30 pages 1 hour read

Ursula K. Le Guin

The Dispossessed

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1974

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Chapters 10-13

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 10 Summary

This chapter begins in a style distinct from the other chapters, recounting Shevek’s dialogue with a truck driver, but without using Shevek’s proper name. This dialogue reveals that, posted in the Southwest, Shevek’s job as worklister meant distrusting rations—and watching those who were inadequately fed die. He arrives in Chakar and greets Takver and Sadik; Sadik, however, does not recognize him. The family members reacquaint themselves with one another. Shevek asks Takver about the play that drove Tirin to an asylum, and she tells him it was funny—that the moral uproar made no sense. Shevek is increasingly concerned that there is no real freedom on Anarres, because Anarresti always comply with the PDC’s work postings; because Anarresti “don’t cooperate—[they] obey” (331). Shevek wishes to “unbuild walls,” and to create a new syndicate to print his own Principles of Simultaneity along with Tirin’s play (334).

Chapter 11 Summary

Shevek escapes from Nio to Rodarred, the seat of many foreign embassies, including the Terran embassy. Ambassador Keng grants him asylum. There, Shevek learns that Anarres has been trying to reach him. He reveals to Keng that he has developed his theory of simultaneity: it will not allow for teleportation, but it will allow for instantaneous communication.