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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Ender's Game Symbolic for Mormonism?

   
Author Topic: Ender's Game Symbolic for Mormonism?
NickVicious
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Ok, so I just finished Ender's Game and the last chapter to me was a bit confusing the first time around, I didn't really dig the ending. So I read it a second time around and I think there is a lot of similarities between the last chapter, and mormonism.

Ender comes across the queen's pupa and talks to him and Ender writes "speaker of the dead".
Queen=God
Speaker of the Dead=Book of Mormon

Now I think the Book of Mormon was written by that one guy who god supposedly spoke to and told him what to write and tell the world.

He goes on to say the book was distributed on Earth and throughout the colonies and accepted as a religion.

So then Ender goes on and finds a place for the Queen to live and give birth. A promise land of sorts...Salt Lake City?

Idk, that's what I think OSC was getting at. Didn't catch it the second time around.

Can't say I'm not a little disappointed because I hate when people impose their beliefs on me. Still a great book and a great author.

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scifibum
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Actually, I don't think there's any intended similarity between the Enderverse and the history of the LDS church. I think you can retract your disappointment.

But I'd advise against picking up the Alvin Maker series, based on your reaction. [Wink]

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Now I think the Book of Mormon was written by that one guy who god supposedly spoke to and told him what to write and tell the world.
Are you talking about Joseph Smith? LDS believe that he translated the Book of Mormon, not that he wrote it.

I really don't think that OSC was getting at that at all.

If you object that literature that includes religious symbolism, you're really limiting your literature options, including many of the greatest works ever written.

If it's just LDS/Mormon symbolism or references that you object to, then not only should you not only avoid the Alvin Maker series (which is fantastic), but also OSC's Homecoming series. They both have blatant references to LDS history or scripture.

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K_heron
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I concur with most of what was said it the other replies. I don't think that OSC was drawing any religious analogies in EG. Some of his other books are a different story entirely...but there was nothing in EG that struck me as being religously symbolic.

I have no idea what you mean by "imposing beliefs" on you, NickVicious. Literature has the potential to influence you, but it imposes nothing. If OSC had included religious references or symbols in EG, it wouldn't have forced you into anything.

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NickVicious
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I don't mind the religious symbolism at all, but I do think it was there. And I do think that he may have included that portion of the book with an ulterior motive, not just to set up the next book.

You're right, I probably should not have included "imposing beliefs", but everything was great in the book untill that point for me. It seemed like it didn't fit in with the rest of the book.

I like to draw religious symbolism from books! For example, I TOTALLY think The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was based on the Bible (parts of). Maybe it's just me.

This isn't going to stop me from reading the rest of the series, but I'm definately going to keep my eyes open for more LDS symbolism.

*also, someone mentioned that the Book of Mormon was "translated not written". Well didn't ender translate the queen's thoughts and memories into writing?

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scifibum
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I just remembered that Xenocide, Children of the Mind, (and, probably, Shadows in Flight) borrow heavily from some LDS religious doctrine. Can't believe I forgot that. But I still think the Ender/Queen story is probably not *intended* to mirror any events in LDS history. However, the philotic connection does represent what I suspect Card theorizes is a method of divine communication.
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scifibum
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quote:
I like to draw religious symbolism from books! For example, I TOTALLY think The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was based on the Bible (parts of). Maybe it's just me.
No, pretty sure it's not just you. [Smile]
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JennaDean
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Yeah, I saw a lot more LDS-influenced writing in Speaker and the other sequels than in the ending of Ender's Game.

Which is to say that I didn't (and still don't) see that particular symbolism, so of course it isn't there.

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K_heron
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quote:
Originally posted by NickVicious:
I don't mind the religious symbolism at all, but I do think it was there. And I do think that he may have included that portion of the book with an ulterior motive, not just to set up the next book.

You're right, I probably should not have included "imposing beliefs", but everything was great in the book untill that point for me. It seemed like it didn't fit in with the rest of the book.

I like to draw religious symbolism from books! For example, I TOTALLY think The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was based on the Bible (parts of). Maybe it's just me.

This isn't going to stop me from reading the rest of the series, but I'm definately going to keep my eyes open for more LDS symbolism.

*also, someone mentioned that the Book of Mormon was "translated not written". Well didn't ender translate the queen's thoughts and memories into writing?

I agree with you about Narnia, and it it interesting to look for symbolism-- I just don't think there is any in EG (you did make a thorough case for it, though.) [Wink]
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NickVicious
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Thank u k_heron, i'm getting eaten alive out here...whew!
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K_heron
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I know you're new to EG, NickVicious, but have you read any other OSC?
It's not at all a stretch to see the Mormon references in Memory of Earth and the other books in that series. You can certainly enjoy the books if you are not Mormon (I'm not) or haven't read the Book of Mormon, but the analogy is definitely there. Are you familiar with that series?

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mr_porteiro_head
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Like has been said, there's tons of references to Mormondom in OSC's books.

I don't think what you're talking about is one, though. That's almost as much of a stretch as the guy who said that what OSC was going for in Ender's game was to vindicate Hitler for the Holocaust.

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K_heron
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quote:
I don't think what you're talking about is one, though. That's almost as much of a stretch as the guy who said that what OSC was going for in Ender's game was to vindicate Hitler for the Holocaust. [/QB]
Are you referring to Memory of Earth (mentioned by me in the reply before yours) or EG??
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mr_porteiro_head
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I'm referring to the idea that Speaker for the Dead at the end of Ender's Game is a reference to anything in Mormonism.

The references in the Homecoming and Alvin series are blatant and numerous.

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CRash
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quote:
Originally posted by NickVicious:
I don't mind the religious symbolism at all, but I do think it was there. And I do think that he may have included that portion of the book with an ulterior motive, not just to set up the next book.

I absolutely agree with you that Mormonism influenced OSC's writing of Ender's Game, and I think you can see hints of that in most of his works. I don't necessarily see it as intentional, referential, or allegorical though (as is true of both the Homecoming and Alvin Maker series). More likely it comes from the fact that OSC's religion is a huge part of his life. I pretty much concur with K_heron above.

Also interesting to note is that OSC thought up the sequel, Speaker for the Dead, before the novelization of Ender's Game. If you look at the original short story EG, it ends immediately after the buggers' homeworld is destroyed. In the prologue to Speaker OSC mentions the evolution of the concept of speaking, and how he novelized and modified the EG story solely to set up Speaker. So IMO that part of EG was indeed intended by OSC to set up the next book, and it's a stretch for me to find an "ulterior motive" there.

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DaisyMae
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As someone who knows and shares OSC's religious beliefs I'm going to have to say that I don't really find any connection between EG and Mormonism. If he were trying to make that connection I think he probably would have done it differently. As has been repeatedly stated, it is clear that OSC makes LDS-themed references sometimes and when he does it he makes it obvious.

I think many times authors get their works pegged with symbolism that they themselves never intended.

If you had not known OSC was LDS you may have perhaps just thought it was a cool story. Just because he is doesn't mean it can't still just be a cool story.

A reader is free to find whatever meaning he wants from a text, but to use the words "impose their belief" seems unwarranted.

I'm not trying to trample you. Just sharing my opinion.

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Catseye1979
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Well if you were disappointed with the last chapter of Ender's Game don't worry you weren't alone....OSC has mentioned many times his own disappointment with that ending. The Afterword in Ender in Exile sums up his feelings on that chapter pretty clearly.
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DDDaysh
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I think you REALLY have to stretch to equate Ender's Game to Mormonism.
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adenam
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I found this from OSC and though it sounded pertinent.
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Josh Cooper
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I don't know much about mormonism, but did humans try to destroy God? And only after they were almost successful did God bestow the Book of Mormon on humanity?

I have heard though that Card is Mormon.

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K_heron
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quote:
Originally posted by adenam:
I found this from OSC and though it sounded pertinent.

I think this link (above) from adenam pretty much ends this debate.
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Scott R
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quote:
Originally posted by Josh Cooper:
I don't know much about mormonism, but did humans try to destroy God? And only after they were almost successful did God bestow the Book of Mormon on humanity?

I have heard though that Card is Mormon.

Card's a Mormon. Everything else you wrote is not a belief of Mormonism.
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Eskari
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As much as I haven't seen any parallels between EG's ending chapter and Mormonism, I don't think even if they were there it would be of much importance.

After all, symbolism behind religion touches on more general symbolic themes, and if there would arrise a need to connect the written scenes to anything, I'd rather do it to that if applicable more than to specifically one-religion based references.

Imo, attributing more general things to one religion only may lead to bias against the text in question, if the reader happens to be biased against that religion in some form to begin with.

No offense intended.

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Occasional
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"I don't know much about mormonism, but did humans try to destroy God? And only after they were almost successful did God bestow the Book of Mormon on humanity?"

I suppose you could say this as a symbolic representation of Mormon belief in the "Great Apostasy," but you would still be stretching it considerably. Otherwise, no there isn't a belief in such a thing. If there was any complaint about Mormonism and the Ender's Game series it would be how little there is of Mormonism in his stories.

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