How does Le Guin’s use of literary tools help or hinder the establishment of characters, conflicts, or setting in Chapter 1 of the novel?


Through chapter 1, Ursula Le Guin’s use of literary tools gives a lot of detail to the story. The usage of literary tools sometimes hinder the reader and distract them from the plot. I often found myself lost in the description of the scenes rather than the story. In the beginning, Le Guin introduces Duny’s hometown, “he was born in a lonely village called Ten Alders, high on the mountains at the head of the Northward Vale. Below the village pastures and plowlands of the Vale slope downward level below level towards the sea, and other towns lie on the bends of the River Ar; above the village only forest rises ridge behind to the stone and snow of the heights” (1). The new world she introduces is creative and completely different but it also gives rise to confusion. With all the new vocabulary, readers may get overwhelmed. The use of metaphors and similes also give an impactful depiction such as when she describes Duny, “he grew wild, a thriving weed, a tall, quick boy, loud and proud and full of temper” (2). By describing Duny as a “thriving weed”, the readers can portray him as a resilient and willful character. Le Guin’s use of foreshadowing also sparks interest in readers. In the first chapter, we can see Duny is gifted but arrogant with his abilities. From the foreshadowing, we know Duny’s future but we don’t know his journey so we stick around to find out how he became the great wizard that Le Guin tells us he becomes. Overall, chapter 1 was very fast paced and Le Guin’s use of literary tools sometimes distracts the reader but also gives great amounts of detail to the Wizard of Earthsea. I look forward to reading the rest of the book!