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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » MOTIFS IN OSC BOOKS

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I have read most of OSC's books and I love every one of them! He is a genious. However I have noticed several themes and motifs that you can trace through out most of his books. For example:

1. In a compound for a long time: In Lost Gate (North family compound), Worthing Saga (Worthing Farms), Enders Series (The world of Path)... any other thoughts?

2. Manipulating the Universe with Powers: Alvin Maker (Doodle Bug), Lost Gate (Inner Self), Enders Game (Aiua)... any other thoughts?

3. Children Rising to power by being very smart/skilled: Enders Game (Ender Wiggin and Peter Wiggin), Alvin Maker (Alvin Maker), Lost Gate (Danny North), Memory of Earth (Nafai), Song Master (Song Bird), Worthing Saga (Jason Worthing on Capital)

4. Many of Cards characters have very similar internal dialogues. Their characters also tend to deal with similar situations and moral dilemas. some of these include:
- does power give you the right to manipulate others
- do my parents love me?
- Opposing Political views and how they effect situations
- Is it ok to kill for survival

5. Religion as a governing force
Worthing Saga - worship of jason
Homecoming - Oversoul worship
Enders Saga - Necessity to abandon religion for war/ Catholosism on Lucitania...
Lost Gate - Polytheism Panthions
Alvin Maker - Christianity and Alvin's religion

6. Mormon Motifs:
Doesn't Alvin remind you of Joseph Smith but with magical powers? I mean he gathers people together from all over to a place where he builds a perfect city. Like Mormons and Utah.

Can you think of any more repetitive themes in Cards amazing works? I'm not complaining, I love these themes/motifs but it is fun to point them out sometimes.

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This post would probably get more of the desired attention if it were posted over on the "Discussions about Orson Scott Card" side of the forum. [Smile]
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Alvin is Joseph Smith with magical powers.

And Nafai is Nephi from the Book of Mormon... [Smile]

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Here's another one:
7. Damaged children who are healed/ or need healing.
Alvin Maker's son in Crystal City
Bean's kids in the Shadow books
The son in Lost Boys.

Am I missing any?

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Um... aren't most of the things you've mentioned (at least 1-4) pretty common motif's? I mean, it's not like Card has any sort of monopoly on them.

"Compounds" are very common in sci-fi, and even more common in literature before that by way of the uninhabited island. That sort of thing can be traced back to ancient times.

"Manipulating the Universe through Powers" - again, it's everywhere! Dune, Star Wars, a good 80%+ of comic books ever written...

Also, prodigies are also remarkably common because they make wonderful Messiah figures and because it is an excellent way to polarize a character.

As for your point #4... those are some of the biggest questions/situations humans face - ever.

I don't have a problem with him addressing these themes over and over since they're very important themes. It is sometimes a little frustrating that, once you've read enough of his stuff, you can predict exactly how certain characters will respond to certain dilemmas.

For instance, we frequently run across characters that are extremely insightful about marriage and how the sexes relate to one another. At some point, the character will go on a rant about how men and women are best together, but despite that fact, no one really ever knows anyone else. As interesting as that viewpoint is, I think I may just vomit if I have to read it one more time! *smile*

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I agree completely. They are common themes/motifs. They seem to be popular with OSC. He really makes them work.

His characters do rant quite a bit about sex and gender and marriage. example:

bean and petra
ender and novinea
peter and Royal Mother

one of his favorite and most repeated themes is I think societies dependance on monogamous, hetrosexual relationships. He talks in almost every book about how the only way for society to survive is if it supports reproduction.

Homecoming: When they leave their world they must partner off and marriage becomes forever instead of a temp contract

Worthing: excessive flighty relationships leades along with somec to the death of capital. Namely the story about the vidloop stars

Ender: Every discussion about adult bean and petra in the shadow series. And when bean decides not to reproduce and petras whole tirade about how he needs to to be truly human. Also in Enders Game when Graff is discussing the ban on 3rds... and its ending causing/releaving a tension that was both necessary and destructive to society.

Alvin Maker: One part that comes to mind is when alvins brother rapes the rich woman and alvin makes her husband forgive her. They discuss the principal there

Empire: Pretty much the whole book series is about how societies fall when the gov is uncondusive to reproduction.

I cannot wait until the next Mithermage book. I hope that he finishes the Empire series. I really want to know what happens with Torrent.

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