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Offline Dan

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This thread will ruin Ender's game for you forever
« on: October 23, 2009, 08:07:33 am »
Many people loved the book Ender's Game by Scott Card as kids (I was one of them). However, the thing we didn't notice back then was that the book is a strained morality tale meant as an apology for genocide.

Too bad, because the book is really compelling to kids.
"Politics is an ocean of toes" - Jacques Parizeau (1930-2015, RIP)


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Re: This thread will ruin Ender's game for you forever
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2009, 01:15:02 am »
Ender's Game was ruined for me when I figured out just how big a douchebag Orson Scott Card actually is. And the fact that he's gotten to be an even bigger one over the years.

This essay doesn't do much to ruin it for me though; if anything, it highlights the complex moral questions that makes the book so great (in spite of the author). And I think the author of the essay gets it wrong in any case.

He's correct in one respect - Ender's Game is so popular because pre-pubescent boys want to be Ender. We identify with the way he's bullied, with the way that adults aren't really there for him, and with the way that he seemingly sees things differently from everyone else. But Ender is allowed to extract the revenge that we can't, and on top of that Ender is uniquely the only one able to save the world, validating our own sense of importance. It nicely combines the adolescent experience with adolescent fantasy.

But the morality portrayed is complex. The essayist offers one interpretation, but it's not the only possible interpretation. Part of what makes it good is the complexity, the nuance, and the very fact that it can be analyzed and debated like this.