The idea of kinship certainly played a small part in my own family life, because my father, an anthropologist, knew a good deal about kinship practices and theories—he could tell us cool things like how in some cultures your maternal uncle acts as your father and your father is just one of the older men, or how in other cultures you and your mother-in-law can only speak jokingly to each other. But perhaps because my father was an anthropologist not a sociologist intergenerationality was not a word in the family vocabulary. Science fiction—the only kind of fiction that has as yet fully internalized the Copernican and the Darwinian revolutions—gave me the chance to play freely with the implications of that idea, pursuing thought experiments in the construction of kinship, marriage, alienness, gender, etc.
My name is Ursula. I have to spell any one of those names and tell people how to pronounce it every time I use it. All four of them? Forget it. So I kept the K.
The only Kafkaesque thing about me. The significance of names. You sure do ask enormous questions. To know the true name of a thing is to have power over the thing: a very widespread idea, which makes sense to most of us whether or not we want it to. It probably has to do with the fact that in much of our thinking we use language, words, names, and it is our thinking that gives us much of our control over our world.
And then who gets to name the animals? The guy the Boss puts in control of the animals.
Why Are Americans Afraid of Dragons? by Ursula Le Guin | Faerie Sight
But not without parent-child relationships! But the narrative structure of The Left Hand of Darkness , and my unfamiliarity with Gethen when I wrote it, gave me little opportunity to show parent-child relationships—except very briefly in the final chapter. In the much later novella Coming of Age in Karhide , I was able partly to make up for that, showing a robustly affectionate mother-child relationship, and giving at least a glimpse of the complexity and depth of intergenerational and heterogenerational relationships in a large, nonhierarchical Karhidish household.
I thought the joyfully loving relationship of the protagonist, his partner, and their daughter would counterweigh it. Reliable historical accounts tell of a dragon that was killed in the swamps of what is now Hungary about the year This fierce reptile had become the scourge of the countryside and was finally destroyed by some brave townspeople.
Statues near the local Reformed and Catholic churches still commemorate this momentous accomplishment. Above center is an image of the Wawel Dragon erected during recent times. The oldest known account of the Wawel dragon story comes from the 12th century work by Wincenty Kadlubek. It tells how the lair of this oppressive reptile was located near what was then the capital of Poland.
Miscellaneous cap. He also mentions Brodeus, of a winged dragon which was brought to Francis, the invincible King of the Gauls, by a countryman who had killed it with a mattock near Sanctones, and which was stated to have been seen by many men of approved reputation, who though it had migrated from transmarine regions by the assistance of the wind.
Cardan doubted their having been fabricated, since they had been sent in vessels at different times, and yet all presented the same remarkable form. At first glance, one is tempted agree with Gould that the wings are ridiculously small. The first century Greek historian Strabo, who traveled and researched extensively throughout the Mediterranean and Near East, wrote a treatise on geography.
The Chinese have many stories of dragons. Books even tell of Chinese families raising dragons to use their blood for medicines and highly prizing their eggs. To the right is a pictures of a fossilized Chinese dinosaur egg compared to a chicken egg.
Why we ll always be obsessed with and afraid of monsters
Marco Polo wrote of his travels to the province of Karajan and reported on huge serpents, which at the fore part have two short legs, each with three claws. Marco Polo goes on to describe how the local citizens of the area hunted and killed these creatures. After they had killed their prey, Polo wrote that they would find a water source such as a lake, spring, or river. Apparently these spikes so severely wounded the creatures that they died soon thereafter. They are also known from other cultures see below.
An Analysis of the Article, Why are Americans Afraid of Dragons by Ursula K. Le Guin
S ome of the Chinese dragon art is remarkably like dinosaurs, though often the dragons display an unrealistically narrow trunk…more serpent-like. It is interesting that the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac are all animals—eleven of which are still alive today. But is the twelfth, the dragon merely a legend or is it based on a real animal— the dinosaur? Shown to the top left is a dragon click to enlarge that was cast in red gold and embossed during the Tang Dynasty AD. Notice the long neck and tail, the frills, and the lithe stance. There, three artistic dragons along with tigers and other animals composed entirely of white shells were placed alongside human remains.
No doubt this indicates a burial place of some very important ruler from the beginnings of the Chinese culture. The Xishuipo site dates back several thousand years, yet the dragons shown are surprisingly like modern renditions. This shows the dragon concept did not slowly develop through Chinese history from a simplistic, primitive mythological figure.
This would make sense if they were, in fact, modeled after living creatures. Historical records tell of a Song Dynasty AD Emperor who raised dragons within his palace compound. Niermann, L. Huang Di, the mythic Yellow Emperor, was said to make sacrifices at the summit of Tai Shan, after driving there in a chariot harnessed to six dragons.
During the Medieval period, the Scandinavians described swimming dragons and the Vikings placed dragons on the front of their ships to scare off the sea monsters. The one pictured to the right is based upon the sighting by Hans Egede. As a missionary to Greenland, Egede was known as a meticulous recorder of the natural world. Numerous such stories have been recorded from the age of sailing ships A. The oldest reliable sea serpent record we have was set down by Olaus Magnus in his book Historia de Gentibus.
A series of drawings on the map present various monsters of the sea. The drawing shows it coiled around a Norman ship and devouring a crew member who was unlucky enough to get close to its gaping maw!
The familiar legend of Saint George slaying a dragon is prolific throughout European art and history. Likely it have some basis in fact. George is the patron saint of England though the actual story was brought from the east by the Crusaders. Famous in the annals of British literature is the poem of Beowulf, the heroic Norse warrior who killed a number of dragons.
In the end he died in the process of vanquishing a winged dragon. Dragons were even described in reputable zoological treatises published during the Middle Ages. It also had thick legs and strong claws. Could this have been a surviving Stegosaurus? Ham, K. Ulysses Aldrovandus is considered by many to be the father of modern natural history.
He traveled extensively, collected thousands of animals and plants, and created the first ever natural history museum.
His credentials give credence to an incident that Aldrovandus personally reported concerning a dragon. The dragon was first seen on May 13, , hissing like a snake. It had been hiding on the small estate of Master Petronius. At PM, the dragon was caught on a public roadway by a herdsman named Baptista, near the hedge of a private farm, a mile from the remote city outskirts of Bologna.
Baptista was following his ox cart home when he noticed the oxen suddenly come to a stop. Trembling he struck it on the head with his rod and killed it. Aldrovandus surmised that dragon was a juvenile, judging by the incompletely developed claws and teeth. When citing an essay from our library, you can use "Kibin" as the author. Kibin does not guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, or completeness of the essays in the library; essay content should not be construed as advice.
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