First, I apologize for the lateness of this post; I will be sure and have this week’s discussion up on Saturday as promised.
As expected, Ged, in his arrogance, attempts to trump his rival and unwittingly unleashes a horrible shadow being into the world. The experience humbles him, and he retreats within himself, fearful of his own power. After struggling with his inner demons, he graduates to the role of sorcerer, and is tasked with protecting an island community from nearby dragon spawn, though he still struggles to deal with the thing he has unleashed. Eventually it finds him again, and Ged forms a pact with the dragon through the knowledge of its name to protect the community before venturing out to stop the shadow before it consumes him.
The way I see it, there were two ways the events in Chapter four could have ended. He could have been humbled, which did occur, or he could have let his arrogance overpower him and sought out the shadow being immediately. Last week I suggested that the opening chapters reminded me of what the Star Wars prequels could have been, and here is where things diverge. I could have easily seen Anakin in the role Ged plays, up until his hubris allows the shade beast to escape. A lesser person would have been consumed by his hubris, believing that it was his power that unleashed the beast and thus his power could contain it again, or possibly even control it.
In Ged we see more of a Saul-to-Paul transformation, albeit through different means. Saul, in his arrogance and lack of understanding, persecuted with the power granted to him by the State. Only by external means does he face his own limitations and pride, transmogrifying him into a follower of Jesus. Ged is also humbled by his experience, though his was of a more destructive nature.
At this point is Ged a true hero? He is shamed and humbled by the attack by the shadow beast, and learns to respect his power. His choice after becoming a sorcerer, however, is to flee from his own mistake, almost as far from civilization as he can go. Eventually he decides to face his fears, but only after another mistake forces his hand and the shade beast can find him. True, he chooses to protect his island charge by confronting the dragon and its children, and though honorable, is it heroic?
I am anxious to see how his character develops in the following chapters. Please comment, and continue with this great discussion on a wonderful book!