This is topic Ender and Alvin -- two aspects of the same man? in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Bob_Scopatz (Member # 1227) on :
I've not really formulated this yet. And probably I should post it on the other side, after looking to see if someone has already posted it. But here goes:

I was wondering if Ender and Alvin are actually the same "character" seen from different sides (and in different contexts, of course). Ender is named that based on a childhood nickname which becomes apt based on later scenes in his life. But his theme is always to end things. Usually, he's ending bad things, and sometimes he makes something new and beautiful of it. Is it any wonder he becomes speaker for the dead -- making something truthful out of the ENDING of something?

Then there's Alvin. He's called a "Maker." The opposite of an Ender. Or is he? His making is a purposeful thing and it ends bad things too. It's just that we are concentrating on his "making" so we maybe miss that he's an ender too.

I was wondering if maybe OSC is going deeper and giving us something like multiple views of the same mythic hero.

Oh well...Like I said, this is rather ill-formed as hypotheses go. But I was just sitting here musing about the two characters and thought I would post.

<ducks head>
Posted by Grandma Edie (Member # 5771) on :
Before now, in interviews and such, people have commented on similarities in Card's precocious young male heroes: Ender, Alvin, Nafai, Lanik, Ansett, and others. Card generally responds by pointing out the differences.
However, as far as I know (and I don't know everything!) you are the very first to comment on a similar/opposite set of names (nicknames, titles): The Ender and The Maker. Interesting.
There is another set: In Pastwatch the name of the (historical) people who met Columbus and later disappered from history are the "Taino."
In Enchantmenta fictiious kingdom that later disappears from history is "Taina."
Again, interesting.

Grandma Edie, also known as Edith S. Tyson, author of Orson Scott Card: Author of the Terrible Choice. [Razz]
Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :
I see how they might be opposites, but I don't really see any similarities, beyond being both OSC's characters and both being gifted. Their personalities, backgrounds, and relationships all seem very different.
Posted by Beren One Hand (Member # 3403) on :
Ender is a maker as well. As a Speaker for the Dead, he takes the chaotic threads of people's lives and invent meaning and purpose through his speaking.
Posted by Bob_Scopatz (Member # 1227) on :
Beren, that's actually my point -- they are the same.

Tres... you may be right. This isn't really more than half baked.
Posted by LadyDove (Member # 3000) on :
I don't see the likeness so much between Alvin and Ender the child, as I do between Alvin and Ender the Speaker for the Dead.

Both feel alone and isolated by their abilities/actions.

Both are seeking to save the world/worlds and find some of the answers on a subatomic level.

Both find that it's impossible to make great changes without involving other people.

Neither can achieve their goals within the constraints of xenophobia.

Both struggle with their love life.

Both have a brother that threatens their psyche and their life.

Hmmm.. I'm sure there's more. I can definitely see where these two protagonists would be aspects of the same character.

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