"We care about moral issues, nobility, decency, happiness, goodness, the issues that matter in the real world, but which can only be addressed, in their purity, in fiction."
Orson Scott Card was born August 24, 1951 in Washington, but grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He is known as a bestselling American author working in several genres, but primarily known for his science fiction work. Ender's Game was published in 1985, and is one of the best-known novels by Orson Scott Card. The novel Ender's Game, was the winner of the Hugo Award for best novel in 1986 and of the Nebula Award for best novel in 1985, two notable awards in science fiction. The book is widely read by adults and younger readers, and is increasingly used in schools.
Besides his writing, Orson teaches occasional classes and workshops, and directs plays. He recently began a long term position as a professor of writing and literature at Southern Virginia University.
Card currently lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card, and their youngest child, Zina Margaret.
The book is set in Earth's future, year 2135 to be precisely, where mankind has barely survived two invasions by the "buggers", an alien race, and where the International Fleet is preparing for war.
In order to find and train the eventual commander for the assumed third invasion, the world's most talented children, including the extraordinary Ender Wiggin, are taken into Battle School at a very young age.
Andrew "Ender" Wiggin (his nickname given to him by his sister Valentine): a six-year-old boy and third in a family of child geniuses, is selected by international military forces to save the world from destruction. Ender has been watched closely by the military since his birth, whereas they were hoping he would be a combination of his sadistic older brother Peter and his kind-hearted sister Valentine. Young Ender is approved by the government for training at the elite Battle School, a space station where exceptional children are trained, and for this, Peter hates Ender. The same is true of Ender's schoolmates, and he is forced into brutally beating the leader of a gang of bullies in order to protect himself. When Ender goes off to Battle School, he leaves behind the only person who has ever loved him, Valentine, in order to help save the world from the “buggers”.
In Battle School Ender demonstrates his ability to brilliantly visualize gravitational effects, and he is immediately singled out by the administration, and they begin to isolate him from his fellow classmates. But despite their effort, Ender finds a way around his isolation and frustration by forming his own nightly "practice" sessions with some of the younger students, and for the first time in his life, he has friends. This unfortunately, does not last long, as the teacher at school does everything in their power to isolate him.
A lot of people hate Ender for his brilliance, and he soon becomes unable to escape some of the students without violence, and he unwillingly and unknowingly kills his former commander Bonzo. After the fight it is clear to Ender that the teachers are leaving him to fend for himself and he learns the important lesson that there are no rules in war, and he throws his own concepts of the game away. This clever idea causes Ender to be promoted to Command School, six years earlier than anyone else in the history of the system.
At the school, Ender is introduced to Mazer Rackham, the hero of the second bugger invasion, who saved mankind. Rackham runs Ender through a series of simulated battles, where he now commands an entire fleet. He fights more and more difficult battles and one day fights a huge battle against impossible odds with many officers watching. Ender wins, at great cost, and it becomes apparent that it was a real battle, as were all of his supposedly simulated battles, and that he completely destroyed the buggers. Ender was used, as he has been his whole life. Just a brick in the game of life, and he knows it, as do his teachers, but they explain that they needed him, a child, to have the compassion to understand the enemy. At the same time they needed him to think it was a game in order to be able to win with such great loss of life.
After the War, Ender sets off on a colonization mission together with his sister, Valentine, to populate the worlds left behind by the buggers On the new planet Ender finds a queen pupa, left behind for him to find a place for the buggers to live again, and he realizes that the buggers had prepared for his coming—they had looked into his mind and knew he would defeat them. He understands that the buggers did not truly wish to fight the humans and feels their sorrow for all that has happens.
Characterization of Ender
Ender is very much a representative of all that is good in the universe. He is filled with sorrow for any destruction he causes and wishes no harm to any creature. Ender is also an honest and intelligent boy, and he is resented by others for this. In fact, Ender is resented for all of his good qualities, and when Ender is not being lied to by authorities, he is being bullied. The source of the hatred directed toward Ender is that he is superior to virtually everyone in the book, in intelligence, creativity, sensitivity, logic, psychological understanding of others, and not least, morality.
Card creates sympathy for Ender by subjecting him to undeserved torment. On the very first page of the novel an adult lies to Ender about something that is going to hurt him: swearing that “it won’t hurt a bit.”when the event it is excruciating. By isolating and abusing Ender, Card guarantees our sympathy. Even after Ender is manipulated into entering Battle School, his abuse just keep continuing, deliberately fostered by the administration to create an “innocent killer” to save them all.
Ender’s Game has in reality got a lot of themes, but the adults' seemingly cold manipulation of Ender and his feelings, and their apparent lack of concern for its effects on him creates the most significant one.
Throughout the novel Card rises a lot of moral and ethical questions related to the manipulation of children. Is it right to manipulate, and completely ruin a child for own gain? Even if what you gain is safety for the entire Earth’s population? Orson Scott Card tells us no. You cannot manipulate a child in the way that the commanders manipulated Ender. They made Ender a victim of bullies, of loneliness, of guilt, and they played with his feeling.
Personally I liked Ender’s Game a lot! It is beautifully written, and manage to spellbound the reader to the very end. I would absolutely recommend Ender’s Game to everyone, not because of the themes, nor the questions it rises, but because of the qualities it values, such as friendship, honesty, honour, and foremost, love.