The Rock That Changed Things: Literary Theories

May 29, 2012
By , Park Ridge, IL
Ursula le Guin’s The Rock That Changed Things, when looked at with the theories of literature, can be best described as having a feminist viewpoint. The Rock That Changed Things is feminist based on the representation of females in the society, the value of the thoughts of the men versus the thoughts of the women.

Females, or the majority of the nurs, are seen as weak and their thoughts are seen as invalid. Their purpose is to fix the designs of the obl that were damaged by weather. They are subject to rape, violence and ridicule. When Bu asked about the significance of the colored stones, she was disregarded by the Canon almost immediately. This shows that the obls, or a large amount of the males in the society, saw the nurs as the underclass.

The obls’ thoughts are the only ones that are recorded in the books that are in the college. Since obls are only men, and that women are highly disregarded in this society, it can be determined that the thoughts and ideas of the nurs weren’t even considered in this society and that they should always listen to the obls. This presents a tone of Marxism and the idea of class struggle.
In The Rock That Changed Things, the obls and nurs were polar opposites. The obls saw the nurs as weaklings and the nurs saw the obls as the unenlightened. This story reflects the feminist theory of literacy and shades of the Marxist theory can be seen as well.

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Katdell said...
May 23, 2014 at 11:51 am
It feels to me as if you never even read the story. This was a story about a lower class rising against the upper class. The Nurs were a mix of both females and males and one of the most well regarded Obls was a woman: Lady Rectoress. This is a story about opression and self discovery, not feminism.
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