Eric Franklin
Eric Franklin asked:

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K Walton I think it has to do, in large part, with Estraven's association between Genly Ai and his dead brother, Arek. Genly mindspeaks to Estraven in Arek's voice (indicative, I believe, of the growing love and friendship between them). Given Estraven's love for Arek, and his grief, I think that's an extremely painful experience. It's implied that Arek and Estraven were lovers, after all, and that Estraven bore their child, Sorve, which would've ended his relationship with Arek--incest being permissible on Winter until a child is conceived. Arek may have even committed suicide, an inference I make based on the parable Le Guin provides about the original Estraven the Traitor.

Secondarily, as Genly Ai himself remarks in the book, Mindspeech must be a truly terrifying experience to someone experiencing it for the first time--in particular someone who did not previously know it was possible.
Laura I think it is also very difficult for Estraven, as a member of a society that is very concerned with honor (shifgrethor), where topics of importance are often talked around (most of the first act conversation between Genly and Estraven is a complete misunderstanding!), direct, honest speech is likely to be very disorienting.
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