“Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card

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 .

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12 responses to ““Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card

  1. jinghuilou

    Cool story Steve, I agree with you that the trade-off between power and friendship is a big deal in this first part of the book. Unluckily for Ender, he has to be deemed as the most powerful kid in his Launch, setting him up as a target to bully instead of being highlighted as a desirable companion. But I do think that this will toughen up his character to make him more independent, and isolation is needed for him to become self-reliant to become the best leader in his group.
    My turn,
    Upon the release of the major motion picture “Ender’s Game” being broadcast in theaters recently, I got excited and wanted to go into stronger interpretations of the novel by Orson Scott Card as a blast to the past adventure. The first time I read through it, I was blown away by the quality of writing and enjoyed it as pleasure reading, though I did touch base upon inspecting the main protagonist Ender’s personality and his ways of thinking in my previous review.

    Going back to the story, I do have to question some aspects of the story for how unrealistic they can be. Why would the world’s space military want to enlist young cadets around the age of 6 to fight in a war against extraterrestrials that could determine the fate of humanity? Why give a stressful and important role as this to such a greenhorn when there are definitely greater minds who are more capable of commanding a fleet of spaceships than these snots? Simply because they think differently? Well as for increased recklessness and fighting behavior, why not.

    However, aside from the unrealism, there are some moments in the beginning which I take into consideration of applying to my own life. When the protagonist Ender tries to handle conflicts with bullies, he does so in a swift and violent manner, as to assert his aggression over those stronger and more experienced than him. I consider demonstrating aggression and dominance to be a legitimate way to gain upper ground and to be ranked and appraised higher on the social hierarchy to reap in the benefits.

    But Ender himself is not a bully. He tries to befriend others into his own social group so that they can all gain power as shown when he interacts with his Launchie squad at the end of the first quarter of the novel. He uses fear to gather the attention of the group, but compassion and kindness to turn that attention into love, and bonding to make everyone stronger. Doing all this thinking, planning, and carrying his tasks out at the age of 6, Ender really is a gifted child and will stand aside from the other trainees by actually being useful to the crew.

  2. morganlloyd99

    When the book Ender’s Game was suggested to me as a possible book for independent reading, I thought it would be at most an okay book. As a person not naturally drawn to science fiction, I had refrained from reading it before, . However, I can now see that this was a mistake. Ender’s Game goes above and beyond all of my expectations for it.

    My first impression of the book was slight confusion. Each chapter opens with dialogue between two figures, not telling you who each of them are. I soon realized, however, how much this introduction and the chapters after told me. It was an interesting tactic that might not work well for another author, but soon dropped me into the story. As the story progresses, you meet some of these men in command, and the conversations begin to take on a new light.

    The book often uses juxtapositioning to convey meaning. For example, right after the main character Ender’s possibly insane brother Peter threatens to kill Ender, we find him coming into Ender’s room and comforting him. The scene left me with far more of an unsettling feeling about Peter than his death threats would have portrayed alone. Another scene that uses juxtapositioning was a holographic game that Ender is playing. the surreal, almost dreamlike setting of the game is offset by the grisly deaths that happen to a player once they lose.

    I agree with Steve and Jinghui that the age of the characters is a bit of a problem while reading this book. Ender, though his age is given as six, does not seem to have the mindset or temperament of a six-year-old, having to experience harsher settings and environments than I think any six year old I know could go through. But, Ender was chosen for this program, this training that the book focuses on, because he has this temperament. As I was reading, I found myself forgetting about how young Ender was; whether this is a benefit or a detriment to the series can be debated. For me, it didn’t interfere with the reading.

    All in all, this has been a very captivating book that has had me on the edge of my seat. Honestly, it’s not a book like any other I’ve read before. I can now see why so many people have recommended this book to me.

  3. Morgan has proven a point when talking about the use of juxtaposition in the novel. Ever since Morgan mentioned it, I have noticed certain aspects that contrast each other. For example, there is the malevolent brother Peter, teaming up with his benign little sister, who is very angelic and sweet. The doing of so makes the reader question the motives of both Peter and Valentine, and adds a deeper layer of thought and foreshadowing to the novel. Also, there is another contrast of characters shown in The Ender’s Game between commanders in the different armies. There are commanders who are lazy, yet manage to win many battles. Meanwhile there are tough, rigid leaders who seem to have less desirable results. Did the author Orson Scott do this on purpose:trying to prove that carelessness is better than structure and order? It might be that the author is planning on taking cleaning up on the theme of the idea later in the novel, but as of right now, it seems a little irresponsible and sloppy to try to convey the message that if one procrastinates, they will get further along in life. The contradictory characters make the book interesting, and I think that Orson Scott used juxtaposition on purpose in order to intensify the certain aspects of the novel in those particular scenes.

    What Jing-Hui said about Ender “fighting the power” is an interesting view that I have not even considered. But now as I look at it, I can’t but feel stupid for realizing that Ender is starting to view the teachers as the enemy. What makes the idea funny is that it has been used in many novels (such as “Catching Fire”) and has also been the reason for revolution, as shown numerous times in history. The idea that the overseers are deceptive and selfish people is almost a cliche in the modern world. But, in The Ender’s Game, what is interesting is that there is an actual reason for putting all of this pressure on Ender. I personally get the impression that the reason that the teachers are doing this to Ender is to make him into a better person, as opposed to many “Big Brother” figures who act out of selfishness.

    Another theme I noticed that has risen up in this quarter of the book is the idea of wearing masks to please society. Orson Scott has taken this theme and used a clever metaphor to prove his theme, that being that if one needs to be taken seriously, they would need a deceiving facade. Scott proves this when he has Peter and Valentine try to influence the government with online articles. Because Peter and Valentine are children, no one would take them seriously, even if they had good ideas about social economics. This is why Peter and Valentine use fake accounts and make fake personas to speak their minds. Soon enough, many people start discussing the ideas that were first brought up by Valentine and Peter’s fake personas, and soon enough, even news channels started to mention the children’s facades, as if they were real people. Peter and Valentine help prove that society often expects too much from the simplest things. No one should care if the brilliant ideas came from a child; they are brilliant nonetheless!

    I have also noticed that Orson Scott Card has tried to prove that the past is part of the identity of the person. It gives the book a feeling of nostalgia. In the book, Ender is always wishing for the past, to be with his dearly beloved little sister Valentine. There are times where he cries because he misses his old life. But when Ender becomes a commander of his own army, it feels as if there is some type of relapse. I say this because Ender is in control of an army, and one soldier in particular is very similar to Ender when he was younger. As a commander, Ender has done what he thought he would never do. He thought he would feel sympathy for any kid like himself, but now Ender is doing what the Teachers have done to him. He separates the kid, making all the other soldiers despise the one kid, much like Ender when he first was a soldier. I think Orson Scott has done this to show that one can never truly run away from the past, because it is now part of that person. It’s an interesting concept that I would have not thought would have been in this type of book, but once again, Orson caught me off-guard.

    This has been an important section of the novel, with many more themes developing, and I am thrilled to be able to keep on reading.

    Your move Morgan.

  4. morganlloyd99

    Why am I always the last poster?

    The adventure has escalated in the second segment of the esteemed science fiction novel Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. In this quarter of the book, the character development that is such a strong theme in this story has moved to the forefront. We see Ender develop as a person as he is forced to react to new and confusing environments in the harsh and isolating Battle School.

    The development of the main character, Ender Wiggin, might be the biggest conflict in the book, even greater than the threat of an alien invasion. The commanders of battle school are determined to make his life a living hell, forcing him away from his friends and thrusting him into new conflicts. Ender is forced to make decisions that he doesn’t want to, and struggles with the killer instinct that rises in him. The author’s decision to focus on this development, this internal conflict, vastly increases the book’s quality in my opinion.

    The author uses imagery and very descriptive words in his writing as well. This is demonstrated in the following passage, one that I felt was full of imagery,

    “She arose from the floor of the tower room and walked to the mirror. Ender made his figure also rise and go with her. They stood before the mirror, where instead of Peter’s cruel reflection there stood a dragon and a unicorn. Ender reached out his hand and touched the mirror and so did Valentine; the wall fell open and revealed a great stairway downward, carpeted and lined with shouting, cheering multitudes. Together, arm in arm, he and Valentine walked down the stairs. Tears filled his eye, tears of relief that at last he had broken free of the room at the End of the World” (Card 152).

    These sentences convey the relief that Ender feels, the sheer happiness that he is experiencing after breaking through a hard puzzle. But this puzzle was different, because it was close to breaking his psyche, and these sentences show how Ender’s confidence was finally restored. Card is able to convey a range of emotions with a few sentences, creating a great book.

    The issue of respect as mentioned by Jinghui is also interesting. As a military organization, Battle School demands respect for authority, something Ender is not willing to give instantly. It is only after he has gauged the character of a person that Ender is willing to respect and obey a person. This conflict is also one of the themes in this novel.

    Building of that idea is the teachers being established as sympathetic enemies. It would be far easier to establish the teachers as either good or bad, working for Ender or against him, but Card makes the teachers for more human by having characteristics of both that make them far more interesting characters. I wonder, ultimately, which side they will choose regarding Ender.

    This segment of Ender’s Game was every bit as captivating as the first. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a novel with adventure but also more depth than your average YA novel.

  5. jinghuilou

    Cool story guys,
    I do agree with you guys that Ender will eventually have to step up to the plate and attack his challenge instead of suffering through it, or else the pressure will soon break him as well as his hope of becoming a strong soldier. Also, from the teaming up of Valentine and Peter I did not really understand why the point of including this portion into the story even mattered. But now, I see that maybe Card is trying to influence the reader that people can be changed by others, in which Valentine is becoming more aggressive and Peter is becoming more amiable.

    I’ll try not to make my own post for the pt. 3 section, humbabe.

    Now here is one of the parts of the book where I find to be most interesting, because there is much character development found in Ender as he realizes that he is going from his path of surviving Battle School into thriving in it. At first, Ender is always separated from his army as the weak and inexperienced soldier in Salamander Army. Though through hard work and perseverance, Ender is able to make a friend, Petra, and evolve through practice into becoming one of the most skilled soldiers on the school’s leaderboard. When gaining these skills and fighting effectively, the students feel threatened of their positions and want to remain the dominant students. They deal with this issue by attempting to harass and beat up Ender, but end up getting beat themselves, and soon learn to accept Ender as a strong leader.

    From this, the author is conveying through the path Ender is going through that respect is not given to any individual, but instead earned and won through proving their dominance. Also, Card demonstrates how outside forces, such as the teachers and other faculty members in “false command” really have no power influencing the students and making them think in the ways the teachers want them to. This is because it is in human nature to ignore undesirable ideas at first, and to repel against them completely if the idea is consistently bothering them, as shown when the teachers stress the importance of treating Ender as a leader.

    Upon proving his rightfulness to become a leader, he is separated and given an army of his own. However, the teachers are playing dirty and giving him obvious unfair disadvantages, such as the fresh recruits to serve under his army, the frequent and tiring battles each day, as well as the late notices of important events. This is to test Ender’s ability to handle situations under pressure and stress, but throughout the chapters Ender eventually wants to give up and stop trying, as now he sees the teachers as the enemy instead of other armies. This is interesting, as Ender views the superior force giving him challenges to be his enemy instead of the challenges themselves. It means that Ender wants to directly face the source giving him issues to prevent future conflicts, and it will be interesting to see how Ender cracks under what he has to deal with later in the book. The teachers should be careful and moderate the amount of stress and pressure they put onto Ender, as this could seriously cause him psychological harm and break his spirit to even fight the Buggers anymore.

    I am curious to read on Ender’s reaction to this once again.

  6. jinghuilou

    Rest assured, I remembered to post under the same blog instead of creating a new one.

    Throughout this quarter section of the story, Ender has befriended his new Dragon Army soldiers that came in as fresh recruits, but helped them grow through performance as the top soldiers of the Battle Leaderboards. In return, the green recruits treated Ender with much respect and they all bonded closely with each other. Here, Ender is beginning to feel the heavy weight of the responsibilities of leading an army to be slowly lifted off his shoulders, as he finds companions alongside him to help Ender carry his burden, and he is once again feeling confident in his abilities and back in the game.

    However with increased pressure given to him from the teachers as well as even more handicaps given to his enemies during battles, Ender’s progress of rising up and beating his challenges has been crushed.

    This means that despite the friendships, frequent compliments, and encouragements to stay strong from his team, Ender is still struggling to attack the pressure bothering him to become the best leader in his school. These are vital moments throughout the entire story, as when something as strong as Ender’s perseverance is crushed, the reader HAS to understand how difficult his situation currently is. In the beginning of the story, Ender was a cautious, perseverant, and caring type of person. Now, he is being transformed by the school into becoming a ruthless killing machine as his thoughts and dialogue realize this change. Ender does not want to become another Peter, another sadistic maniac meant for the destruction of others. The reason for this is that Peter was Ender’s childhood bully, and he grew great dislike for Peter. When Ender realizes that he is becoming Peter, he is becoming a bully. He does not want that change to happen,becoming something he hated, which is why he wants to give up on supporting the cause of killing off a whole extra-terrestrial species, as that applies to the same concept of causing others harm to the benefit of himself.

    As I said previously, the interactions with others will reflect upon a person as he will be influenced and be thinking with the same mindset of those other people. This is shown when Ender returns to Earth, craving peace and understanding between the two main rivals of this story, just as Valentine would have. But when Valentine talks to Ender again, he learns how she instead wants Ender to try his best to defeat the Buggers for the benefit of humanity. Valentine, spending much time with Peter after all these years, has adopted some of his thoughts which involve less love and compassion for everybody to Ender’s dismay. Will Ender become Peter later on? I’ll be anticipating the possible moment.

    Does this even classify as a comment? I just typed my heart out.

  7. Jing-Hui, I agree with you in that the idea of forcing Ender to take responsibility over a lesser crew has been a major part of this particular section. I think that the Commanders are trying to bring out the best out of Ender, but what they really do is bring out the worst in him. But I somewhat disagree with you on Ender’s friendship quest. I think Ender is losing friends due to being such an inspiring role-model. Most people see him as more of an untouchable idol than a human being.Sure, everyone respects him because of his talents, but now everyone is either scared of or happy (in the case that they work for him) for Ender. While there is the quote, ” Many of them laughed. Talo Momoe began clapping his hands. ‘ Ender Wiggin!’ he shouted. The other boys also clapped and shouted Ender’s name” (Scott 219), I get the impression that they are clapping more of Ender’s brilliance than Ender charisma. This section of the book shows that there is a fine line between Friendship and Respect. Plus, most other soldiers are more like co-workers than friends. And keep in mind that Ender has lost some friends when he was promoted early on. Some people he just lost contact with, but for his other former friends, the Games had gotten too competitive.

    In my eyes, Ender is not turning into Peter. It is shown time and time again that when Ender attacks, he does it for protection. It’s not like Ender would go around skinning squirrels alive like Peter (despite the fact that there are no squirrels where Ender lives). Peter enjoys taking advantage over anyone he could manipulate, and Ender doesn’t try to control people with psychological tricks. People listen to Ender because he is brilliant and talented. Ender wins people over and is able to tell them what to do because of skill, while Peter does it in a more cowardly way. Besides, Ender does not enjoy hurting or killing his peers. He stated himself that when he fought Bonzo in the shower room, he felt bad. He did it out of desperation. And I’m pretty sure that Ender doesn’t have a dying hate for the Buggers, like Peter does. Then again, Peter hates basically everything. Peter is essentially a walking body of malicious emotions. Remember when Ender was playing that simulation role-play game and he reached the End of the World? Remember when he looked into the mirror, and he saw Peter’s face? I think that was more of a distraction to mess with Ender’s mind than anything else. There is no way that the computer, or whomever met Ender, could have thought that he was turning into Peter. Even before going to the Battle School, Ender and Valentine made sure to stay away from Peter to a certain extent. But, I guess we could only find out by reading on…

    I kind of want to talk about the controversy of age in the book once again. While it seemed futile and somewhat strange, I think that Orson Scott has
    purposefully done this. I say this mostly because he has an entire plan described in the book which is very specific towards age, in regards to military school. This means that he has had to spend a lot of time working out the plans written in the book, and if he didn’t mean to make the age of soldiers so low on purpose, it probably would have occurred to him ” Hey, why are the characters in my book six-year-old killing machines? I should probably fix that…”. So he either wrote the characters as children for a publicity stunt, or maybe to symbolize how humankind doesn’t change. It could parallel the children soldiers in Africa, or it could show that the negative features in mankind can be seen since youth.

    In the final stretch of the book, I am expecting a full resolution about the whole ” Is Ender turning into Peter” dispute. I have no doubts that it will be benign.

  8. morganlloyd99

    Last poster again.

    The third part of this acclaimed book, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, has kept me riveted to the edge of my seat. Ender must confront life-threatening challenges even as he must confront his own self.

    The character development in this segment has been even more present than in the past two sections. Like Steve and Jinghui have mentioned, two sides of Ender’s personality have emerged. One is the violent killer, the other is the empathetic boy who doesn’t want to hurt anything. I see these characteristics reflected in Ender’s siblings, Peter and Valentine. I believe that Valentine represents the more emotional side of Ender, whereas Peter represents the heartless killer. This symbolism is reflected in the fantasy game that Ender used to play. Currently in the novel, the two are working together to ensure peace between Russia and the United States. Hopefully, this symbolizes that Ender’s two sides will come together in harmony.

    At this point in the book, Ender is made a leader of an “army”. It is really here that he ceases to become a boy anymore in my eyes. He seems detached from his troops, treating them as his soldiers rather than his friends. It is very interesting seeing this from Ender’s perspective, and how alone he feels in the world.The teachers at Battleschool have done their utmost to ensure that Ender feels isolated, and they have succeeded. It remains to be seen whether or not this isolation will break him, however.

    After Ender decides he is done with the training, that nothing in his life matters anymore, he returns to Earth. There his sister convinces him to return to training, asking him to protect her. Right now, it seems that Valentine is Ender’s sole motivation, and protecting her is all he wants to do. At the same time, she is being forced to work with the hated teachers of the Battleschool. It remains to be seen how that conflict will resolve itself.

    The teachers of the Battleschool, Hyrum Graff in particular, are extremely complex characters as I mentioned before. Graff truly cares for Ender, as shown numerous times in the before-chapter comments. However, he realizes that he must harden Ender through this intense training. This conflict between duty and compassion seems to be a huge theme in this book, shown here and with the conflicting sides of Ender. I am wondering which side Card will favor, if any.

    Ender’s Game is a very complex novel that seems to defy all genres. It has way more depth than the average YA novel, yet features protagonists that resonate with teenagers. All and all, it is a unique classic that is worth a read at least once.

  9. My Rant about The Ender’s Game (Actually, more like my rant against the reader’s):
    First off, It would be appreciated by all who are planning to read Ender’s Game( or is currently in the middle of it) if everyone else who has read the novel would shut up about the twist ending. While this might seem like a very malevolent thing to say, it’s true. Over ten people told me that there was a plot twist when I told them I was reading Ender’s Game, and they ruined the book for me. So for God’s Sake, let the innocent read in peace, and experience all the thrills and joys without knowing the climax. It’s simply disrespectful to the author, and it’s disrespectful to anyone reading the book for the first time. And if anyone reading this doesn’t know that there is a plot twist at the ending and is planning on reading Ender’s Game, I give you my sincerest apologies. But sadly, you’ll eventually find out: not through reading the novel (unless you shacked up in a cabin in the woods with no communication to the rest of the world) , but when a so-called “friend” spoils the ending for you just by saying that there is a plot twist.

    Now, the actually review for The Ender’s Game:
    The author Orson Scott Card has managed to do the impossible: to write an exciting story while using many writing tools and techniques that had made the book an instant-classic. While the Ender’s Game is slightly different from Moby Dick, it still has many similar aspects to all of the classics in history,such as decent character development, and an universal appeal. In the case of The Ender’s Game, it is that there are multiple themes found, which is also what makes it so similar to the other books that had stood the test of time. For the sci-fi classic, it focuses mostly on the battle between the effects of friendship versus the productivity that comes out of loneliness. Another thing that has made the novel so great is that it could actually relate to society nowadays. The commander’s in the novel reflect the “Big Brother” type of government when they forced Ender to obey their orders, which shows that the government has control over one’s life. While as a nation we are not in the Big Brother form of government, we should be wary and look for and stop any progressions towards the idea of Big Brother. Also, the book shows that the government has surveillance on many people, but doesn’t tell the public. With the NSA and Edward Snowden scandal recently, the scenario is so similar, it’s shocking. But in the story, only a few people know, and not the public, which would explain why there is a lack of protests and rebellions.
    While there has been some controversy with the age of many of the soldiers in the book. Because of the youth of most of the characters, and the fact that it is a sci-fi novel, it seems as if to alienate more adult readers. But overall, it has been an excellent read. Card toyed around with different techniques, such as perspective, and has utilized them to their fullest extent. It has been quite a benign novel that will not only allow one to ponder on one’s own values, but on society as well. I would recommend this book to anyone under eighteen years of age. 9/10

  10. jinghuilou

    ♪All I want for Christmas, is Homework!♪

    Listen up munchkins, I feel as though the huge climax at the end of the story took up much of the attention away from the aftermath of the Bugger War. However surprising it is to see Ender defeat the Buggers without him knowing it as part of his “training”, it is also important to understand Ender’s reaction to finding out, as well as what he does to compensate.

    Ender shows his sympathetic and forgiving side when he wants to repopulate the Bugger species by hatching a leftover egg. What really appalled me was how the Buggers were able to communicate to Ender through his game, even though the Buggers never needed to communicate, only to follow the instantaneous signals of the Queen. Even though the Buggers pose as a threat to humanity, Ender conveys the opposite, as to addressing the Earth how they should view themselves through another perspective, as unforgiving war-crazy animals, who cannot live without finding an enemy to fight with. The Earth slowly understands Ender’s logic, and wish to compensate for their harshness by giving the Buggers another chance to repopulate. After all, the Buggers only attacked Earth out of fear of dealing with other intelligent life, and this miscommunication led to the Buggers apologizing by leaving them alone. Humanity is unforgiving to the point where they wanted to exact their revenge on the Buggers also out of fear of being completely erased from the world.

    The author writes this as an example of how communication is key, and with multiple assumptions and meanings based on the same events, there will be a variety of responses to choose from to deal with that event. The right choice of action is debatable depending on what the event’s intent was, and nobody can ever know what the true intent was until someone actually communicates with the beings who caused it. Card also teaches that with forgiveness, friendships across unknown territories can be reached, which will result in less conflicts over differences, meaning less of a desire to fight over ethnocentrism.

    My rating for this book remains unchanged, 15/10 for creating such debatable insight from the themes present. The movie failed to show this, so I would recommend NOT SEEING it.

    Morgan, you are in charge of giving the grand-slam, the mother of all finales to wrap up this gem of a book. Do not mess it up.

  11. morganlloyd99

    Ender’s Game 11/10

    The fourth part of this book simply blew me away. I know I’ve been saying all along how great this book has been, and it has. But nothing could have prepared me for the amazing ending that Orson Scott Card wrote.

    At this point in the novel, Ender graduates from his former school, and moves on to more intense training. Ender learns that the fabled hero of the first war Mazer Rackham is still alive and becomes Ender’s teacher. At this point, in the novel, the conflicting motivations of the teachers really show themselves. In one of the most emotional parts of the novel, Ender is barely conscious and hears Colonel Graff and Mazer Rackham talking.

    “In his dream, the voices sounded like Colonel Graff and Mazer Rackham. But that was the way dreams were, the craziest things could happen, because he dreamed he heard one of the voices saying, ‘I can’t bear to see what this is doing to him.’ And the other voice answered, ‘I know. I love him too” (288).

    In order to ready Ender for battle, the teachers must make Ender believe that he is truly alone. So, Ender hears this conversation and thinks it is a dream. This part really showed too things to me; the ordeal the teachers must be going through, destroying a little boy, and how much their tactics have worked. Ender is truly alone. He has no one he can trust, no one he can look up to. As the saying goes, it’s lonely at the top.

    Card, while writing this book, was writing a commentary about human nature. Of course, being written during the Cold War, it is easy to see this work as anti-Soviet propaganda. Not only do the nations of the Warsaw Pact end up declaring a war on the rest of the world, and are soundly defeated, the enemy buggers share one mind. They are not separate entities but one hive mind, which seems to me might be a commentary on Communism. But part of the book’s major revelation, that Ender was commanding the fleet of ships attacking the buggers, is that the buggers were not going to attack Earth. In the end, the humans sank to the level of their enemy, destroying their homeworld. One of the major themes in this novel is that you must not sink to the level of your enemy to win, or else your victory will be a Pyrrhic one, with no meaning in it.

    I agree with Steve that the government does seem to be very overbearing, almost Big Brother-ish. I could relate to the stories of the overbearing bureaucrats with far more authority than they should have. However, once Ender wins, he becomes a colonial governor and establishes a land of peace. Ironically enough, Peter, the cruel brother, ends up saving the world, and eventually becomes the ruler. As Peter lies dying, he and Ender finally make their peace, and he asks Ender to write his life story, sparing nothing. This moment signifies the peace between Ender’s two sides, empathetic and violent; though he is lost in grief after learning he killed billions of buggers, as a colonial governor he finally finds peace.

    In the end, Ender finds the egg of a queen, and resolves that the buggers will live again, and that the two worlds of humans and buggers will live in harmony. Ender has been struggling to find this harmony the entire novel. In the end, he attains it in a way he never expected. Defying expectations is the name of this book; my expectations were blown by the amazing writing and the deep themes. Again, I would give this book an 11/10.

    – Morgan

  12. Loved your voice throughout these posts. And I’m so glad you enjoyed it–I will need to add it to my reading list.

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