Here, we offer you a glimpse of our analysis of “The Rule of Names” by Ursula K. Le Guin.

The short story has a traditional plot structure and follows a single main event (the revealing of Mr. Underhill’s true identity). 

The short story features several characters such as Mr. Underhill, Blackbeard, Palani, Birt, Goody Guld, and Seacaptain Fogeno. The characters resembles the types found in fairytales: the protagonist and the antagonist (Mr. Underhill and Blackbeard), the wise old man (Seacaptain Fogeno ), the forgetful old lady (Goody Guld ), the novice and the maiden (Birt and Palani).

The physical setting is the fictional world of Earthea. The social setting of the short story describes a very different society from what we know in reality. This is a primitive society ruled by magic, superstitions, and mythical creatures like dragons and wizards.

The narrator uses a combined point of view, as we are presented with the villagers’ point of view on Mr. Underhill, Mr. Underhill’s perspective, as well as that of Birt because we see the fight between Underhill and Blackbeard through his eyes.

The language of “The Rule of Names” by Ursula K. Le Guin is easy to follow for most types of readers and is typical of the fantasy genre. The story uses various language devices such as symbols and rhetorical questions. 

You can find the entire analysis of the story in the following pages of the webbook.