lied and manipulated him’ in the form of telling him he ‘looks great’ not because they thought he looked great, but because they thought he was dying. Dave might feel too depressed to leave his home in fear of facing the community.
- Dave and Morley might get into a lot of arguments, with nether willing to leave the house, which might lead to a possible divorce.
- Sam would be in huge trouble with his parents, class, the ice cream parlour, and the community. He would be shamed and outcastes by his classmates, banned from the ice cream parlour, and would his parents would be irate at him for lying.
- The ice cream girl who gave Sam giant scoops of ice cream for free because she sympathized with him would get fired from her job for giving away free ice cream without permission.
Yes, Sam’s parents feel happy and relaxed at the end of the story, but we didn’t see the aftermath of the lie. That is a temporary positive outcome that will most likely change into a negative outcome. Sam’s parents are eventually going to find out about the lie, and Sam is going to face consequences more severe then if he had told the truth about crying over his dying dog in school.
In conclusion, Sam’s lie resulted in a short-term positive outcome, but the benefits do not outweigh the possible negative effects that might still happen. It’s better to tell the truth then to lie; lies might be good for short term, but can be harmful in the longterm.
“The sharp sword of truth can break the flimsy shield of lies.” – Michelle Bettauer