Self preservation is the same behind any masquerade mask

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"Perhaps it's impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be." (Ender's Game, pg. 231)

"The bugger war isn't twenty-four hours dead and the world down there is back to fighting again, as bad as ever. And all of them are worried about you. All of them want you. The greatest military leader in history, they want you to lead their armies. The Americans. The Hegemon. Everybody but the Warsaw Pact, and they want you dead." (Ender's Game, pg. 299)

The first quote is from the point in the book when Valentine is reflecting upon her alternate persona, Demosthenes. When Orson Scott Card's novel Ender's Game first began, Valentine was the guiding light of good. Now however, she has been forced by Peter to write from a political standpoint that she doesn't like. She can understand it well enough, but that doesn't mean that she agrees with it. Despite this fact though, Valentine is no longer the pure, innocent, childish version of goodness. She now recognizes that you sometimes have to hurt others in order for them to to what must be done. That's all too often the way of the world. After all, hasn't everybody heard the phrase, "Sometimes you have to do what you don't want to do." Everyone has the ability to hide behind masks, even if they're only slightly different from our true selves. But if you wear a mask for too long a length of time...and it will eventually become the mask that you show others more and more. After all, just look at Ender. He's worn the persona of a soldier, a grown up, and a great military commander that there's hardly anything left of the boy we used to know.

The second quote above really emphasized the nature of human beings to ensure self preservation. Earth has just been saved from a "supposed" conquering alien race, and they're now turning on each other. That being written, there were quite a few strong influences undermining the alliance: pseudo Demosthenes and his all too real supporters. And isn't it just convenient that Lock, the guiding force of reason shows up to present a peaceful treaty? Peter played his game quite expertly. He made his sister write an argumentative counterpoint to his peaceful writing. His brother won the war for him and he restored world order after the countries turned on each other. What more could people want in a world leader? He presented himself in proverbial white robes, while he still held a wretched darkness and craving for unadulterated power.

Now children, you see this big red button? Good. I want you to nev-...Jimmy! Git away from that BUTTON!


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This page contains a single entry by MadelynGillespie published on April 20, 2008 10:53 PM.

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