Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ender's Game: The Last Quarter

Wow, I sort of got distracted to day and nearly forgot all about this. And I promised to post this today, and here's to hoping that it gets up in time.

So, where did I leave off yesterday? Something about Ender and Graff landing at Eros, right? Good. Because after that part, things begin to change. Only, we don't see the change straight away. No. We, the readers, get told after Ender goes through a bunch of tests and much exhaustion that he took care of the buggers in the end. He doesn't understand at first. They explain to him that he wasn't playing a game on Eros. That he was actually commanding armies and destroying bugger colonies.

Here's the part that really got me, though. I wasn't expecting it at all. Sources have let me known that this happened sometime in the book, but I did not see it coming at all. Maybe I was hoping for it to happen earlier. Maybe I thought it as in the sequel. However, the point is, I really didn't see it coming, and that's what makes this story so perfect. I just thought it was more testing, just to see how far they could push Ender over his limits. But it wasn't. It was real.

And like I said, after Ender learns the truth, everything changes. He wants to stop. He knows he saved humanity, but at what costs. His brother and sister are finished fighting over power (and even that gave me a little surprise). And later on, after forming a colony on one of the bugger worlds, Ender finds an egg and becomes a Speaker of the Dead. He talks about the buggers and lets peple know what they really were like. It's really moving, but I certainly wish Card would have put more into the book. But I think he wished he could have done that as well, which is probably why he went on to write a bunch of other stories in the same universe.

There's also one more little theme from the book that I didn't get around to yesterday, and that's all about the truth. Even at six years of age, Ender knows what the difference between the truth and a lie is. Here's a quick little quote from the book (my emphasis in bold):
It was a lie, of course, that it wouldn't hurt a bit. But since adults always said it when it was going to hurt, he could count on that statemanet as an accurate prediction of the future. Sometimes lies were more dependable than the truth.
And well, in this story, they most certainly are. The whole entire battle school is a lie, at least to Ender. Most of his youth he lived as a puppet, a tool, the biggest lie of them all. Quite a great way to bring us back full circle in the end.

Anyways, now that I've finished Ender's Game, I've moved on to reading Anthem by Ayn Rand. It's being a pretty decent story thus far. I'm almost done with it already. Quite a quick read to be honest. Really flat (as in lacking a lot of excitement), but still good.

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