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Author Topic: question about...Bean and Achilles(small spoiler)
Member # 9553

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i just finished reading Ender's Shadow and i couldent help but notice something.
when Achilles is first brought to battle school, and he and bean come face to face for the first time, how achilles was saying that bean had to humiliate him like he did. would things between the two of them be any different if bean had gone another way with the conversation? i have no doubt that achilles is the villan of the bean series and a good one at that, but i think that things could have been less about bean than they were if that first conversation had been less humiliating for achilles.

just a thought.

[ July 08, 2006, 10:40 PM: Message edited by: xray ]

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Hm, I remember that conversation but I haven't read the book for a while, so I don't quite remember.
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Member # 9499

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I've read that several times, and thought about it. Achilles seemed like he was ready to forgive Bean, but I think he was fooling himself. He killed the doctor who fixed his leg for goodness sakes. I think the minute he found out that he wouldn't be able to still be above Bean, to still be Bean's papa, and use Bean as his tool, it would have been just as bad, maybe even worse. The only difference is that Bean expediated that moment so that he could choose the battle in his own time on his own terms.
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Member # 9553

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exactly what i thought, i have no doubt that achilles would still use bean. and that bean would still have to get rid of him, i just think it could have been done allot easyer and less people could have died under achilles wrath.


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Member # 9551

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Didn't Bean think about it afterward--how he had a choice to be an effective commander of Rabbit Army, or to (possibly) get Achilles to not kill him, but not both?
Seriously, I don't think even Bean could have thought up a way to keep a crazy person with murderous impulses from trying to kill him. Especially since Bean, in a two-year-old's body, managed to get a bunch of little kids to bring Achilles the Powerful Bully down, and then stood over him with the power to kill him...if Achilles would kill someone just for using anesthesia on him to operate on his leg, Bean was definitely not safe.
Later in the series someone manages to avoid Achilles' wrath through quick thinking, but it was more putting it off. He still would have killed that person, eventually, had he had the chance.

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For the first time, Bean understood the reason Ender had almost always acted as if he was oblivious to the danger from Bonzo. It was a simple choice, really. Either he could act to save himself, or he could act to maintain control over his army. In order to hold real authority, Bean had to insist on complete obedience and respect from his soldiers, even if it meant putting Achilles down, even if it meant increasing his personal danger.
(Ender's Shadow, page 370)

Although Bean may not have consciously known what he was doing, he knew that he couldn't let Achilles keep talking and had to show his authority, show that they weren't on the street anymore.

It seems like a charactistic of Bean (emphasized more in later Shadow books) that he simply does or says things without consciously knowing WHY. This is somewhat related to how he realizes things subconsciously: e.g. he started talking about Earth's defense problem and ended up concluding verbally that the only action that made sense would have been to attack right after the Second Invasion. Then, he realized that he was correct in his conclusion, when he hadn't even thought of it a few minutes before. (Of course he discarded the idea because he didn't know about the ansible, but that's another matter.)

So he wasn't totally aware of his reasons during the conversations (he had some more basic ones), he simply reacted (intelligently). Then afterwards, he thought about it (the quote above), and realized he had done the right thing - more importantly, he understood what he had done and why, and gained more insight into Ender. (Questions that he previously had, or things that Ender did that he hadn't understood suddenly made sense.)

I agree with the person who said he chose to fight the battle on his own terms.

This is my take on it anyway.

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Member # 9165

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I think that no matter what, he would have tried to kill Bean. It didn't matter how nice he was. Remember Bean was there when they tried to kill him with the rock and he knew him when he had the leg problem.
Achilles would bide his time and make bean's death look like an accident because Achilles couldnt live knowing bean at any moment could tell somone about his flaws.

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Orson Scott Card
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Like most sociopaths, Achilles had a self-story that did not correspond with his real motivations and patterns of behavior.
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