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Author Topic: Peter Wiggin (Enders brother)
Monroe by Warhol
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Fine sarcare. you win lol [Smile]
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sarcare
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It is more exciting for its rarity! Winning, that is! [Eek!]
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Monroe by Warhol
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Lol... don't get used to it. I plan to beat you from now on. [Wink] [Razz]
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Zebulan
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quote:
Originally posted by BlueBambue:
I think that wether or not Peter is a good person boils down to what his reasons for uniting the world are. If he actually wants to help people then his past bad actions are lessened because in his mind the end would justify the means.

I have a Calvin and Hobbes comic on the wall next to my desk. In the first panel Calvin asks Hobbes, "Hobbes, do you think our morality is defined by our actions or what's in our hearts?" Hobbes responds, "I think our actions show what's in our hearts."

For those curious-- The comic ends with Calvin yelling, "I resent that."

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Duncan Idaho
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I was slightly disappointed with Peter in the parallel Ender's Game books for the very simple reason that The Hegemon, which Ender wrote about him, was supposed to be about (as we learn through hints and suggestions through the original Ender series) a very duplicitous dicator who united humanity with, supposedly, unscrupulous methods. In the parallel books we see more of Peter, but he turns out to be just like Ender, just a nice guy with big altruistic plans for humanity. Where's the shadow, the darkness in Peter's heart? Why the need for writing the Hegemon then?

"...Sickness and healing are in every heart. Death and deliverance in every hand..."

If Peter's so good and democratic, why does Ender need to write a book about him along with the Hive Queen to explain his actions? Why an interstellar religion to be spawned if Peter was so squeaky clean?

Just rubbed me wrong I guess. Peter was supposed to be a conqueror, a uniter for a good cause but for the wrong reasons, or vis versa if you dig it. Above all, a conqurer nonetheless.

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LadyDove
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Duncan Idaho,

quote:
If Peter's so good and democratic, why does Ender need to write a book about him along with the Hive Queen to explain his actions? Why an interstellar religion to be spawned if Peter was so squeaky clean?
I had exactly the same reaction. It's as if the Shadow books are being written by a revisionist historian. Maybe I'm wrong to assume that the Ender POV is the true POV, but the very need for a Peter speaking does seem to indicate that the Shadow books are far too kind to Peter's image.
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Morbo
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Duncan and Lady, I didn't get the feeling of "revisionist history" in the Shadow series. Also, the whole point of a Speaking is to deliver the truth of a person's life, not to glamorize or whitewash it or spin it. Peter wasn't "so good and democratic", he was an incredibly ambitious megalomaniac--by being the best leader available, he united Earth and brought peace, but that was a side effect of his ambition, IMO (much like Dog's view of Peter.) Very similar to the Emperor Mikhal in Songmaster, who united the galaxy under his effecient (yet merciless?) rule, thus bringing peace.

Peter was no saint, and presumably Ender didn't portray him as one in the Hegemon book. Rather he ( I assume) wrote about his good and evil qualities and deeds. It made him human, and more accessable and understandable to the public, instead of an aloof, iconic world leader.

The religion of Speaking that followed was unplanned by Ender.
quote:
If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being, and who is willing to destroy his own heart?
- Alexander Solzhenitsyn


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oolung
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For me the way Peter changed is not so surprising. After all, he did all those terrible things when he was still a little boy, and kids can be cruel (lord of the flies), but he DID stop doing it, which proves that he became more mature and more human. Maybe one of the reasons was that Ender wasn't there anymore so Peter could forget about "being the worse one" and and stop taking it out on others...

As for the reasons why he wanted to unite the world: I think it's possible that he wanted to be the only ruler AND at the same time to bring peace and welfare. He desired peace, but also wanted to be the one who'll bring it.

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JennaDean
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What a marvelous quote, Morbo.

I agree, Oolung: as he matured I'm sure Peter really wanted to change the world for the better, but still had the ambition to want to be the one holding the reins and get the credit for it.

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El JT de Spang
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I think Peter was a flawed, but great, human being. The reason I think he was great was not because of his accomplishments but because of the fact that he fought his demons throughout his life, and he won more than he lost. That's what makes you great. Not giving in to the temptation to be the worst version of yourself.

and Advent,
quote:
And p.s. WntrMute check your spelling its getting worse as the night goes on
It's generally considered bad form to comment on someone's spelling or grammar without giving your own a quick once-over. I believe that's known around here as Davidson's Law.
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Advent 115
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Ha, ha, ha....

The reason Ender was willing to write Peters life was because Peter represented both the best and worst parts of ourselves. The Shadow books show some of the better parts of Peter but also show some of his major flaws, like choosing Achilles for a military commander.

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oolung
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quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
I think Peter was a flawed, but great, human being.

As you say: he was great _because_ he was flawed. No credit in being born perfect [Smile] He realised he had to change and did it. That's not an easy thing to do [Smile]

Also, I think it's great that while we know that Peter is extremely intelligent, we can also see him in situations where he, let's say, makes a fool of himself, precisely because he thinks he's so much smarter (eg. in the beginning, he thinks his parents are dumb, when in fact it's he who misjudges their true abilities). I mean: how true is that? We don't get the 'oh-I'm-brilliant-so-I-can-read-other-people's-minds' stuff, which is great.

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Monroe by Warhol
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In Ender's POV, Peter was a form of fear to him until the end; Ender and Peter felt that he (Peter) needed a so-called redemption because of the bad things he did as a kid. I believe that's why Ender wrote the Hegemon.
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Advent 115
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Bravo oolung, bravo. [Big Grin]

:slow clapping:

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Monroe by Warhol
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:joins clapping with Advent:
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oolung
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is there an icon for bowing with gratitude? [Wink]

Are you clapping because of this dumb-thing? I know it's true, I did that myself [Smile]

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Noemon
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This is about as close as is available here:

[Hat]

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Advent 115
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oolung we were praising your well thought out statement, not your use of smilling faces and no I won't bow before your skills.
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Monroe by Warhol
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i concur with advent [Smile]
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JoeH
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I think Peter is like Satan or maybe Lex Luthor.
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Advent 115
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Thank you Monroe its nice to know that someone agrees with me every once and a while.

And JoeH, Peter is not that bad! [Roll Eyes]

Monroe would you be willing to explain this to him, I'm tired of repeating myself. Please. [Smile]

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A Rat Named Dog
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Whoah, this thread got away from me! If you don't mind me returning to a previous subject ...

Yes, Advent, I'm Card's son. No, that doesn't make me special, except insofar as I'm one of those rare people with a really awesome childhood, since I had a really awesome dad growing up [Smile]

My dad definitely believes that he based Ender on me. Not the original Ender from the short story (since I wasn't born yet), but the more-developed Ender from the novel.

The problem is, when he wrote the novel, I was six years old, and had not yet become the person I am today. He couldn't know that I would grow up to be a person who is extremely uncomfortable with leadership, feels inadequate in his understanding of politics and war, and would rather be the guy in the back of the room heckling than to be the responsible guy in the front of the room setting the direction for the meeting. I hate taking the bid in Rook, I hate making decisions that affect other people, and I'd much rather spend the rest of my life in exactly the position I have now (game designer) than to ever be promoted to management.

So on whom is Ender really based? He's based on Card's idealization of me when I was young, which (since I was unknowably young at the time) is in turn based on his ideal conception of himself the person he wants to be. It was Card, not me, who lay in bed every night as a child, staring at maps, and imagining wars and political struggles that might redefine those boundaries in the future. It was Card who grew up fearing an older brother and idealizing an older sister. It's Card who has a mind for politics, who has the confidence of a bellwether, to go out on a limb, initiate projects, enlist other people, and provide the strength of will it takes for the entire group to succeed. It is he who, despite being shy and introspective, comes alive when he stands in front of a group, and commands the attention of the entire room. And it is also he that is so heart-breakingly compassionate that he cannot turn down a cry for help, no matter how desperate or inconvenient.

Basically, when you read Ender Wiggin and fall in love with that character, you really are falling for the author or at least, for the kind of individual he idealizes and strives to become.

And I'm left to deal with the intimidating pressure of realizing that when my father writes a story about the perfect child, he thinks he's basing him on me [Smile]

EDIT: Actually, if I were to pick a character from Ender's Game who most reminded me of myself in his ideals, and whom I most looked up to, I'd pick Dink Meeker. He's the one who loves just doing his job much more than he loves the idea of leadership. He's the one who sees through the crap and chooses his own way to go. He also isn't made to come across like he's a perfect human being [Smile]

[ January 07, 2006, 01:30 PM: Message edited by: A Rat Named Dog ]

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JennaDean
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Reminds me of Olhado. The only one in the family who didn't become a famous chemist or biologist or whatever. He didn't want glory, just a job that would pay the bills so he could be with his family. And was more successful at having a happy family than any of his more famous & professionally successful siblings.

Or maybe Olhado doesn't remind me of you, he really just reminds me of me. [Smile]

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Monroe by Warhol
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To JoeH--

Peter is not like Satan, because he doesn't have the tail or horns. [Smile]

Why do you think of Peter as evil? Have you been reading the posts done by the people in support of Peter? What evidence do you have that Peter is simply pure evil? The books, in fact, support the point that he is but a flawed human, both good and bad in some way or another. No man is perfect; that's what makes him human.

Also, see my post on Ender associating fear with Peter in the book Ender's Game.

To Advent:

Hope that's good enough [Smile] .

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Advent 115
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A thousand thanks Monroe. [Hail]

And A Rat Named Dog It is a plesure to know that there are truely inteligent individuals responding to my stupid questions.

p.s. Was growing up in the Card house really that great?

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tmservo
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quote:
If Peter's so good and democratic, why does Ender need to write a book about him along with the Hive Queen to explain his actions? Why an interstellar religion to be spawned if Peter was so squeaky clean?
Who says a Speaking of a Death has to be about white washing the dead to make them seem "good". I always took it as just "telling the truth". As the Shadow Series tended to point out, several had an overly-glorified image of Peter, some had a seriously negative version of Peter.. they blamed him for this and that, and credited him with too much, etc. etc.

Ender's speaking of "The Hegemon" was not about whitewashing Peter, but reconciling the two different views of Peter which are noted within the Shadow Series, those who saw Peter as the machinery behind disasters, and those who overly praised him. Rather then taking a single viewpoint, Ender homogenized both of them to give a better rounded out image of Peter, "The Truth"

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oolung
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Mmmm... I always liked Dink Meeker [Wink]

Peter can't be that bad as to be called the Devil, if only because he realises he behaves badly. If he were really, truly corrupted, he wouldn't have cared about it at all, and he wouldn't have thought of himself as bad. And he _did_ (the scene when he cries at Ender's bed when he thinks Ender is asleep, and later when he talks to Val. I think the fact that he 'dismissed' his bad behaviour in some moments was a kind of defense. He didn't want to let other people get to him, so he himself became auto-ironic and cynical).

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A Rat Named Dog
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quote:
p.s. Was growing up in the Card house really that great?
Definitely. I mean, every family has its quirks, and it's impossible to raise a kid without giving him a few neuroses, but looking around at other people's childhoods, I have to say, mine was in the 99th percentile for goodness.

... At least as far as parenting goes. Still hated school and felt like an outcast, of course [Smile] But there are severe limits to what parents can do about that.

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Advent 115
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Its good to know that OSC is as good a parent as he is a writer, but I'm getting off topic again.

And oolung thankyou for making my point on why Peter is not the Devil or the AntiChrist.

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Orson Scott Card
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Rat Named Dog nailed what I envisioned Peter as during the writing of Ender's Game. It was only fifteen years later, writing Shadow, that I found him to be quite different and more complicated. But I agree with Rat/Dog ... the original Peter would also be interesting. The trouble is, I wouldn't have liked spending enough time inside his head to write a book.

There are precedents - like Augustus, for instance, and perhaps Charlemagne. Ambitious, ruthless powerseekers, once they achieve power (or perhaps once they get old enough that the testosterone flow lessens) they mellow a little and seek to do good.

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erosomniac
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quote:
I never liked Peter, but I did feel sympathy for him when he was so empowered by his parents finally telling him that they were proud of him. That scene showed me both his strength and how very broken he is.
Bolding mine. As early as the first hundred pages of Ender's Game I get the sense that Peter had the potential to be who Ender was very early on in life, but ultimately was perverted through the extremely complicated family life he had: parents who concealed themselves on many levels from their children, a younger brother who was publicly recognized as being better than Peter over and over again. We see him stand over Ender's bed when he thinks Ender is asleep and allow himself to be the big brother he is inside.

I think it would be easy to misinterpret a lot of what Peter does as a kid as a precedent for evil (torturing Ender, torturing animals, making death threats to both his siblings), but I think children - even children as brilliant as the Wiggins - live in worlds where the implicit innocence goes in two directions, and your actions have unimaginable consequences. Children are capable of such wonderful, delightful things - and the same children are capable of pointing out an overweight teenage girl on the street and saying, "Mommy, that girl is so fat!" I don't claim Peter didn't know exactly how he was hurting Valentine & Ender, but I don't think it had the same sort of permanence in his mind that it would in the mind of an adult.

We also see the same ruthless Peter in the Shadow series: his purposeful delays of revealing Achilles' plan in order to ensure the world was in enough turmoil for him to take over, his straight forward retalliation to Bean's redirection of Ender's pension, etc. etc. etc. He's simply driven to one goal, and doesn't care how he gets there.

It'd be like rolling a "Chaotic Good" character in AD&D. Or something.

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Advent 115
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OSC I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy
[Hail] [Hail] [Hail] [Hail] .

(though it is good to know he agrees with my understanding of Peter)

I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy
[Hail] [Hail] [Hail] [Hail]

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WntrMute
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quote:
Originally posted by Advent 115:
OSC I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy

Oh, please. [Roll Eyes]
OSC is just a normal guy. When he wakes up in morning, he has that crusty eye gunk -- just like a normal guy. When he eats a pulled-pork BBQ sandwich, some of the meat falls into his lap -- just like a normal guy. When he goes to the bathroom, he makes a stinky -- just like a normal guy.
He just writes well, that's it. It isn't like he's writing books while writing a screenplay, while teaching collage, while writing a comic book, while publishing an internet magazine, while signing books, while writing a couple of web-reviews each month, while occasionally visiting some of his more rabid fans on an online forum, while maintaining some degree of a personal life.

Ummmm, hold on.

Nevermind.

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tmservo
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quote:
When he wakes up in morning, he has that crusty eye gunk -- just like a normal guy.
You know, if you're getting good intake of Vitamin B-12, you greatly lower your ammount of eye gunk, whereas if you have a vitamin deficiency in several vitamins, you get more? Interesting but worthless fact of the day.
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oolung
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Why worthless? I'm sure Peter hot it too... he must've been a normal guy after all [Wink]

Maybe those Peter-like rulers and the others mellow only later because now that they've finally achieved power, they can finally do what they would like. If they didn't got the power in the first place, they wouldn't have been able to do anything, and they surely wouldn't _get_ the power by being mellow in the first place.
As I said before, I think the two motivations (ambition and doing good) may be there at the same time (to a degree, of course [Smile] ): that's what people really are, and nobody plans to get the power _in order_ to become the Evil One [Wink]

Or maybe it's _just_ the testosterone [Smile]

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tms
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When I first read Ender's Game I was Peter's age, and have long followed the scraps of his life with desperate hunger for more. I always cast myself in his role when reading, and re-reading, not because of my phisique, or even the fact that I'm an actor, but becaused even in the first novel I sensed the very human, Machiavellian air in Peter that is being traced on this forum (a place I have long admired and now may visit as I please), a confusion over pride and reaching one's potential that always sounded a very identifiable alarm me.

Ender's ability to distance himself is to be admired and even emulated (although we know it has it's own perils), Peter's choices, in the face of greatness feel like the choices we too might just possibly face one day.

To be wallowing, recently, in so much Peter Wiggin lately is a rare joy.

I feel there's something very potent afoot in his mother's admission to Bean that Peter may be more a product of his education system. Despite having played the rules and 'behind the rules' as it were with Locke and Demonsthenes, they were still the rules set down by the institutions of America, Common, the I.F, Bugger War propoganda and so on. His definition, which healways rallies against, was always narrower than Battle School.

The ability to step back doesn't come easily for poor Pete, or indeed for many of us.

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Advent 115
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Thank you for making my point WntrMute, OSC is not quite like everyone else. I mean how many people do you know that have written Nebulla and Hugo award winning books? And how many people do you know that have written such great science fiction that their books have affected an entire generation of sci-fi readers.

NEED I SAY MORE?!?!? [Big Grin]

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oolung
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But don't you sometimes think that such posts may actually make him feel a bit... self-conscious? [Smile]

MAYBE YOU SCARE HIM OFF!!!!! [Big Grin]

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WntrMute
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EXACTLY!!!!! [Big Grin]

WHY ARE WE ALL SHOUTING!!??!!??!! AND SMILING SO BROADLY!!??!!??!! [Big Grin]

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oolung
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I'M NOT SHOUTING!!!!!! I'M JUST SPEAKING WITH_MY_TONE_RAISED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AND IT'S NOT A BROAD SMILE, IT'S JUST MY REALLY BIG TEETH!!!

[Evil]

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Advent 115
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Bring it down a notch you guys. I was just... a little over whelmed to have OSC respond to one of my topics.

But I'm calm now. But let us get back on the original topic of Peter.

p.s. oolung, just how big are your teeth? And why did you have to raise your voice to respond to me? I was just excited, whats your excuse

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WntrMute
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Man, I was getting ready to get rowdy, and everything.


Partypooper.
[Wink]

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Advent 115
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Hey I just want to be on topic or this is going to end up being a forum on nothing.

Though I do encourage your enthusiasm guys. [Smile]

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WntrMute
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quote:
Originally posted by Advent 115:
Hey I just want to be on topic or this is going to end up being a forum on nothing.

You mean this ISN'T the Seinfeld forum?
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Advent 115
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Ha, ha, ha... No this is a forum on Peter Wiggin. Or did you forget.
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Lupus
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I always saw the shadow books as a more unbiased view of Peter. Ender and Peter had a very bad relationship as children, and I think that colored Ender's view of him. After his childhood, Ender never saw Peter again...so everything that Peter did, Ender saw through the lense of their previous relationship.

Peter was not perfect, nor did he claim to be perfect in the Shadow books. Though, one thing that really stood out is one line from Shadow of the giant

*warning spoiler ahead*


Near the end, when Rackham told Peter that they had found Bean's children, and wanted to know how long Peter would need Bean, so they could know how long to hold off giving him his children. Peter responded:
"Give Bean and Petra their babies. And save his life, if you can. He's a good man who deserves better than to have you toy with him any longer."


I think this line more than anything else shows Peter's goodness. Yes, he will use people when he thinks that he should...but he has his limits.

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Advent 115
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YES!! Another has seen the light! Peter wasn't evil, he was what Graff (or was it Mazer) called their Gengis Khan, their unifier of Nations. Not through force (even though Peter could of carried that out), but through peacful elections.

p.s. Lupus welcome to the winning side of this forum. [Big Grin]

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oolung
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quote:
Originally posted by Advent 115:
Bring it down a notch you guys. I was just... a little over whelmed to have OSC respond to one of my topics.

But I'm calm now. But let us get back on the original topic of Peter.

p.s. oolung, just how big are your teeth? And why did you have to raise your voice to respond to me? I was just excited, whats your excuse

....
Weeellll....
I got excited too [Smile] No offence [Smile]
My teeth are of normal size, I just like to show them off a lot in various ways (people say I have a very... expressive... face [Smile]

Hmmm, I think I have to read SotG at last, I'm missing too much of Peter [Smile]

I wonder how Ender's relation with Peter influenced his book about him (if it did). Sure, Ender tried to be impartial, but he couldn't just shake off his feelings about Peter, could he?

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0range7Penguin
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I am going to go out on a limb here and say that i always not only liked peter but could sympathize with him. And im talking about the EG peter not just the more reformed shadow series peter. I always saw some of my own darker atributes reflected in peter. i have a younger brother who i love terribly but i was often a real ass to him when we were little kids. I never threatened to kill him or destroy everything he made or anything like that but i did always have to have control like peter. I was the boss the older brother. We both grew out of it but it was actually reading of Peter that made me recognize much of that in myself and work to change it. Remember Graff says he can't decide to be an older brother or a jackel, he doesnt just flat out call him a jackel.
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Advent 115
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I'm not trying to spoil anything for you oolung, but Ender communicated with an elderly Peter to get the real facts behind Peters life work using the Ansible. So though Ender did not make Peter out to be a monster in The Hegemon, he did show Peters faults as well as his strengths. And that is why after the Hegemon is written, people on Earth and throughout the new colonies see the Hegemon as a story of humanity. That is because we sympathize with Peter, when we look at him we see both the best and worst in ourselves. That is why we love Peter.
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