Steve Dobrioglo (B5)
As a non sci-fi fan, I feel like it was my duty to critique the acclaimed science fiction novel, and so far it has been nothing short of spectacular. In the novel, Orson Scott played around with different writing techniques, one of them being perspective changes. At the beginning of each chapter there would be a scene involving a small group of military generals talking what to do about the protagonist, Ender Wiggins, and then the rest of the chapter would be about the changes the generals discussed about, but told in a limited third-person perspective view of Ender. It’s a clever way to tell a story, and it helps engage the reader in the novel since the reader would look if Ender would comply to the general’s desires. Not that the book needs any help with engaging the reader. So many aspects of Ender’s Game has captivating so far, and honestly, I want to finish this blog so I could keep on reading.
Unlike most fast-paces novels, there are many underlying themes incorporated in the book. One of the biggest themes in the first quarter is friendship. It’s hard to say what Scott thinks about friendship because his changing perspective technique: the two viewpoints of the novel are contradictory. It seems as if lonesomeness is better for intelligence, but acquaintanceship is better for one’s moral, which begs the question, which would end up being more beneficial? On one hand, if Ender ended up as some type of military Einstein, he could be able to see more tactics and maneuvers for his armies, but on the other hand, having someone to care about would drive him to do unfathomable feats of courage that could help him win the war he’s trying to fight. Why would the generals want to seclude Ender if history shows that believing in something is winds up being more productive than acting on brainpower ? After all, how was America founded? Because the People believed in something and fought for what they believed in. They might not have had quality or quantity of weapons, but they still won the Revolutionary War through having faith in freedom. So shouldn’t the generals let Ender make friends so when he is a general himself, he has someone to fight for? Not to mention that if humans didn’t have feelings and only acted upon rationality, people would be too predictable , and in a war situation, predictability could destroy an entire military. It seems like that even though everyone is required to study history in the novel, they don’t take the time to study the ideas that helped form history.
There are some other flaws I found in the book, but they don’t really take away from the action within the novel. The takeaway problem is age. Like in To Kill A Mockingbird it doesn’t seem as if the characters are six years old, but more like sixteen. It is a little vexing to think that Ender is six years old and is better at math, science and history than me. And it’s also hard to believe that eight year old boys are commanders of small squadrons, with no real adult supervision around. I realize that the novel takes place in the future, but it still isn’t very realistic when compared to the real world: after all, my parents still don’t trust me alone with my friends. It is just too dangerous to let a military school of naive children to live practically by themselves, considering the fact that they’ll probably get into fist fights over gun privileges.
Ender’s Game so far has been a non-stop ride of adventure and provoking philosophies. In just a quarter of the novel Orson Scott Card has brought up not-very-used techniques and has already established an universal theme. Although his novel does have some flaws, I can see why people say that Ender’s Game is the one of the ultimate science fiction novels of all time .