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The Left Hand of Normality In Ursula Le Guins novel The Left Hand of Darkness Genly Ai an agent from the Eukemen is sent to the planet Winter one of the non-federated planets in the universe His mission is to see if he can persuade the people from Winter to join the federation However Genly soon finds out that the rulers of Winter did not like the idea of being part of a federation because it might result in a loss of some of their own personal power Genly is then forced to become a fugitive until by using shifrethgor the honor system of the Eukemen he is able to trick the kings of Winters nations into entering the federation Throughout the novel Genly Ai encounters androgynous beings people who are able to change their sex roles whenever they become fertile He is surprised that only androgynous exist inside of Winters nations He is also amazed that the people only have sexual drives for a small part of the year Instead of using their energy in sexual urges the people of Winter use their energy in the arts and sciences They have been isolated from the rest of humanity for many thousands of years on a relatively cold planet They have been completely unaware of other men among the stars until the arrival of Genly Ai Sexuality plays an important role in the novel because it affects Genlys character and his perspective of other living creatures outside of the Ekumen Throughout the novel Genly questions his sexuality because he is unsure of the feelings he feels for another man Genly is not use to these feelings because he never encountered androgynous humans before in his life He lived in an environment that consisted of males and females Therefore Genly must simultaneously determine his sexuality and accomplish his mission There are no men and women on Winter therefore there are no sexual expectations they
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