The Tombs of Atuan, by Ursula Le Guin Essay

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In Ursula Le Guin's novel The Tombs of Atuan, she focuses on a young woman named Tenar. Much of Tombs highlight's Tenar's lack of choice, such as being chosen to even become known as Arha, “The Eaten One” (Tombs 177). As Arha, she is inducted into the dark and cruel religion of The Nameless Ones. With the discovery of Ged, from A Wizard of Earthsea, in the Undertomb, Arha's life will never be the same, as she is offered knowledge and choices she had never even known were available to her. Trust and choices are two main aspects of The Tombs of Atuan, and it is through Ged that Arha is finally privy to them. The darkness of the labyrinth in Tombs symbolizes ignorance and fear, and when Ged arrives with his light he brings with him …show more content…
“Without Tenar's protection, Ged would either have died in the labyrinth or met with a summary execution. Without Tenar's guidance, he would not have been able to navigate his way to freedom” (Jobling 57). However, for Arha and Ged to work this way, there has to be a mutual trust. Arha must chose to trust Ged, someone from the Inner Lands, which means someone who is enemy to the Kargad Empire and the God King, and the same someone who has defiled the Tombs of the Nameless Ones. Meanwhile, Ged has to trust her and believe that she will not sell him out to Kossil and the guards. Ged's trust in Tenar is shown in his actions. In the Tombs, Ged gives Arha his true name, placing his future in her hands. This trust calls on Tenar's benevolence, and saves them from the Old Masters' wrath. After they breakout, Tenar confesses the misdeeds she did for her Masters and Ged helps her come to terms with her actions:
'“Listen Tenar. Heed me. You were the vessel for evil. The evil is poured out. It is done. It is buried in its own tomb. You were never made for cruelty and darkness; you were made to hold light, as a lamp burning holds and gives it light. I found the lamp unlit; I won’t leave it on some desert island like a thing found and cast away. I’ll take you to Havnor and say to the princes of Earthsea, ‘Look! In the place of darkness I found the light, her spirit. By her an old evil was brought to nothing. By her I was brought out of

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