31 pages 1 hour read

Ursula K. Le Guin

The Word for World is Forest

Fiction | Novella | Adult | Published in 1972

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Chapters 5-6

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 5 Summary

Lyubov visits Selver in the foothill village of Tuntar. He has been worried that the Athsheans would see the freeing of their slaves as a result of the Smith Camp massacre. Once Lyubov lands, an old woman named Sherrar takes him to the Men’s Lodge and say they are dreaming inside. A young Athshean girl stops and stares at him with undisguised hostility. Lyubov intends to show that he is still a friend and wonders, “How could their way of feeling and thinking have changed so fast, after so long?” (108).

Selver comes out of the Lodge. Lyubov realizes that he has come to love Selver. Selver says he cannot talk and that he is leaving that day. “‘Lyubov, you shouldn’t have come here. You should leave Central two nights from now. I don’t know what you are. It would be better if I had never known you,’” (112) he says. After he walks away, Sherrar tells Lyubov that Selver is a god now. Lyubov thinks about the two years he and Selver spent learning from each other, and mourns them. He remembers the day after Selver’s wife was raped and killed by Davidson. He came into the camp to find Davidson beating Selver.