Commentary on Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card


As a disclaimer to this blog entry, here's an excerpt from the Introduction of Orson Scott Card's most celebrated novel: Ender's Game.

 

You could disagree with me, but I believe that what you'v
e just read is a quality of a really good author. Good authors don't just tell good stories; they don't just tell "their" stories. They write stories that can speak personally to each of their readers; stories that their readers can own; stories that the author and reader can share; and these stories are what they both created in their minds and memory.

For this review, I would like to remind you that this is how Orson Scott Card and I painted Ender's Game in our minds and memory. It might be different for you, but I hope you find this review amusing because for me..

Ender's Game is really disturbing. I felt vulnerable while reading it. You know the feeling when you read a text and say, "Ha! I'm not that kind of person. Of course I'm not! Uhmmm..am I?" You're scared of your answer, but still you tear through your own guard and search yourself. Not just search, but see through the very core of your thoughts, principles, and actions.

That's how I felt in Ender's Game. It is, as I said, disturbing. Not in a bad way, though. I like how it brings out the need for you to analyze yourself and the circumstances that you cannot control. And ask, "How am I going to act? How am I going to respond?"

 If you think about it, the questions and issues the author poses are actually simple. It's too simple that we overlook some of it in reality. Why? I don't know. Maybe because these are the issues that are simple, but hard to deal with.

There are two issues that had me questioning for days. One is the issue on friendship. It is simple, but it is relevant to all. In the book, teachers isolated Ender to shape his mindset into thinking that he needs to excel on his own because he won't get help from anybody. But he still gained friends despite his isolation. However his teachers made them compete against each other. This made Ender feel he lost his friends. While reading these chapters in Battle School, I kept asking myself:
When does friendship end once competition begins?
Does true friendship end in competition?
Or better yet,
What is friendship?

The second issue that bothered me the most is Ender's struggle with himself. It touches on issues like man's double standards of morality and dualism. Throughout the years Ender was haunted by his wrongdoings. He hates himself for having so much blood on his hands. He hates the fact that he knew that what he's doing is wrong and yet he did it still. Disturbing enough? Yes, but I like how Orson Scott Card made Ender vulnerable to all his readers. It felt like he's naked to the very core of his being and it showed truth about human beings. That we also make mistakes and deal with our personal struggles. That we are also haunted, in one way or another by our past. 

I also like how the author set Ender against circumstances that he cannot control--circumstances that sometimes pushed him to make mistakes. Should Ender blame these circumstances? Should we blame the circumstances that shaped us for what we've done? What should we do? Is there hope for us--for people who've done unforgivable things? I leave Orson Scott Card to answer that.

I'm not saying that the novel is free of errors. I found some that I disagree with. There's a lot more issues to talk about, but it'll take me forever to finish it. :) Double standards of morality of I.F., Colonel Graff, or Mazer Rackham. Ethics. Politics. Leadership. Childhood. Siblings. Family.

Overall, I would love to leave this passage from 1 Timothy 4:12. I think this is the heart of the book.
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, 
but set an example for the believers 
in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity."

To all the children, to the youth, to the young at heart...
...Go. Share your passion and creativity to the world. Let your zealousness make a difference.

P.S. Thanks to this cool blonde photographer for giving me this book! :D 

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