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Ender's Game

Orson Scott Card

Context

Table of Contents

Summary

Born in 1951 in Washington and raised on the west coast, Orson Scott Card attended Brigham Young University and spent two years as a Mormon missionary Brazil. Highly influenced by his Mormon upbringing, in his introduction to Ender's Game Card mentions that Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy inspired him to write science fiction. He claims that in high school he was fascinated by military strategy and especially the crucial role that a leader plays in an army. The idea of the Battle Room, the game around which the novel Ender's Game is organized, came to him when he was sixteen years old, but he did not begin to write the story until years later. Since Card came up with the basic concept of the book at such a young age it is not surprising that his young characters have considerably more penetrating thoughts and complex emotions than children in most other stories. This emphasis on children is one that Card very consciously molded, and he states that one of his goals was for everyone to have to see things from their point of view.

Although Ender is undoubtedly an exceptional child, in many ways he is very similar to all of the other characters in the book. In Ender's Game, Ender and the other children have the complex emotions and relationships that adults have. Card states that the military histories that he read described soldiers who appeared to be children engaged in deadly games. So while emphasizing their very real feelings and ideas, Card is always conscious of the fact that these are, after all, boys and girls thrown into an adult world in a time of desperation. Although the idea of battle games permeates the book, Ender's Game itself is anything but a game, and its strong emphasis on moral issues no doubt reflects its author's religious background.

The winner of the 1986 Hugo and Nebula awards, Ender's Game is Orson Scott Card's best-known work. Since its publication in 1985 the book has been considered a science fiction classic. Although the innovative military strategies that form the heart of the story date can be traced back to his high school days, the book itself is the work of a mature author. Card, who has a master's degree in literature from the University of Utah, has continued to write at a rapid pace, producing five other parts to the Ender series in addition to creating several new series, many plays, short stories, and a handful of other novels. The sequel to Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, won the Hugo and Nebula awards in 1987, making Card the first author to win both awards twice.

Card's writing is deliberately lucid, almost to the point of simplicity, and it is for this reason that his books may be read by people of all ages. His simple style is especially appropriate as he describes the world of children rather than of adults. However, the fact that Ender's Game is as fun and informative for an adolescent as it is for an adult means that the book is destined to be read over and over again by people at various stages of their lives. Card's book conveys a timeless message, as there will always be children who can relate to Ender and adults who both remember what they once were and realize how similar that still is to what they are now.

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Ender Vs. Peter Motivation

by ICanReadMusicToo, June 03, 2013

I think the foil of the brothers' motivations can be simplified like this:

Ender is always doing the wrong thing for the right reasons:
Ender always wants to do no harm, but is often forced to harm/destroy by situations beyond his control. He does his best to do things in the most moral way, and for only the most moral purposes, but that's not always as possible as he would like.

Peter does the right thing for the wrong reasons:
Peter simply wants to do whatever is the easiest/most beneficial for himself, and is in... Read more

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197 out of 213 people found this helpful

Symbolism

by GrammarJunkie18, July 12, 2013

Some theories: Can Peter, Ender, and Valentine represent the id, the ego, and the superego? Seems likely to me. Also, what is the significance of all the names in the novel? Note that Peter, Andrew, and Valentine are saints. What did they do? I guess Valentine is something love-related, and Peter is the bad apostle, right? Also, who were Locke and Demosthenes historically? I know that John Locke was an English philosopher in the 1600s, and Demosthenes was a Greek philosopher, right? And Eros, the name of the planet - what's the significance ... Read more

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38 out of 44 people found this helpful

Teachers

by Cillaejobbigjustnu, October 16, 2013

The teachers doesn't show any compassion to the pupils of the battle school. Althought we (me and my ego's) think that they have more compassion and care alot more of the children than they show through. We think that it is to make strong soldiers and that they don't want them to be weak and want to go home etc.

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