Lessons from Ender

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"'So? What will you do about it? Crawl into a corner? Start kissing their little backsides so they'll love you again? There's only one thing that will make them stop hating you. And that's being so good at what you do that they can't ignore you. I told them you were the best. Now you dam well better be.'" (Ender's Game 35)

I have never read a science fiction book before or been a fan of sci-fi movies. When I bought this book and glanced it over, I was a little uneasy about the whole idea. Not only is it a science fiction book, but it is a long science fiction book. I figured the entire 324 or so pages would be filled with aliens, nuclear wars, and whatever else nonsense that tends to pop up in science fiction. But so far, I have to admit Ender's Game isn't so bad. Infact, I might admit I even like it. Might.

I think I'm starting to like it because I find Ender's character and situation so interesting. Yes, the story does have some science fiction elements in it, but I love how most of the focus has been placed on Ender's internal feelings, a very human connection. These feelings and thoughts that we as readers are allowed to know help us to understand how mature and bright Ender is for his age. His thoughts, such as realizing he is the only one who can help himself at the Battle School, can be difficult for even adults to accept. Ender has to depend on only his own mind and abilities to get him out of difficult and challenging situations. No one else can save him; he will succeed as long as he refuses to break down and stop taking responsibility to take care of himself.

The situation Ender has been placed in will mold him into a leader. I think his situation is great for others to compare their own actions to. I know when I read this section, I thought about all the times I have taken the easy way out, all the times when I have depended on others to get me out of my situation. But then, I also thought about the times when I relied only on myself to work my way through. When I compared the results of the two, I realized that in the situations where I depended only on myself I became stronger and advanced farther into what I was trying to accomplish. On the other hand, when I gave in and dpended on others, I failed to let my character grow and to push myself to the best of my ability. I'll never know how successful I could have been in those weaker situations because I wouldn't let myself be challeneged, I wouldn't face what was hard. These beginning chapters I think were a great eye opener to reflect on my own decisions and actions.  

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3 Comments

Greta Carroll said:

You make some good points Katie, Ender really will grow from his experiences. And any challenge in which one is forced to get by on their own will result in their failure, or their growth, as the saying goes:
“what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” However, having said that while Ender will probably become a good leader, he is only six years old! He should not be expected to take care of himself or be required to make decisions that he does (even if he is a genius).

Kaitlin Monier said:

I agree. It makes me reflect on my decisions also. Even though this is a science fiction novel set in a futuristic world, we can forget the setting because the story is focused mainly on Ender as a person. Since we see through his experiences, he is a personable character and easy to relate to.

Jessie Farine said:

I think 324 pages is moderately short, but that's just what I'm used to, I guess.

I really think it's wild how Ender is so mature and intelligent for being only six. You don't really come across too many stories revolving around a six-year-old's thoughts and feelings, but Ender is so hardened by his life that he's comparable to the gruff older adults that I work with.

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