This is topic Valentine and Peter in forum Discussions About Orson Scott Card at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by jlt (Member # 10088) on :
Just something that's been making me wonder...
if Achilles and Bonzo and all sorts of other mediocre gifted children (oxymoron, I know) got into Battle School, why didn't Battle School take Valentine or Peter if their tests were so good except in temperment? Was OSC just making things convenient?
Posted by BlueWizard (Member # 9389) on :
Achilles was a charmer; he knew how to work people. He knew how to make people believe him even when his position was unbelievable. That explains Achilles.

OSC has written a short story of Bonzo's early life, I haven't read it, but it might give some insight into who he really was and how he became who he turned out to be.

Notice that all the 'commanders' in Battle School were generally considered successful and competent until Ender arrive. Ender was so unique in his approach that he completely threw off the curve.

All the others were good little solidiers playing the game just the way good soldiers should. But Enders approach defied all standards, traditions, and military logic. I'm sure there are plenty of captains of industry and military leaders who are very successful, and who gain their success by being as inept yet conforming as Bonzo was. Typically the6y bully, intimidate, and manipulate there way to the top. They claim all successes and pass the blame for failure on to underlings.

So, again my point is that if you take Ender and Bean out of Battle School, and consider Achilles caculating ability to charm people, then Achilles and Bonzo are a perfect fit. They only come off as inadequate when compared to Ender and Bean. Of course, for the purpose of this discussion, we have to ignore the fact that Achilles was a total nut case, but there is no denying that he was a good leader.

Does that help the discussion any?

Posted by Selran (Member # 9918) on :
I think the IF, especially Graff, was looking for something particularly special from the Wiggin family. Ender's parents were specifically paired together. Graff was hoping to get the special among the special from the Wiggin family. I think Peter and Valentine would have been accepted had they been found in any normal family, but had they been taken from the Wiggins it would have ended all hope of finding what Graff was looking for, and found in Ender.
Posted by camus (Member # 8052) on :
I would not discount the possibility that the IF had intended Peter and Val to contribute to the early shaping of Ender's life, which they could not have done had they been accepted to Battle School. The IF seemed to be very aware of many factors that were not evident to the students, and they were obviously very willing to try to manipulate things as they saw fit.
Posted by Sibyl (Member # 10079) on :
Originally posted by jlt:
Just something that's been making me wonder...
if Achilles and Bonzo and all sorts of other mediocre gifted children (oxymoron, I know) got into Battle School, why didn't Battle School take Valentine or Peter if their tests were so good except in temperment? Was OSC just making things convenient?

I thought that temperament/personality was as important as IQ. "Merit" isn't all IQ, some of it's the personality/capacity for hard work. It would take super-high IQ to balance out "unsuitable" (not _bad_) personality, and maybe not even then.
Posted by Christine (Member # 8594) on :
Wasn't there something in the last book about how it was B.S. that Peter's temperament wasn't right and that they left him on Earth specifically to fulfill the role that he did?
Posted by -Xan- (Member # 10091) on :
If either valentine or Peter were at battle school it would have alienated Ender from the rest of the battle schoolers, i think it makes perfect sence that they kept them away from B.S. to take a chance the third child would be right

[ February 06, 2007, 02:09 PM: Message edited by: -Xan- ]
Posted by Survivor (Member # 233) on :
Temperment was more important than raw intellect. In Ender's Shadow Card explains that the temperment tests are mainly based on identifying personality traits associated with "successful" military commanders, as identified at the end of the Second Invasion.

And both Val and Peter had the wrong temperments entirely even if you look at it from the point of view of the traits theoretically needed for sucessful military command rather than whatever traits the test happened to be set up to find.

Peter doesn't have the right qualities for military command. When he tries to take over the world, he does it like a politician. Achilles tries a coup, Peter lets Bean do the actual fighting while he goes around and smiles for the cameras. When he was a kid trying to control his siblings, he uses intimidation and emotional blackmail...but he stays within those bizarre rules that all real politicians instinctively understand.

Or too sum it all up, Peter would never have gone for the enemies gate, even if someone told him he could win that way.

He probably failed the personality assessment for military command aptitude even looking at it blind. And Graff didn't like him, so there was no special exemption.

Val's the same way, though Graff probably liked her. He still could see it would be pointless to try and make her a soldier. Remember that scene in Xenocide when she tells the mayor and the Bishop that they need to do something, and they don't listen? So what does she do at that point? She runs around trying to figure out what to do within the contraints she's been dealt. That isn't what a soldier thinks. Not even a grunt thinks that way.

At least, not when there's real fighting to be done.

Posted by jlt (Member # 10088) on :
Still, some of the students in Battle School weren't agressive enough and had non-ideal temperments but they were still there.

Nevertheless, your ideas would be enough justification, so I concede.
Posted by charles_martel (Member # 10172) on :
In Shadow of the Giant, Graff tells Peter that he wasn't accepted into Battle School, not because of his temperment, but because people "don't love" him. In other words, he couldn't be a commander. If you look, it seems like everyone else in Battle School to some degree (yes, even Bean, I think) had that ability. For Bonzo it was more like fear, but remember he was an effective commander (Salamander was in fourth when Ender arrived.) Achilles won the love and respect of his "crew" on Earth.

As for Val, I agree that she was not accepted because of her temperment.
Posted by happysmiley (Member # 9703) on :
Maybe they were looking for that one commander that would be the top of the school and had enough 'averagely gifted' children. Maybe they could only pick one of the wiggins for some strange reason and they wanted the right one. Or Peter and Valentine didn't know, like Achilles did, how to tell them the answers they wanted to hear on the personality test. Who knows? Not me.
Posted by Geekmike (Member # 10235) on :
I think Jit may have been refering to the brutality that both Achilles and Bonzo both exibited. I would liek to point out that in Shadow of the Giant, Graff told Peter that, testing too aggressive in battle school was immppossible. Also, I don't think that Acchilles was terrible, (after all he did become a commander), he just wasn't as good as Ender. Also, Achilles must have had some skill, but not as much as people supposed, because of his skill at minitpulation.
Posted by Steve_G (Member # 10101) on :
Did Achilles become a commander while in Battle School? I don't think so. He was transferred to Bean's army, then bean forced the confession out of him after which he was sent planetside to be dealt with. No command for Achilles, until the planetary war which he orchestrated.
Posted by DDDaysh (Member # 9499) on :
Achille was only in Battleschool for like, what, less than a week?
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
Achilles was brought solely as a test for Bean. He was too old to start an actual career, IIRC.

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