47 pages 1 hour read

Ursula K. Le Guin

The Lathe Of Heaven

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1971

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Chapters 10-11

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 10 Summary

Rather than going back to work after he leaves Haber’s office, George walks through some of the older, dilapidated areas of Portland. He finds an antique shop and goes inside. The proprietor is an alien who watches as George looks around. George asks him the meaning of the word iahklu’, which he knows refers to effective dreaming. The alien says the concept is incommunicable. George asks the alien if he has ever heard of Heather. When the alien says that he has not, George asks him if there is a way to control iahklu’. The alien goes to a stack of records and presents George with a 45 rpm record of The Beatles song “With a Little Help From My Friends.” As he walks home, George thinks about the difference between his use of dreams and Haber’s use of dreams, reflecting on the unethical nature of making decisions for other people. George listens to the song until he falls asleep.

The author shifts the third-person narration from George to a third-person narration focused on Heather, who watches George sleep as the record continues to play. She makes breakfast for the two of them. George wakes and sees her.