Ender's Game Book Review - The final soldier... The final battle
Ender's Game is a story telling of Ender Wiggin, a young boy accepted into the orbiting Battle School, where children participate in mock games with null gravity and engage in highly exhaustive military training. Before this takes place, Ender lives with his caring but distant parents, his barbarous brother Peter and the person he loves the most: his sister Valentine.
Despite being Orson Scott Card's first science fiction novel, Ender's Game is a fantastic story for its time. Techniques such as foreshadowing have been used widely throughout the whole story. "'I've watched through his eyes, I've listened through his ears, and I tell you he's the one. Or at least as close as we're going to get.'" It has become exceptionally effective as it begins at each chapter with a discussion between two people, foreshadowing the events later to commence.
Ender's Game is all about children, and is discussed through the theme of youth. The story tells of many children, including Ender. The factor of these children is that they're not friends. They are competition; rather not innocent children to be. They are bullies, murderers and manipulators. Through these symbols, Orson Scott Card conveys his opinion on children, they're not innocent. The effectiveness of is grand characterisation has followed this theme, "Ender felt sick. He had only meant to catch the boy's arm..."
Manipulation is another theme that supports the walkthrough of Ender's Game. Ender has been cheated, lied to and used as a pawn by the adults in what is not a game. Ender summarises this clearly and succinctly when he notes, "I've spent my life as someone's pawn." This is not the only manipulative relationship. There are other relationships involving manipulation: Peter manipulates his sister Valentine (to a degree); Peter and Valentine manipulate the world and Ender himself manipulates many children throughout the entire book. Foreshadowing comes into matters once more; its effectiveness follows manipulation, as Ender notes early, "Sometimes lies were more dependable than the truth." Orson Scott Card divides the matter in two. On one case, it is wrong to manipulate a child. On the other case, it is vital to manipulate a child to fulfill needs; the adults manipulate Ender in order to destroy the alien invaders.
Warfare is the base connector of the themes of manipulation and youth. The most significant piece of Ender's life is the war between him and the alien invaders. Yet, Orson Scott Card never implemented a direct vision of the third invasion. It is designed to be a simulation. This is not the first war Ender has fought in. To be precise, Ender's life is made of other wars, talking psychologically. This battle is always between him and other children, his brother who is rather callous and himself. During this battle, he suffers from isolation, pressure from the adults, the fear of becoming Peter and the fear of the alien invaders. The rich imagery's and repetition's effectiveness follow this theme. Ender notes multiple times, "The enemy gate is down." Physically, the gate is down for his army to pass through; psychologically, however, Ender can never pass through until the very end. "The enemy ignored him and continued firing at the soldiers firing at them," notes Ender, during mock battles at Battle School. Physically, Ender has always had his eye watching the enemy, learning their strategy and how they think. Psychologically, the enemy has really never accounted as an enemy, Ender ponders on this further and sees that the alien invaders' true form was not as he thought it would be. "When I understand my enemy well enough to defeat him, then in that moment, I also love him." says Ender, fulfilling his sympathy for his enemies.
Despite any dirty language or dirty behaviour in this book, Ender's Game is a novel that cannot be avoided forever. Orson Scott Card has taken science fiction concepts of war, themes, techniques, devices and language; combined them into a seamless story. He presents a compelling story with an amazing ending that will pull you in all directions.
Ender Wiggin awaits you at the battlefield. Will you join him?
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