Undergraduate Research Paper
The Science Fiction genre, according to pioneer Science Fiction scholar Darko Suvin, has the power to elucidate “future-bearing elements from the empirical environment”(Suvin 7). In her short story, “Nine Lives,” Ursula K. Le Guin uses the trope of human cloning to dissect the “future-bearing” potential of a cultural obsession with youth, beauty and perfection, suggesting that the future of this obsession, paired with scientific advances that render such perfectibility possible, is a future of spiritual starvation. Le Guin explores the gendered dichotomies of strength and weakness, the dark side of unity without dissent, and the futility of altruism without empathy.
University of Washington Tacoma
TLIT 391 Science Fiction Literature
"A Hand Out in the Dark: Rethinking the Human in Ursula K. Le Guin’s “Nine Lives”,"
Access*: Interdisciplinary Journal of Student Research and Scholarship: Vol. 4:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.tacoma.uw.edu/access/vol4/iss1/3