Charlotte's Reviews > The Word for World is Forest

The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin
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's review
Jan 14, 2011

really liked it

This is about neither extreme environmentalism nor common sense conservation to my view. I see it as addressing the evils of colonialism, taking over and destroying another civilization's habitat and way of life, eg in Newfoundland the native population died out completely. Avatar had the same theme. I have seen it suggested somewhere that Avatar stole the plot of this book, but there are a lot of differences - being inspired by a book is not the same as stealing from it. Both could be seen as commentary on the excesses of European expansion and a plea not to make the same mistake as we move into space. Or they could be seen as anti-racist as the natives are clearly treated as inferior beings, just like the African blacks who were rounded up as slaves. And I am sure there were a lot of Captain Davidsons among the slavers!

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