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Here you see the jewels, there you see the eyes.


When the main character, Shevek, is asked to describe to members of the capitalist society, Urras, what it is like in his anarchist society, Anarres, this is what he says: "It is not wonderful. It is an ugly world. Not like this one. Anarres is all dusty and dry hills. All meager, all dry. And the people aren't beautiful. They have big hands and feet, like me and the waiter there. But not big bellies. They get very dirty, and take baths together, nobody here does that. The towns are very small and dull, they are dreary. No palaces. Life is dull, and hard work. You can't always have what you want, or even what you need, because there isn't enough. You Urrasti have enough. Enough air, enough rain, grass, oceans, food, music, buildings, factories, machines, books, clothes, history. You are rich, you own. We are poor, we lack. You have, we do not have. Everything is beautiful here. Only not the faces. On Anarres nothing is beautiful, nothing but the faces. The other faces, the men and women. We have nothing but that, nothing but each other. Here you see the jewels, there you see the eyes. And in the eyes you see the splendor, the splendor of the human spirit."

"Shevek wandered across acres of polished marble under that immense ethereal vault, and came at last to the long array of doors through which crowds of people came and went constantly, all purposeful, all separate. They all looked, to him, anxious. He had often seen that anxiety before in the faces of Urrasti, and wondered about it. Was it because, no matter how much money they had, they always had to worry about making more, lest they die poor? Was it guilt, because no matter how little money they had, there was always somebody who had less? Whatever the cause, it gave all the faces a certain sameness, and he felt very much alone among them. In escaping his guides and guards he had not considered what it might be like to be on one's own in a society where men did not trust one another, where the basic moral assumption was not mutual aid, but mutual aggression."


"A child free from the guilt of ownership and the burden of economic competition will grow up with the will to do what needs doing and the capacity for joy in doing it. It is useless work that darkens the heart. The delight of the nursing mother, of the scholar, of the successful hunter, of the good cook, of the skillful maker, of anyone doing needed work and doing it well - this durable joy is perhaps the deepest source of human affection, and of sociality as a whole."

"But as surely as the future becomes the past, the past becomes the future. To deny is not to achieve. The explorer who will not come back or send back his ships to tell his tale is not an explorer, only an adventurer; and his sons are born in exile."

- Ursula K. LeGuin, The Dispossessed

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