Essay Prompt:
Technology is implicated in every aspect of human life: it shapes our perception, our social structures, our ability to communicate, and our beliefs about the world. In a certain sense, technology creates the world as we know it. In The Lathe of Heaven, Leguin raises serious ethical questions about creation and control, using Orr’s effective dreams as an allegory for our desire to control the world. Since our first class readings, this theme of control has been apparent, as the Ancient Greeks noticed that there was something daemonic about techne: it seems to exceed human control. What ethical questions does Leguin raise about our attempts to control reality (both the world and our experience of it)using technology? Explain Haber’s and Orr’s respective positions with regard to using Orr’s effective dreams. Articulate, to the best of your ability, the ethical argument that Leguin is implicitly making in The Lathe of Heaven. What “morals of the story” can we find in analyzing Lathe of Heaven as an allegory about our use of technology and our attitudes towards it?

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