The language in general
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. There are many words related to magic and superstition, but also to the natural landscape of an archipelago (the Earthsea area developed in the author’s other short stories and novels). Dialogue is used occasionally, but the story is mainly told through narration.
A series of language devices are used in the short story, which we outline below.
Humour and irony
The author uses also humor and irony which are usually constructed by presenting paradoxical situations, such as the fact that the children go to school but are illiterate: “Since no one on Sattins Island was literate, there were no books to learn to read from and no desks to carve initials on and no blackboards to erase, and in fa...