During an uprising created by Urrasti workers, Shevek preaches the concept of "empty hands." Derived from Anarresti values, emptyhandedness is something that is free of materialism and ego and built to be a form of selflessness. Yet at the end of the book, Shevek returns to Anarres, reconciliating with his family, and wishes he had a souvenir for them. Though there is this push for "empty hands," materialistic desires still hover. Wealth is not the primary issue, instead the issue of freedom prevails; people should be given the choice to choose their own lifestyle.