Literature and War: The Return of Cold-War Strife

Feeling parched from a lack of understanding, I decided to comprehensively analyze my most recent read, commemorated author Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness. Le Guin’s captivating literary composure is a commentary on dictatorship, progressivism, and enduring conflict between countries amidst the cold war. Interestingly, the most encapsulating aspect of her work is its relationship with the contemporary American landscape. 


As a young American man on the brink of eighteen, discourse of conflict in Ukraine is radiant when speaking to relatives, peers, and mentors in common. The hostility, of course, expands far beyond the bounds of daily discourse. On March 25th, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney joined a throg of peace advocates in Times Square voicing their support. One Ukranian demonstrator spoke to Washington Square News, the official student newspaper of New York University: “Americans, please address your congresswoman, address senators, address the President. Please help Ukraine. We need help, we desperately need help. We stand, we fight, we give our lives, but we need support. Please, Ukraine needs you”. Congresswoman Maloney, who made her appearance just feet away from the Ukrainian speaker, bolstered her standpoint on Ukraine earlier this March. Credit Suisse, the Congresswoman’s principal quarry, is an American investment banking company who funished loans totaling over two billion to Vladimir Putin, along with undisclosed members of his inner circle. Despite its arduous nature, Maloney has been diligently extinguishing all claims made by the enterprise’s lawyers.


When I first perused articles encircling this series of events, I identified a correspondence to the writings of the aforementioned Ursula K. Le Guin. In her 1969 work, The Left Hand of Darkness, the science fiction creative illustrates parallels between Karhide-America and Orgoreyn-Russia. Karhide and Orgoreyn are two countries, in a fictitious land, at the threshold of conflict. Supporting character Estraven pursues the formation of unity between Karhide and neighboring Orgoreyn. Through manipulation of politics, individuals, and routines, Estraven determines that the key to unity in his world is trade. Although trade at its conceivable peak may not be feasible in our present, I cannot help but establish connections between the idealist philosophies of Congresswoman Maloney and Estraven. Le Guin provokes reverence in her readers when speaking of Estraven, writing: “He [Estraven] knew that, whichever nation first made [an] alliance … the other would follow soon … he loved his country very dearly … but he did not serve it … he served the master … mankind”. As Congresswoman of one of the most pivotal districts in New York City, Maloney understands that asserting her viewpoints on international issues is integral to her role. By involving herself in protests, she also persuades her supporters to be involved in a salient subject. In a March 8th press release statement, Maloney declared, “The Committee on Oversight and Reform stands with Ukraine, and we will work to ensure that critical aid and support is delivered to the Ukrainian people”. The House Committee on Oversight and Reform, is a sub-organization of the U.S. House led by Congresswoman Maloney since October 17, 2019. In her poised assertions, one can identify that Maloney speaks with underlying worry for the people of Ukraine. Maloney does not show solicitude for Ukrainians in the interest of American commerce or international relations but rather because her value of humanitarianism extends past the borders of her own country.




Hardersen, Kayla. Vora, Shaina. “NYC protests denounce Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

Washington Square News, 28 February 2022, p. 1.


“Chairs Maloney, Lynch Issue Statements After Member Briefing on the Conflict in Ukraine.”

House Committee on Oversight and Reform, 8 March 2022, p. 1.