The Twisted Mind Of “Ender’s Game” And More!

The Cold Equations” is a short story by Tom Godwin that is well-known in the world of science fiction. A flight crew member of a spaceship brings medication to the isolated planet in the story.

Six lives will be saved if the ship makes it to its intended destination with just enough fuel left. After discovering an adolescent girl in the cargo hold, the captain tells her that she will have to exit the plane through an airlock since her weight will make it impossible to complete the journey. There is no way around this problem.

“she was of Earth and hadn’t grasped that the laws of the space frontier must, of necessity, be as severe and unforgiving as the environment that gave them birth” is a line that I can’t honestly say is a must because it was described to me by a science fiction writer long before I read it.

It seemed to the author that some of his colleagues had a distorted view of the strengths and flaws of their genre. That story is often cited as an example of how science fiction challenges readers to confront difficult problems that mainstream literature avoids.

Who would you save in a situation like that? That’s what that story is all about.” Paused and exhaled in relief. “But at some point, I realized it wasn’t the goal of the story. Tossing a female out of an airlock is as simple as concocting a circumstance that allows you to do so with impunity.”

Ender’s Game and Philosophy” by D.E. Wittkower and Lucinda Rush was published just ahead of the long-awaited Hollywood film version of the book, and this exchange came to mind frequently while I was reading the novel for the first time last year and while I was reading the essays in the book.

In the book, the essays are titled “Is Ender a Murderer?” and “What Would Saint Thomas Aquinas Do?” If you believe in the “principle of the double impact,” which Aquinas, a 13th-century theologian who appears frequently in this collection, states, you can’t be held morally responsible for the knowledge but unexpected consequences of your actions, you’re in the clear.

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People who read “Ender’s Game” while they were in their early twenties tend to be particularly enamored with the novel, which was first published in 1985.

The story revolves around a misfit boy who becomes a master military tactician and commander after being subjected to a cruel, manipulative training regimen in the future in which young children are recruited to combat a hostile alien species.

The novel’s climax is a fight that Ender believes to be a simulation, but which turns out to be genuine and, under his direction, leads to the extinction of the alien race. Remorse sets in when he discovers that the now-extinct aliens had no plans to invade Earth.

Ender’s first moral issue was the “buggers,” as the insect-like aliens were known when he was forced to kill them. After being bullied by a rival at a military school, Ender believes he must vanquish the other student to prevent being targeted again and again.

He mistakenly murders the child, but no one in the class knows until Ender figures out on his own how he did it. Adult teachers (who are continuously monitoring their students) choose not to get involved in the brawl.

As a figure called Colonel Graff explains: “Ender Wiggin must feel that no matter what occurs, no adult will ever, ever step in to help him in any way.” He won’t be able to realize his full potential if he doesn’t believe that.

In the “Ender’s Game and Philosophy” anthology, a collection of essays written by teachers who feel that there are less unpleasant ways to realize one’s full potential, several fascinating and valid questions are raised by the authors.

Preemptive attacks with drones, the mind-body split, post-traumatic stress disorder, and just wars are just a few of the topics that young people enthralled by the drama of Orson Scott Card’s novel would find interesting to explore in class and beyond. Anyone could. With all that profound contemplation and intellectual rumination, though, I soon became dissatisfied with its pages.

In the same way that “The Cold Equations” isn’t really about a stern-minded face-up to the harsh “rules of the space frontier,” these topics aren’t what “Ender’s Game” is actually about in my eyes.

One of the things that irked my writer friend’s colleagues was their tendency to confuse a narrative with an argument.

A story isn’t an argument, but it can have one. For example, if you’re trying to make a point about traumatized soldiers or genocide in an essay or if you’re feeling very ambitious, a piece of genuine reporting, it’s considerably more effective to do it directly. While a novel’s goal is to make us feel something, a story’s goal is to make us feel something, even if it leaves us with a few thoughts to mull about.

Look for the source of the story’s emotional charge if you wish to uncover its real subject. It’s not uncommon for a fantasy to be a crazy and self-contradictory fantasy, such as a romance novel in which a handsome, arrogant, womanizing alpha male suddenly transforms into a dedicated monogamous homebody after meeting the Right Woman.

“The Cold Equations” is actually about the want to throw a female out of an airlock, which is what my friend meant when he stated, “The Cold Equations” is really about the desire to throw a girl out of an airlock” (with the bonus of getting to feel sorry for yourself afterward).

In the same way, that science fiction fans would like to see a plethora of messy, commonplace emotions banished from the genre, the pilot’s inconvenient companion can be banished.

The author uses all of this to emphasize Ender’s uniqueness, which stems from his struggle and what we are led to believe is an unusual level of sensitivity on his part. His psychopathic older brother torments him and treats him like a second-class citizen because he is the third child in the family (families are only supposed to have two children).

He is harassed and teased for being little and made to feel abandoned by the authorities, who have secretly selected him as a cadet of extraordinary potential. Authors of children’s literature frequently employ these techniques to help readers connect with their protagonists.

Hogwarts bullies target Harry Potter, despite his position as “the child who survived,” even though he has been tormented by the Dursleys.

When it comes to keeping his head down and getting along with the rest of the kids, Harry prefers to pretend he’s just like the rest of them. But Ender is consumed by his sense of exceptionality, believing that he is both superior to everyone else and completely pitiful and discarded. Ender, in contrast to other children, believes that the world revolves around him.

When it comes to being both reviled and revered, he’s got it all! The school’s indifference to him is a clear indication that they’re fascinated with him. Because he is so unique, he is a target for abuse. And when he realizes his place in history, he realizes it in a way that no one else has.

Ender's Game

The buggers’ annihilation is most important in the story because it serves as an opportunity for Ender to suffer even more and prove his soulfulness.
Donna Minkowitz’s interview with Card in Salon is one of the most memorable Salon interviews ever, and her version of “Ender’s Game” is the one I favor.

She once told me that she saw the book, which she adores, as an imaginative portrayal of the inner life of an abused child, a budding mind struggling to reconcile the painful paradox of receiving both affection and gratuitous suffering from the same source.

Even though I have no personal experience with violence, I agree with her that this is the best book she’s ever read on the subject. In my opinion, it fails to convey the realities of war in a meaningful way. Even when compared to the actual tales of actual troops, the novel’s emotional milieu is too claustrophobic and dismal.

The inclusion of feelings and psychology in a book about huge concepts will inevitably enrage some “Ender’s Game” fans, and it’s easy to see why. Then you know exactly what to do and where to find the airlock if that’s what happened.

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