This is topic The Foreword to Enders Game. in forum Discussions About Orson Scott Card at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by ...Arson (Member # 12052) on :
***I believe it's in the foreword to Enders Game, but I cannot check to make sure as I have lent the book out.***

Anyways, OSC (as he is apparently known online [Razz] ) states that most adults initially feel sorry for Ender, and that they shouldn't.

I understand why people feel sorry for them, and I also understand why he thinks they shouldn't. Still, I can't help feeling sorry for Ender, but they are for different reasons.

Simply enough: I don't feel sorry for the things Ender had to do, I feel sorry for the things he never will get to.

Your thoughts?
Posted by BlueWizard (Member # 9389) on :
Note contains SPOILERS for Enders Game, Ender In Exile, and Children of the Mind.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I think I understand what you are saying. I too feel sorry for Ender, but in the same way that I feel sorry for every hero thrust into the limelight, for every hero whose life was irrevocably altered.

Ender went through hell, he did his duty, he won the war, and as a result, he was irrevocably traumatized by what he was forced by circumstances to do.

I feel sorry that Ender didn't get to live the innocent life of a kid. To run and play, and make friends like other kids.

But in another sense, what were the odds of that ever actually happening? All the Wiggin's kids were super freaking geniuses; we see how normal Peter and Valentines lives turned out to be.

Still even without the normal child's playful life, Ender would have achieve great things on earth has he not gone to war. Though he would likely have never had the fame or notoriety that Battle!Ender had.

Yet, Ender's experiences at Battle School and later on Eros, made him the compassionate benevolent man of conscience he is.

One thing that really touched me about "Ender in Exile" is how abandon Ender felt, and how poorly he understood his own situation with his family. He wondered why his parents weren't clamoring for him to come home; why there weren't publicly outraged by the idea of Ender not coming home. What he didn't realize and what Val never clearly explained to him, is that they fully understood the dangers of Ender returning to earth.

They played their role as the 'dumb parents' too well. The one time Ender needed them to not be the 'dumb parents', in his eyes, they failed him.

It took him a long time to get over that. And while I think Val could have done more to help Ender understand, I don't blame her because it seemed clear that Ender was avoiding the subject.

Also, on board the ship during travel, Ender and Val knew that virtually every conversation inside and outside their quarters was being monitored and recorded. The doesn't make the best environment for heart-to-heart conversations. Especially when that deeply personal and emotional information could be used against them at some point.

So, absolutely, I feel achingly sorry for Ender, but also understand that who he is, is a result of what he has done. He lived his whole life with the guilt and regret of the extermination of the Buggers, and then he carried the responsibility of their salvation with him across many centuries.

Even sadder, in the end, when Ender finally left this world for good, it seemed that he simply couldn't bear living any more. What ever work he had to do was done, and he was tired of being the guy everyone came to for solutions.

He only held on because of his feeling of obligation and responsibility to other people, and when they released him from that responsibility, he simply let go, and left this life behind.

So, in life and death, I feel very sorry for Ender for the immense burden he forced himself to carry all his life. In the end, he simply could not carry any more responsibility nor carry it any longer, and he simply let go of this earthly existence.

Though as we all know, while Ender let go of his body and the responsibilities of being Ender, he did not go to the 'great beyond', a piece of him now live in New!Peter.

For what it's worth.

Posted by ...Arson (Member # 12052) on :
I read the first paragraph, but have yet to read COTM. I had a bit of trouble finding a copy that was not in a box set, so I have it ordered and will respond later. Hopefully more people post, but thank you in advance! haha
Posted by HeatherD (Member # 12058) on :
I always felt sad that Ender never had any children. Yes, he sort of ended up adopting, but the youngest kid was like five or six when he arrived, and he turned out to be a terror! I just would have liked to have seen his genes passed along : o)~
Posted by HeatherD (Member # 12058) on :
Oh, yeah, and his relationship with his parents got all screwed up... I never understood that! Why did none of their communiqués ever reach him? I mean, I sort of get it that during Battle School Graff wanted him to feel alone. But after the war was over and Ender was just sitting around on Eros, the Wiggins wrote to him and got a message back saying that Graff told Ender about the letters but Ender wasn't interested in reading them. But obviously Graff never told Ender about the letters! You would have thought the Wiggins would have kept writing all the time, but I guess they stopped after they thought they were rejected? It makes no sense.

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