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Winterwind
2009-07-03, 11:18 AM
First of all, if you haven't read Ender's Game yet, but intend to, stop right here, as this post will contain spoilers.







It just occured to me just how deep the parallel between Erfworld and Ender's Game runs. Back in his third KLog (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0041.html) entry, Parson states how an Ender's Game type solution to the situation he has found himself in would be his favourite, and that's precisely what he ended up doing - he mirrored even the "kill own ships soldiers and enemy fleet soldiers alike, all of them, and do so by blowing up the very planet battlefield fought for". That much seems obvious, and I suspect it's been pointed out a couple dozen times already throughout the various threads here.

But reading the last couple of strips and in particular Summer Update #8 (http://www.erfworld.com/page/3/) (link might get outdated at any moment), I realized the parallel goes much farther. Just like Ender, Parson loathes what he has done; is, in fact, going crazy because of his guilt. He has reached exactly what he has been striving for, what he has been obsessed about for the entire duration of this war, but in doing so, he has become a murderer, a monster in his own eyes. And he is resolved to not let the forces that used him for this purpose use him ever again, not for killing anyway. A perfect parallel to Orson Scott Card's novel, once more.

I don't know whether this has been pointed out as well already; I didn't see any threads around here concerned with it though, so I thought I'd just post that thought here.

MReav
2009-07-03, 11:36 AM
He did mention Ender's Game in the Strategery klog (38b).

Flickerdart
2009-07-03, 11:37 AM
Well, as long as we don't get a follow-up story from the PoV of Bogroll, I think you might be reading a bit too much into this. :smallbiggrin:

Winterwind
2009-07-03, 12:03 PM
He did mention Ender's Game in the Strategery klog (38b).You mean the Klog I mentioned and linked to in my post? That Klog? :smalltongue:


Well, as long as we don't get a follow-up story from the PoV of Bogroll, I think you might be reading a bit too much into this. :smallbiggrin:I'm not quite sure what you think I am reading into it. I do not claim Rob and Jaimie are trying to re-tell their own version (if they did, Parson would have to start a new religion in book 2 and make a jump of several ten thousand turns :smallbiggrin:). I just thought it was funny how close the parallel was, even beyond Parson having found the solution he specified in that KLog entry.

Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
2009-07-03, 02:50 PM
Yeah, I also realized the similarities not long after re-reading the Ender series recently.

Lazy Fat Man
2009-07-03, 03:43 PM
Hmm. You are onto something here. They both are the result of the search for the perfect general, they were both manipulated in such a way that they didn't know exactly what they were doing. (Ender thought it was a simulation. Parson a dream, and he was also manipulated by erfworld itself and therefore was unsure if he was responsible.) And, as you said, they both regret their actions.

So what does this mean for the comic? Most likely then, like Ender, Parson will become an agent of peace then. (Not exactly a brilliant deduction on my part, because the hippymancer said just that:smalltongue:) So the question becomes "Will Parson lead any more battles?" I wouldn't be surprised if he,like ender, tries to undo the damage he caused. Maybe he will try to destroy the artifacts, or maybe attempt to undecrypt Ansom and his followers.

Ravens_cry
2009-07-03, 04:48 PM
I disagree. I think he will fight battles, plenty of more battles. But they will be his battles. He may have said he wasn't a gamepiece, but he also said he was a player. And players, play.

Oslecamo
2009-07-04, 02:25 PM
It's just a superficial impression. There's plenty of diferences.

Parson:
-His last move is he trying to win at ALL costs. Supreme general.
-Parson's enemies actually give him a run for his money on the last rounds.
-The other side has been crippled, but it's far away from completely obliterated
-He designed his own super weapon.
-Parson acomplishes this when everybody around him is saying he'll fail and struggles to keep the loyalty of his forces.
-He didn't kill all his forces. He saved the mancers and some uncroackeds and one golem survived to hold the city.
-Parson is a fat guy who has trouble climbing stairs, really needs to worck his social skills, and was actually doing what he liked. He wanted to lead troops into battles. He wanted to crush the other side. He just didn't admit it yet.

Marty Stu Ender:
-His last move is basically him trying make a big disaster so he gets fired. Emo kid.
-The bugs just stand there and let themselves get shot to death whitout shooting back.
-Main character's plot power is so powerfull he complitelly obliterates the other side in one sweep.
-Was handed his super weapon in a silver plate.
-Marty Stu Ender it's the center of the atentions of it's side as they treat him as their god.
-Just didn't kill his own friends because they were siting a billion light years away.
-Did I mention how Marty Stu Ender is really charismatic and a martial arts expert and how perfect and tragic he is and how the entire galaxy spins around him?

So no, not a lot of similarities really. One is a Mary Stu with a plot shield OVER 9000, another is a nerd gamer who's actually a good strategist and is doing what he wants.

After all, Parson didn't quit from his place, he was basically replaced by Ansom. And we all know the real reason he did this is so he gets a shot at geting more indepent actions. He's a player, and players follow their own path.

tribble
2009-07-04, 04:15 PM
It's just a superficial impression. There's plenty of diferences.

Parson:
-His last move is he trying to win at ALL costs. Supreme general.
-Parson's enemies actually give him a run for his money on the last rounds.
-The other side has been crippled, but it's far away from completely obliterated
-He designed his own super weapon.
-Parson acomplishes this when everybody around him is saying he'll fail and struggles to keep the loyalty of his forces.
-He didn't kill all his forces. He saved the mancers and some uncroackeds and one golem survived to hold the city.
-Parson is a fat guy who has trouble climbing stairs, really needs to worck his social skills, and was actually doing what he liked. He wanted to lead troops into battles. He wanted to crush the other side. He just didn't admit it yet.

Marty Stu Ender:
-His last move is basically him trying make a big disaster so he gets fired. Emo kid.
-The bugs just stand there and let themselves get shot to death whitout shooting back.
-Main character's plot power is so powerfull he complitelly obliterates the other side in one sweep.
-Was handed his super weapon in a silver plate.
-Marty Stu Ender it's the center of the atentions of it's side as they treat him as their god.
-Just didn't kill his own friends because they were siting a billion light years away.
-Did I mention how Marty Stu Ender is really charismatic and a martial arts expert and how perfect and tragic he is and how the entire galaxy spins around him?

So no, not a lot of similarities really. One is a Mary Stu with a plot shield OVER 9000, another is a nerd gamer who's actually a good strategist and is doing what he wants.

After all, Parson didn't quit from his place, he was basically replaced by Ansom. And we all know the real reason he did this is so he gets a shot at geting more indepent actions. He's a player, and players follow their own path.

you forgot some: Marty Stu Ender drastically changes people's worldview simply by existing.
Mary Suedom runs in his family: Valentine is So Brilliant she defines the cultural identities of many many planets, his parents are both persecuted for their religions but ooh they're smart, his brother becomes the Emperor of Mankind.

Oslecamo
2009-07-04, 06:24 PM
you forgot some: Marty Stu Ender drastically changes people's worldview simply by existing.
Mary Suedom runs in his family: Valentine is So Brilliant she defines the cultural identities of many many planets, his parents are both persecuted for their religions but ooh they're smart, his brother becomes the Emperor of Mankind.

Ah, yes the little kids that conquered the world trough chat rooms and by killing little animals, how could I forget.

Don't get me started on how even the internet itself literally becomes an sentient being so it can devote herself completely to Mary Stu Ender.

So, if Parson was closely remoted to Marty Stu Ender, by now there would've apeared some super unit that would pledge her loyalty to Hamster and make Wanda look like a crippled commoner.

Or at least all beings in Efworld, Stanley included, would be on their knees licking Hamster's boots and fighting for the honor of granting Parson's wishes.

PhantomFox
2009-07-04, 10:26 PM
I can see what you're saying, but I don't remember the book being that bad when I read it... do I need to brush up on my literary taste?

chiasaur11
2009-07-05, 12:46 AM
I can see what you're saying, but I don't remember the book being that bad when I read it... do I need to brush up on my literary taste?

No, the first book is a perfectly decent piece of literature.

Later book tend to be the causes of the dislike.

The_JJ
2009-07-05, 04:28 AM
Although all the complained about points are from the first book.

Meh, I'm willing to overlook things. For one, Ender was manipulated from the start. It's hard to take him as an overblown Sue when he's dancing like a puppet on the BattleSchool's strings.

Plus they go ahead and name him the Xenocide in the next book. Which is good on the surface. Just beneath that, you realize it's because of teh awesome bookzor he wrote about how tragic he is, but it was nice for a few pages.

Oslecamo
2009-07-05, 05:44 AM
Meh, I'm willing to overlook things. For one, Ender was manipulated from the start. It's hard to take him as an overblown Sue when he's dancing like a puppet on the BattleSchool's strings.


The simple fact that earth military counsil decides to put all of humanity bets on him whitout any real reason behind that shows how much of a Stu he is. Because you know, it's clearly best to give command of the troops to some kid who never fought a real battle instead of the veteran who won the last war against all odds after all.

The galaxy spinning around you is one of the main syntoms of Mary Stuness.

Thayus
2009-07-05, 09:50 AM
Come on, people. It's '80s SF. IIRC, there was some speculation that children might be a lot smarter as they grew up than we gave them credit for (because they hadn't developed the wisdom and experience to properly exploit their intelligence).

If it were true to the point where you could turn kids into super-strategists, the situation in the book might be how things end up - adult handlers manipulating youthful super-strategists until they break under the pressure. Don't look at the tactics or strategy, so much. Card isn't a military genius, after all. Look at the sociological implications, instead (which he tries to explore in the Ender's XXXXXX books, although he's rather clumsy in those, too).

Sure, in the real world understanding the ~12 principles of warfare is more important than the genius of a child-savant who has to constantly reinvent the wheel, but . . .

-Thayus

hamishspence
2009-07-05, 09:51 AM
the concept is a bit of an odd one. They did have a second choice (Bean)

And apparently Ender's father would have qualified except for being too old.

Also, the theory that a child was absolutely essential is...ususual.

KBF
2009-07-05, 07:23 PM
The simple fact that earth military counsil decides to put all of humanity bets on him whitout any real reason behind that shows how much of a Stu he is. Because you know, it's clearly best to give command of the troops to some kid who never fought a real battle instead of the veteran who won the last war against all odds after all.

The galaxy spinning around you is one of the main syntoms of Mary Stuness.

Remember: To be a Stu, it has to be written badly. If you have to really observe the character and study the varying aspects of his story for you to notice, it's probably not a Stu. There are a lot of would-be Stu's out there that would make some good media horrifying to read/watch, but are just written so you never notice. I'd like to give a few examples but, as you can understand, it's a very... Sensitive subject. Nobody can really agree who is a Stu and who isn't. Usually if these debates occur in a very mature way, it's not a real Stu.

averagejoe
2009-07-05, 07:59 PM
Well, as long as we don't get a follow-up story from the PoV of Bogroll, I think you might be reading a bit too much into this. :smallbiggrin:

Bogroll being retroactively more brilliant than he was. :smalltongue:


It's just a superficial impression. There's plenty of diferences.

I don't think you understand what a, "Parallel," is.

rankrath
2009-07-05, 08:38 PM
The simple fact that earth military counsil decides to put all of humanity bets on him whitout any real reason behind that shows how much of a Stu he is. Because you know, it's clearly best to give command of the troops to some kid who never fought a real battle instead of the veteran who won the last war against all odds after all.

The galaxy spinning around you is one of the main syntoms of Mary Stuness.

The reason they do this is explained in "Mazer in Prison". Mazer isn't that level of a commander. He's more than competent, but only had to beat the buggers once. Whoever ended up leading the third invasion would have to beat the buggers every time. So, battle school is created to screen every human at as young an age as possible, find the smart ones, and send them through training from hell in order to build up the mental and physical strength necessary to be in top mental shape for months on end. In short, they don't ride on everything on Ender for no reason, they ride everything on Ender because that's what he was trained for.

Talic
2009-07-06, 01:58 AM
Ender's Game (and the following books) were written about kids, for kids. If you try to read too much into them, you're going to be disappointed.

Was Ender a Mary Sue? Let's see. He was listed as the best and brightest in a large group of the best and the bright. Then, heroes aren't usually heroes because of their mediocrity. You could argue that most any hero is a Mary Sue on those guidelines.

No, Mary Sues have several trademarks. And one is that everything must be about them. When they're not around, the only thing that is talked about is them. Most fawn over them, and the limited opposition that they have is scattered to the wind, and only serves to underscore their awesomeness.

Not Ender. He started out largely hated. Lacking the physical attributes praised there, he was pretty much universally ostracized for most of his time there. He may have been good... But he was alone. Always seperated by the things that made him what he is. That's what the story was about, for many. He did what he had to do, and he did it brilliantly. But he had one or two who stuck up for him... Bean, Petra, the outcasts and misfits, and he was reviled by the rest.

Sounds a lot like school growing up for many. The books caught on because they chronicle the beginning social experience for many. Being on the outside, looking in.

In that, I think Parson's Erfworld doesn't parallel Ender's Game too closely, as Parson started in a position of power (Chief Warlord), and in that erfworld doesn't convey the clique/schoolyard gang theme that most of the Ender's Game book had.

Oslecamo
2009-07-06, 04:39 AM
Not Ender. He started out largely hated. Lacking the physical attributes praised there, he was pretty much universally ostracized for most of his time there. He may have been good... But he was alone. Always seperated by the things that made him what he is. That's what the story was about, for many. He did what he had to do, and he did it brilliantly. But he had one or two who stuck up for him... Bean, Petra, the outcasts and misfits, and he was reviled by the rest.


People who hate Ender:
-Half the school kids. Probably because of Ender's habit to humiliate them and then kill them at cold blood for the shligtest provocation.

People who love Ender:
-The other half of the school.
-The internet itself.
-Several trillions bugs who not only let Ender walck all the way to their main planet whitout firing a single shot, they also put their last hope in his hands.

So hmm, yes, I think it's safe to say that Ender's oposition is "scattered to the wind", because they're limited to a bunch of scared kids, when there is a whole galaxy spawning race building altars to Ender the great, and then some omnipotent computer entity comes along to also serve Ender. Marty Stu all the way to the end.

On the other hand, then it's only natural that the big guys put him in charge, since his Mary Sueness is of such high level, he was clearly the best for the job. The bugs would just literally flip over and die for his glory if Ender was commanding the troops, because Ender cannot lose.

Snails
2009-07-06, 02:35 PM
The original book (wasn't it a short story first?) was about a smarty-pants who turns out to be really special and important, but for the most part it is bad stuff that happens to him -- adults pulling his strings without mercy.

Not bad thing in a book written primarily for teen-aged boys, overall. What do you expect?

Where the story becomes insipid is in later books, when his brother and sister manipulate the course of the universe, and Puppy Love the AI come along. The first time around, the universe conspired to temporarily revolve around one unfortunate victim -- regardless of whether it really makes sense, it works well enough as a story. The second time around the universe has decided to revolve around this one individual because nothing else could possibly be more fun...forever.

Joran
2009-07-06, 02:35 PM
Several trillions bugs who not only let Ender walck all the way to their main planet whitout firing a single shot, they also put their last hope in his hands.


I didn't really get that impression from the first book (I haven't read anything past the first book actually). I got the impression that the buggers fought tooth and nail, many of the humans died in combat, and eventually the last attack was a suicide attack by Ender's forces against an overwhelming opposing force that was going to wipe his forces out.

I don't think of Ender as a Marty Stu mainly because the book does do a good job of portraying how unhappy he is and his mental anguish. There is something deeply wrong with Ender in the first book; he's very disturbing as a character. He killed two people in hand to hand combat and he mentally abused his subordinates and the general feeling throughout the book is that he is alone and not at all popular or well-liked. I always think of Marty Stu as someone who is perfect in every single way and everybody loves him. I don't think anyone outside of Valentine loves him and outside of his military genius, he's not perfect.

hamishspence
2009-07-06, 03:48 PM
Also, the program that eventually became Ender's investment councellor, and became sentient, was in existence well before he went to Battle School (Shadow of the Giant explains how it got put in charge of Ender's finances)

So, at the time of book 1, we cant say that "the internet loves him"

Clutchbone
2009-07-06, 06:59 PM
@Oslecamo: the OP was saying there are thematic similarities between Parson and Ender, not that Parson=Ender. Not-so-subtle difference. And yeah, I think the similarities the OP pointed out are there.

Also, you make the criticism that Ender is a Mary Sue character. A Mary Sue character is a manifestation of the author's personal wish-fulfillment. Ender suffers emotional tramua and psychological abuse for 90% of the book, then ends up hating himself after unwittingly committing genocide... that doesn't sound like wish-fulfillment to me.

Hate Ender because he's too perfect? If you want a less efficient POV character, then don't read a book about the result of a generations-long program of selective breeding and grueling physical and mental conditioning for the production of the perfect tactical genius. In any event, Ender's Game is really about the ethical and emotional ramifications of such a program. The aliens and space gizmos are just macguffins to facilitate this.

Talic
2009-07-07, 05:49 AM
People who hate Ender:
-Half the school kids. Probably because of Ender's habit to humiliate them and then kill them at cold blood for the shligtest provocation.

People who love Ender:
-The other half of the school.
-The internet itself.
-Several trillions bugs who not only let Ender walck all the way to their main planet whitout firing a single shot, they also put their last hope in his hands.

So hmm, yes, I think it's safe to say that Ender's oposition is "scattered to the wind", because they're limited to a bunch of scared kids, when there is a whole galaxy spawning race building altars to Ender the great, and then some omnipotent computer entity comes along to also serve Ender. Marty Stu all the way to the end.

On the other hand, then it's only natural that the big guys put him in charge, since his Mary Sueness is of such high level, he was clearly the best for the job. The bugs would just literally flip over and die for his glory if Ender was commanding the troops, because Ender cannot lose.

His brother, who effectively exiled him, when all he wanted was to go home?
A handful of kids... Who happened to be his peers, and the entire social network he existed in?

Look, it's obvious nobody's gonna convince you otherwise. A mind etched in granite, and all that.

He was opposed. They did fight. They lost.

Was Conan a Mary Sue? He destroyed his opposition, and was feared by all.

No, because at the time they were his opposition, they were a credible threat.

Same for Ender. Many things may not have been able to beat him tactically, but he was in a bully situation for half the books. Being pushed around by those that could.

Until they couldn't.

I liked the book, and I see little of this nonsense about Marty Stu. I credit it to nothing more than a misapplication of Trope.

Oslecamo
2009-07-07, 11:52 AM
Look, it's obvious nobody's gonna convince you otherwise. A mind etched in granite, and all that.
...
No, because at the time they were his opposition, they were a credible threat.



Go read the book again. Ender directly assaults the homeworld of the bugs, and they don't fire a single shot at his ships. They even open a way for him to blow up the planet.

The bugs wich also had completely given up on conquering Earth and were actually busy building temples to Ender the doombringer. Yes, very threatening indeed.

Of course, it's ovbious nobody's gonna convice you otherwise. A mind etched in nothing, since it's clear by now you created your own ideal version of the story that's completely separated from the book. Good day sir!

hamishspence
2009-07-07, 12:12 PM
Page 324

But now they were on the far side of one of the enemy's most formidable groups; they had, with terrible losses, passed through- and now they had covered more than half the distance to the enemy's planet."

One, two, four, seven of his fighters were blown away. It was all a gamble now, whether any of his ships would survive long enough to get into range.

Not fighting back?

Thayus
2009-07-07, 12:17 PM
Go read the book again. Ender directly assaults the homeworld of the bugs, and they don't fire a single shot at his ships. They even open a way for him to blow up the planet.

The bugs wich also had completely given up on conquering Earth and were actually busy building temples to Ender the doombringer. Yes, very threatening indeed.

Of course, it's ovbious nobody's gonna convice you otherwise. A mind etched in nothing, since it's clear by now you created your own ideal version of the story that's completely separated from the book. Good day sir!

I'm afraid I'm going to have to call bulls**t on you.



As for his own fleet, it consisted of twenty starships, each with only four fighters.
He knew the four-fighter starships they were old-fashioned, sluggish, and the
range of their Little Doctors was half that of the newer ones. Eighty fighters,
against at least five thousand, perhaps ten thousand enemy ships.

Ender realizes that what he really wants is to stop playing, and so . . .



In that final battle in Battle School, he had won by ignoring the enemy, ignoring
his own losses; he had moved against the enemy's gate.

And the enemy's gate was down.

If I break this rule, they'll never let me be a commander. It would be too
dangerous. I'll never have to play a game again. And that is victory.

He whispered quickly into the microphone. His commanders took their parts of
the fleet and grouped themselves into a thick projectile, a cylinder aimed at the
nearest of the enemy formations. The enemy, far from trying to repel him,
welcomed him in, so he could be thoroughly entrapped before they destroyed
him. Mazer is at least taking into account the fact that by now they would have
learned to respect me. thought Ender. And that does buy me time.

Ender dodged downward, north, east, and down again, not seeming to follow
any plan, but always ending up a little closer to the enemy planet. Finally the
enemy began to close in on him too tightly. Then, suddenly, Ender's formation
burst. His fleet seemed to melt into chaos. The eighty fighters seemed to follow
no plan at all, firing at enemy ships at random, working their way into hopeless
individual paths among the bugger craft.

After a few minutes of battle, however, Ender whispered to his squadron leaders
once more, and suddenly a dozen of the remaining fighters formed again into a
formation. But now they were on the far side of one of the enemy's most
formidable groups; they had, with terrible losses, passed through and now they
had covered more than half the distance to the enemy's planet.

The enemy sees now, thought Ender. Surely Mazer sees what I'm doing.
Or perhaps Mazer cannot believe that I would do it. Well so much the better for
me.

Ender's tiny fleet darted this way and that, sending two or three fighters out as if
to attack, then bringing them back. The enemy closed in, drawing in ships and
formations that had been widely scattered, bringing them in for the kill. The
enemy was most concentrated beyond Ender, so he could not escape back into
open space, closing him in. Excellent, thought Ender. Closer. Come closer.

Then he whispered a command and the ships dropped like rocks toward the
planet's surface. They were starships and fighters, completely unequipped to
handle the heat of passage through an atmosphere. But Ender never intended
them to reach the atmosphere. Almost from the moment they began to drop, they
were focusing their Little Doctors on one thing only. The planet itself.

One, two, four, seven of his fighters were blown away. It was all a gamble now,
whether any of his ships would survive long enough to get in range. It would not
take long, once they could focus on the planet's surface. Just a moment with Dr,
Device, that's all I want. It occurred to Ender that perhaps the computer wasn't
even equipped to show what would happen to a planet if the Little Doctor
attacked it. What will I do then, shout Bang, you're dead?

Ender took his hands off the controls and leaned in to watch what happened.
The perspective was close to the enemy planet now, as the ship hurtled into its
well of gravity. Surely it's in range now, thought Ender. It must be in range and
the computer can't handle it.

Then the surface of the planet, which filled half the simulator field now, began to
bubble; there was a gout ot explosion, hurling debris out toward Ender's fighters.
Ender tried to imagine what was happening inside the planet. The field growing
and growing, the molecules bursting apart but finding nowhere for the separate
atoms to go.


Out of 80 fighters, 12 manage to survive to get into position to make a run on the planet, and no more than 5 are able to get within firing range. The enemy did not, as you say, let him through unopposed.

Now, granted, in the latest book Card retconned the hidden Hive Queen into being the primary choice rather than a desperate backup, but that's not how it was originally.

-Thayus

hamishspence
2009-07-07, 12:25 PM
and in Ender's Shadow, we get to see the same thing- works out in a similar way.

Joran
2009-07-07, 03:52 PM
and in Ender's Shadow, we get to see the same thing- works out in a similar way.

Ender's Shadow is the book about Bean? My father-in-law read Ender's Shadow first and absolutely despises Ender. I get the feeling that Ender's portrayal in that book is not too sympathetic.

For those who read the rest of the Ender's series, is it worthwhile to read the others? I hold Ender's Game in very high esteem and don't want to sully it with sequels that may not live up to the original. For a long time, I felt the same about Dune and eventually broke down and read the rest of the series.

chiasaur11
2009-07-07, 04:03 PM
Ender's Shadow is the book about Bean? My father-in-law read Ender's Shadow first and absolutely despises Ender. I get the feeling that Ender's portrayal in that book is not too sympathetic.

For those who read the rest of the Ender's series, is it worthwhile to read the others? I hold Ender's Game in very high esteem and don't want to sully it with sequels that may not live up to the original. For a long time, I felt the same about Dune and eventually broke down and read the rest of the series.

I've heard okay things about Speaker for the Dead.

After that, though... (http://xkcd.com/304/)

hamishspence
2009-07-07, 04:04 PM
Since Ender is seen through Bean's eyes, he naturally doesn't come off in quite so good a light.

Personally though, I though the book made him a bit more rounded- and gave us a good idea as to what was happening "offscreen" in the original, so to speak.

The Shadow series also fills out Peter some- he's a lot more than the monster he appears to be in Ender's Game.

the quality of the sequels is very subjective- some people who liked the orginal like them, a lot don't.

First Meetings has some prequel short stories, on Ender's parrents, and his first meeting the Jane the sentient program.

and Ender in Exile fills in the period from the defeat of the aliens, till leaving the world where he found the Hive Queen cocoon, and a little beyond, which is covered in only a few words in the original book.

Talic
2009-07-07, 11:01 PM
Go read the book again. Ender directly assaults the homeworld of the bugs, and they don't fire a single shot at his ships. They even open a way for him to blow up the planet. Not because it's Ender. Because they realized what they'd done. They weren't remorseful because it was "Ender the God Child". They were remorseful because they realized the scope and meaning of their initial actions.

Or did you forget that part of the book?


The bugs wich also had completely given up on conquering Earth and were actually busy building temples to Ender the doombringer. Yes, very threatening indeed. Because they weren't "conquering Earth" They were colonizing a planet, and attempting to push another hive entity out. Then they realized it wasn't, and every human was its own hive queen. Then they tried to sue for peace. They refused to repeat their previous mistake. Hive queens were sacred to them.

That's why they didn't fire. Not because of what Ender was. Because of what they were. But you didn't think of that part of the book, did you?


Of course, it's ovbious nobody's gonna convice you otherwise. A mind etched in nothing, since it's clear by now you created your own ideal version of the story that's completely separated from the book. Good day sir!
No. I read it, and tried to understand it, rather than dismissing it in disgust and assuming that everything bowed before Ender for no other reason than he was Ender.

That would be mary sue.

That didn't happen.

TYVM, and good day.

Draz74
2009-07-07, 11:23 PM
Ender's Shadow is the book about Bean? My father-in-law read Ender's Shadow first and absolutely despises Ender. I get the feeling that Ender's portrayal in that book is not too sympathetic.

For those who read the rest of the Ender's series, is it worthwhile to read the others? I hold Ender's Game in very high esteem and don't want to sully it with sequels that may not live up to the original. For a long time, I felt the same about Dune and eventually broke down and read the rest of the series.

Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind are pretty good, but very different in style and theme than Ender's Game. A lot of people who love Ender's Game don't love them. Still, I don't regret having read them. And I see the three of them as a very connected trilogy, so I don't even remember any disparity of quality among the three.

Shadow of the Giant, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, and Shadow of the Giant are about Bean, but they're actually more similar to Ender's Game IMHO. And they made me care for Ender more, not less. Shadow of the Hegemon is my favorite of the whole series.

Ender in Exile is a cute bridge between the two halves of the story, does a good job tying up some loose ends and making Ender's character (and Peter's!) a little deeper, but it's kinda lacking in real new plotlines or meaning.

Zencao
2009-07-08, 08:34 AM
I'm actually doing an essay on feminism at the moment, and I chose Enders Game for it.

It got me thinking a lot about the role of feminine vs masculine in Enders game, analyzing the dual influence of Peter and Valentine as the imposition of gender on Ender, who is meant to be the 'perfect general' and the implications there of. Petra too, and how she's treated as a female soldier within the academy.

I've always had the niggling thought of Ender being quite 'feminine' myself, but being forced by all those around him to be masculine. When Alai (It's been too long since I've read it so forgive me if I'm screwing up details) kisses him and whispers Salaam (was it that?) I thought it meant they were gay. I was 12 at the time reading it so I chalk that up to immaturity now. Also, when he kisses the snake in the game instead of killing it. It all reeks of Ender wanting to be of a more feminine mindset, not wanting to fight or cause pain, yet constantly being forced to.

Has anyone else ever thought about this topic? Because I'd love to hear your thoughts :P

/End hijack

Olorin Maia
2009-07-08, 12:04 PM
Ender's Shadow was very good, my favorite after Ender's Game. I really liked how the other, barely mentioned characters play a much more intrinsic part in the story. Speaker for the Dead was also very well written, but it's not really a sequel; its more like Card wanted to write a story but couldn't get it working, so he plugged in a beloved and pre-characterized protagonist and went from there. The book would be better if it wasn't Ender, IMO. as for the rest of that series, (I don't remember when it started, Xenocide or Children of the Mind)
I got pissed when they started teleporting. Just completely ridiculous.

Next, on the topic of feminism; I had never thought about those things specifically, but the book mentions it slightly. Petra only succeeds in Battle School because she acts like a boy. Ender is disgusted at Bonzso because he treats Petra differently than the other boys (something about going to the bathroom when Ender first gets to Salamander). In order to succeed socially, everyone must be masculine.

Ender, however, doesn't like to solve his problems with violence in a far more feminine perspective, due directly to having a Sadistic older brother and a "perfect" older sister. I think that this unique combination makes it so Ender must defeat his enemies completely, so that they can never become another Peter to him, and then love them and restore the Hive-Queen to its proper place.

I agree with your analysis of immaturity on the idea of Alai and Ender being gay though; I don't see that as relevant at all.

Zencao
2009-07-08, 12:36 PM
I agree with your analysis of immaturity on the idea of Alai and Ender being gay though; I don't see that as relevant at all.

It really annoys me that I didn't get the significance of it beyond 'ew boys kissing'. I wrote a bit on how they've had no mother figure in battle school (apart from Dap, when he jokes that he will be their mom from now on, which is just a joke) and how it represents a spiritual connection and familial love between the two when no-one around can give it, a very 'feminine' idea that is left isolated in the sea of testosterone that is battle school.

Draz74
2009-07-08, 03:18 PM
When Alai (It's been too long since I've read it so forgive me if I'm screwing up details) kisses him and whispers Salaam (was it that?) I thought it meant they were gay. I was 12 at the time reading it so I chalk that up to immaturity now. Also, when he kisses the snake in the game instead of killing it. It all reeks of Ender wanting to be of a more feminine mindset, not wanting to fight or cause pain, yet constantly being forced to.

It's really quite weird how modern America (including me), in contrast to most other cultures throughout history and throughout the world, sees kissing as mostly a sexual thing, whereas everyone else thinks of kisses as sometimes-platonic gestures of affection.

Cracklord
2009-07-08, 05:51 PM
Well, would Leto Atredis from Dune be a Mary Sue Marty Stu? Because he winds up Emperor of the univers with the women he loves? Even though he is forced to commit crimes to the point where people actually point out how much a bigshot he is compared to every other dictator ever?
I don't think so. Sure, he's ridiculously perfect, but that's because that is what he was built for. He's what it says on the package. Leto isn't either, despite the fact he has what Paul had, and contractual immortality.
By contrast, I'd say Duncan Idaho is. He's not perfect, but everything goes his way, he lives forever and is consistantly put in a situation where he has the ability to alter the face of the universe, even though he is a puppet dancing on Antredis strings. He's handsom, athletic, inteligent, the most perfect women ever loves him after seeing him for ten seconds, and the Emperor of the universe treats him like an equal even though he has nothing to offer him Leto can't get at better standard from any of his followers. But he's still a good character (At least, he was at that point. After the origonal series was a different story entirely).
Is Ender? Well literature is full of perfect characters. Ender is not likeable, hoever the entire book reflects Endar, characters only exist in his pressence, have no seperate existence.
I would argue that Parson is, if Endar is, because despite social hangups and overweight, they don't actually effect him negitively.

Copper8642
2009-07-09, 12:46 AM
Ender's Game is flat-out my favorite book. I like the trip through Ender's mind. That's really the point of the book, in my (and many of the previous posters') opinion.

That being said, the rest of the series was ranged from "Okay" to "Good." Nothing terrible in my opinion, but not quite as good as book number one.

Kreistor
2009-07-09, 03:57 PM
Though there is some similarity to Ender's Game, I don't think it extends too deeply.

First, Ender was a child unaware that he was fighting a war, and so was not restricted by personal morality: as a child raised to fight, he lacked a certain amount of morality in the first place. Parson is adult and aware of the consequences of his actions. He wasn't ordering pixels to be deleted, but men to die.

Second, every human general in ender's world actually knew what needed to be done. Genocide and planetary destruction was the only remaining option. They simply didn't know how to do it, or if they could pull the trigger. They knew those ships headed to the planet somehow had to light the whole thing up and destroy it, but getting through the defense was beyond their capacity: that's why they sought a genius. Parson invents the solution himself, attempts to avoid it by losing, but is not permitted to by the spells affecting him, and so must commit an atrocity. He is forced to succeed, where Ender can merely say, "This game is too hard. I'm going to bed." and no adult can stop him, without revealing the truth. Could Ender have done it, knowing that he was annihilating an intelligent race? We're not allowed to know, but we do know that Parson tried to avoid his destiny, giving in only when no other option was allowed.

Coming up with a great tactic to win at long odds goes back far beyond Ender's Game. Star Wars. Heck, almost every story involves an underdog good guy person/team against an overwhleming force of evil. Independence Day. The only thing that changes is how much the author wants the good guys to lose. Sometimes, the hero even dies. Ender's Game is not new in this. what is new was that a child was placed in a position it was felt no adult could be trusted in.

Spoiler on Ender's Shadow and other Ender universe novels:
I equate Parson more to Bean and his choice in Ender's Shadow. Bean actually knew that he was ordering men to their deaths (like Parson, knowing they were going to die anyway), where Ender was merely trying to win a computer game. Bean could not refuse, or he would reveal to Ender the truth, and maybe prevent the salvation of mankind as Ender's conscience took over. It was on Bean that the weight of the world truly rested: if he could not handle the reality, Ender might not remain unaware. In the end, Bean's choice was viewed as minor, and unmentioned in any history book, and this is what prevents Ender from learning that he did not bear as much responsibility for genocide as he thought. Someone aware that he was committing a genocidal act stood between Ender and the enemy, and that is where Ender could find his redemption. The Shadow series ends in position where Ender and Bean could theoretically re-unite and resolve this issue, but that has not been written. Ender's transformation also eliminates much of the guilt and the need for this meeting.

Imgran
2009-07-09, 07:05 PM
Heck, Lord of the Rings. The war in Gondor, the war in Rohan, Aragorn's invasion of Mordor, the work of both of Gandalf's lives, all of it is a massive gambit by the great minds of the West to hold Sauron's attention so Frodo can deliver the McGuffin. They take hideous losses, lose kings, princes, lords, and thousands of good men, and in the end it worked almost in spite of itself because of a nearly unrelated factor that only the story's resident Marty Stu (Gandalf) saw coming.

BossMuro
2009-07-10, 12:17 AM
First, Ender was a child unaware that he was fighting a war, and so was not restricted by personal morality: as a child raised to fight, he lacked a certain amount of morality in the first place. Parson is adult and aware of the consequences of his actions. He wasn't ordering pixels to be deleted, but men to die.

Actually, that just made me see a pretty weird connection I hadn't noticed before. Ender was fighting a war that looked and felt just like a game, while Parson is...what? Taking part in a game that looks and feels like a war?

I guess I'm just making a pretty obvious observation here, but I think it's a pretty interesting parallel.

Talic
2009-07-10, 01:50 AM
Heck, Lord of the Rings. The war in Gondor, the war in Rohan, Aragorn's invasion of Mordor, the work of both of Gandalf's lives, all of it is a massive gambit by the great minds of the West to hold Sauron's attention so Frodo can deliver the McGuffin. They take hideous losses, lose kings, princes, lords, and thousands of good men, and in the end it worked almost in spite of itself because of a nearly unrelated factor that only the story's resident Marty Stu (Gandalf) saw coming.

Except that isn't Mary Sue.

For a character to be a Mary Sue, the entirety of the story must be devoted to them, and how wonderful they are, and how amazing everything they do is.

I would argue that the bulk of the Lord of the Rings focuses not on Gandalf, but on Frodo and Sam, or Merry and Pippin, or Aragorn, or Legolas and Gimli.

Of the main characters, Gandalf is the one featured the LEAST. Focused on the least.

Gandalf just did a Xanatos Ploy. He's not a Marty Stu.

Winterwind
2009-07-10, 08:52 AM
I tried to refrain from commenting on that whole "is Ender a Mary Sue?" debate - suffice to say, I completely disagree about him being one, for reasons that Talic and others have already outlined in much detail. And the "the bugs never fired a shot, being too busy to bow before Ender" is utter nonsense and in direct contradiction to the books - it's made plainly clear that the bugs did fire and managed to destroy most of the fleet, and would have destroyed everything long before the fleet got into range if not for Ender's and his commanders' brilliant maneuvers.

As for the other parts of the series, the only ones I read besides Ender's Game would be Speaker of the Dead and Ender's Shadow. I liked Speaker of the Dead a lot (not quite as much as Ender's Game, but that isn't saying much, as Ender's Game is one of my favourite books period), but it is a very, very different kind of book. As for Ender's Shadow, I'm a bit ambivalent about it. It tells a highly compelling story, I thought it sullied the image of Ender as presented in the other books a bit though.


I disagree. I think he will fight battles, plenty of more battles. But they will be his battles. He may have said he wasn't a gamepiece, but he also said he was a player. And players, play.Have you read the Summer Updates on the new Erfworld site? Let's just say they present Parson quite... differently in this regard.


Sounds a lot like school growing up for many. The books caught on because they chronicle the beginning social experience for many. Being on the outside, looking in.

In that, I think Parson's Erfworld doesn't parallel Ender's Game too closely, as Parson started in a position of power (Chief Warlord), and in that erfworld doesn't convey the clique/schoolyard gang theme that most of the Ender's Game book had.Hmm, that's a fairly good point. The growing up theme is decidedly amiss from Erfworld, having been replaced with a... let's call it "uncertainty" about the protagonist's willingness to fight and the limits to which he will go.


Coming up with a great tactic to win at long odds goes back far beyond Ender's Game. Star Wars. Heck, almost every story involves an underdog good guy person/team against an overwhleming force of evil. Independence Day. The only thing that changes is how much the author wants the good guys to lose. Sometimes, the hero even dies. Ender's Game is not new in this. what is new was that a child was placed in a position it was felt no adult could be trusted in.Yes, but my main point of comparing the two stories was not that they end with the protagonist coming with a great tactic (though the similarities go a bit beyond that; it's not just a great tactic, it's a tactic of a similar kind, destroying everything, battlefield and both armies alike), it was that the battles have a similar psychological effect on the protagonist in the aftermath (who is completely wrecked with guilt and actively striving for peace).


Spoiler on Ender's Shadow and other Ender universe novels:
I equate Parson more to Bean and his choice in Ender's Shadow. Bean actually knew that he was ordering men to their deaths (like Parson, knowing they were going to die anyway), where Ender was merely trying to win a computer game. Bean could not refuse, or he would reveal to Ender the truth, and maybe prevent the salvation of mankind as Ender's conscience took over. It was on Bean that the weight of the world truly rested: if he could not handle the reality, Ender might not remain unaware. In the end, Bean's choice was viewed as minor, and unmentioned in any history book, and this is what prevents Ender from learning that he did not bear as much responsibility for genocide as he thought. Someone aware that he was committing a genocidal act stood between Ender and the enemy, and that is where Ender could find his redemption. The Shadow series ends in position where Ender and Bean could theoretically re-unite and resolve this issue, but that has not been written. Ender's transformation also eliminates much of the guilt and the need for this meeting.Yes, but
unlike Ender, Bean doesn't feel remorse or guilt over fighting this war. If he saw a solution how to defeat the bugs, he would do it right away. Unless my memory betrays me, nowhere throughout Shadow is he plagued with remorse over killing his opponents or anyone else. In fact, this emotional detachedness is a fairly major point in his own character arc. That's quite contrary to Parson, who questions the morality of his actions continuously and, ultimately, succumbs to his guilt.

That, and Bean fails at the end. He is not able to see the solution to the overwhelming forces the human fleet finds itself against and resigns. Ender sees the solution and keeps fighting on.

Stigandr
2009-07-13, 02:30 AM
Wow ... I never thought a webcomic would give me a new perspective on a book, but I just thought of something. Parson thought himself completely incapable of committing the atrocities he caused on the battle field and in his own mind used the spell he was under as an excuse or scape goat for why he carried them out. However the spell simply encouraged existing desires. A sort of placebo effect if you will. Because he had an excuse he could do whatever he wanted. (Like Vaarsuvius!)

Likewise a genius like Ender would have figured out the "simulation" was actually real. He even said in the end that part of him always knew. Bean figured it out too so we know it's not impossible. Because he had that excuse he was able to put the cold painful truth in the back of his mind and thus carry out the actions he truly wanted to carry out. He ultimately did lose that internal battle and became his older brother... At least for a time.

I could be off my rocker... and slightly delirious as It's waaaaaayyyy to late at night. but eh... just a thought.

YesImSardonic
2009-07-13, 09:58 AM
I've always had the niggling thought of Ender being quite 'feminine' myself, but being forced by all those around him to be masculine. [...] It all reeks of Ender wanting to be of a more feminine mindset, not wanting to fight or cause pain, yet constantly being forced to.

That you blame masculinity instead of stupidity or simply evil for violence is rather sexist, no? I could just as easily and with as much evidence state that Ender's philosophical bent makes him all the more masculine.

However, I don't. The confrontation with Stinson, the shower-room brawl with Bonzo -- both indicate a reluctance to fight, yes, but not your "feminine" way that would be cowardice and death for anyone. He fights only when absolutely necessary to survive. Such is true masculinity, not the regressive brutishness that you identify.

/rant

To get back on topic: I agree with the OP.

Zencao
2009-07-13, 03:09 PM
That you blame masculinity instead of stupidity or simply evil for violence is rather sexist, no? I could just as easily and with as much evidence state that Ender's philosophical bent makes him all the more masculine.

However, I don't. The confrontation with Stinson, the shower-room brawl with Bonzo -- both indicate a reluctance to fight, yes, but not your "feminine" way that would be cowardice and death for anyone. He fights only when absolutely necessary to survive. Such is true masculinity, not the regressive brutishness that you identify.

/rant

To get back on topic: I agree with the OP.

Umm... Wow.

I'm using the definitions of masculine and feminism as defined in my critical anthology as the common stereotypes associated as such, to list that I saw Ender as having more 'femine' traits was hardly an insult, and hardly sexist as the entire point of the GENDER issue in my essay is the difference between GENDER and SEX. Nothing had anything to do with sex in what I said, so how can it be sexist? To assume that men must be masculine and women must be feminine is the exact kind of sexism that is meant to be analyzed within my essays in the first place!

You seem to take offense at the word 'feminine', not wanting to fight doesn't mean 'cowardice and death for everyone', in fact the entire point of the novel was that the war was NOT NECESSARY. The buggers had stopped, everything Ender went through, everything that was forced on him, was pointless and served only to force genocide on an already retreated species.

Your promotion of the 'true masculinity' against the cowardly weak femininity seems a bit more sexist to me, especially the way you put it as if I insulted the hero of the story by claiming him to have admirable feminine qualities.

Also, 'stupidity or simply evil'? I wasn't saying that the masculinity of everyone else was what was the cause of violence, I was saying that what was being done was all to force a masculinity in Ender that would supposedly enhance his violent capabilities, it's as early as the first few chapters when they discuss him being 'Valentine but milder', they want Peter, an unarguably masculine figure, yet they want him 'toned down' to be controllable. His reluctance to fight like Peter is repeatedly stamped out of him until it nearly breaks him completely, or at least until he kisses the snake in the giants game.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-07-13, 11:35 PM
It got me thinking a lot about the role of feminine vs masculine in Enders game, analyzing the dual influence of Peter and Valentine as the imposition of gender on Ender, who is meant to be the 'perfect general' and the implications there of. Petra too, and how she's treated as a female soldier within the academy.
I don't see it.

That Valentine is a girl and is girly because it's much simpler to symbolize compassion and pacifism as a girl. It's just a convenient shorthand for expressing the idea that Ender is struggling with maintaining compassion in the face of overt ruthlessness.

Petra is just the odd man out. Her actual sex is of little consequence since the book is thematically about how Ender is the black sheep. Petra is just another black sheep and it helps underline Ender's isolation and reminds of the culture he lives in. The important thing isn't what genitals that she has, just that there is a pretext for treating her differently. So it's tangentially related to feminism at best and doesn't really indicate a strong theme about feminism.


I've always had the niggling thought of Ender being quite 'feminine' myself, but being forced by all those around him to be masculine. When Alai (It's been too long since I've read it so forgive me if I'm screwing up details) kisses him and whispers Salaam (was it that?) I thought it meant they were gay. I was 12 at the time reading it so I chalk that up to immaturity now. Also, when he kisses the snake in the game instead of killing it. It all reeks of Ender wanting to be of a more feminine mindset, not wanting to fight or cause pain, yet constantly being forced to.
The kiss is a cultural thing. Doesn't mean he's gay. Italian people kiss on the cheek to say hello. Probably the same thing. In other words, it's probably completely Platonic.

Salaam means "peace" I think. So the fact that he kisses the snake to make peace with it likely mirrors the scene with Alai. It's not about a "feminine" mindset. (In Valentine, that's just the symbolic exterior because we culturally associate pacifism and meekness as "feminine".) It's really about how Enders is tired of having to live by violence and force even though it's his job.

Also Alai's ritual probably has a religious basis to it. And in the far-flung future of Ender's Game, religion is probably considered a bad thing. Much like having a third child. Remember that Ender's parents pretty much stopped practicing their family's religion in order to conform to society's expectations. I'd imagine religion is not looked on favorably because it demands its practitioners to engage in behaviors that defy conventional wisdom -- such as having more kids on an overpopulated planet.

I'd think that saying women are necessarily pacifistic is actually pretty sexist. In addition, saying that Enders secretly wants to be a girl and has a Freudian compulsion to kiss the boys is a pretty silly interpretation.

YesImSardonic
2009-07-13, 11:52 PM
Umm... Wow.

I'm using the definitions of masculine and feminism as defined in my critical anthology as the common stereotypes associated as such, to list that I saw Ender as having more 'femine' traits was hardly an insult, and hardly sexist as the entire point of the GENDER issue in my essay is the difference between GENDER and SEX. Nothing had anything to do with sex in what I said, so how can it be sexist? To assume that men must be masculine and women must be feminine is the exact kind of sexism that is meant to be analyzed within my essays in the first place!

You seem to take offense at the word 'feminine', not wanting to fight doesn't mean 'cowardice and death for everyone', in fact the entire point of the novel was that the war was NOT NECESSARY. The buggers had stopped, everything Ender went through, everything that was forced on him, was pointless and served only to force genocide on an already retreated species.

Your promotion of the 'true masculinity' against the cowardly weak femininity seems a bit more sexist to me, especially the way you put it as if I insulted the hero of the story by claiming him to have admirable feminine qualities.

Also, 'stupidity or simply evil'? I wasn't saying that the masculinity of everyone else was what was the cause of violence, I was saying that what was being done was all to force a masculinity in Ender that would supposedly enhance his violent capabilities, it's as early as the first few chapters when they discuss him being 'Valentine but milder', they want Peter, an unarguably masculine figure, yet they want him 'toned down' to be controllable. His reluctance to fight like Peter is repeatedly stamped out of him until it nearly breaks him completely, or at least until he kisses the snake in the giants game.

To deny the two are inextricably linked is foolishness (see John Money's failed gender reassignment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Reimer)). It must be mentioned that you mentioned high levels of testosterone (a distinctly male trait) being the largest factor in Battle School's internal brutality. That Petra was there at all was appropriately viewed as anomalous (that anomalies are belittled in childhood is unfortunate).

As for the war against the Formics: I must agree that it wasn't necessary, not that that was common knowledge. Two invasions had only barely been repelled, at obscenely high human death tolls. Since communication had not been established it was well within reason to expect another assault.

'[Y]our "feminine"' is what I said, in reference to what would get one killed, indicating that I think your definitions (and those of the authors that wrote such a shoddy textbook) of masculine and feminine to be overly simplistic and insufficient. Casting "feminine" as the modern or postmodern ideal is an awfully female-chauvinistic way to put things, no?

Peter was an intelligent brute. Masculine in some ways, yes, but only lately grew out of simple animalistic urges into identifiably human characteristics as "masculine," "feminine," "philosophical," or what have you. I would not characterize him as masculine until he fully realizes the purpose of Locke and molts his bestial carapace. Even then he's more of an armchair general.


I look forward to your response and apologize for the pretentious way I posted earlier. I had not much time to look it over and edit.

Zencao
2009-07-14, 06:03 PM
To deny the two are inextricably linked is foolishness (see John Money's failed gender reassignment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Reimer)). It must be mentioned that you mentioned high levels of testosterone (a distinctly male trait) being the largest factor in Battle School's internal brutality. That Petra was there at all was appropriately viewed as anomalous (that anomalies are belittled in childhood is unfortunate).

As for the war against the Formics: I must agree that it wasn't necessary, not that that was common knowledge. Two invasions had only barely been repelled, at obscenely high human death tolls. Since communication had not been established it was well within reason to expect another assault.

'[Y]our "feminine"' is what I said, in reference to what would get one killed, indicating that I think your definitions (and those of the authors that wrote such a shoddy textbook) of masculine and feminine to be overly simplistic and insufficient. Casting "feminine" as the modern or postmodern ideal is an awfully female-chauvinistic way to put things, no?

Peter was an intelligent brute. Masculine in some ways, yes, but only lately grew out of simple animalistic urges into identifiably human characteristics as "masculine," "feminine," "philosophical," or what have you. I would not characterize him as masculine until he fully realizes the purpose of Locke and molts his bestial carapace. Even then he's more of an armchair general.

I look forward to your response and apologize for the pretentious way I posted earlier. I had not much time to look it over and edit.

Well I'm writing the essay in a sixth form college ran by an all girls catholic school for a class that is entirely female apart from myself and one other boy (who is proudly camply gay, not to say that it is a bad thing, but he tends to try a little to hard to act girly to the point of loving on Carol Ann Duffy who is a total hack... I'm digressing...) with a female teacher, so my essay does have to be bias towards the 'good' feminine and the 'evil' masculine (Read: The gun is good! The penis is evil! :P) so forgive me if I'm stuck in that mindset X(

The sea of testosterone comment was an implication of the male relation to brutality, because when people think 'brutality' or 'violent attack' they universally picture a male. A piece on criminology today had us imagine a stereotypical 'criminal' we would feel threatened by if one walked towards us on the street. Some of them described them as tall, thin, fat, short, black, white, long haired, scruffy, neat, short haired etc yet they all pictured the 'threatening' figure to be male. Do you think if Enders game had been a school of predominantly female students it would have been laughably absurd? No doubt several fan-dumb readers would label it as 'a book about little girls fighting aliens'.

So while I won't deny that the two are linked, I will say that to infer 'feminine' qualities is hardly to infer 'girly' ones, to apply one gender solely to one sex is the main problem.

We are agreed on the topic of the Formics. It WAS well within reason to expect another assault, and in light of that the only way for Mankind to survive would have been to commit to an all-or-nothing assault on them preemptively, it's more of a tragedy of circumstance than a tragedy of 'masculine aggressiveness'.

I've already said about the feminist chauvinistic aspect of my argument, but that's the way the cookie crumbles in our society and our education. I did, early in the course, make a case against 'complete femininity' being in some ways far worse than extreme masculinity. Of course I was accused of being bigoted and punished for stating that it would be far better for a 50/50 mix than either being inherently better... I'm digressing again.

Peter's development into a rounded adult I viewed as being his development into just that, an adult, a balance between the two genders in a mature way. Peter as a child was un-distilled aggression and dominance, the torturing of the animals, the threatening and mind-rape of Ender etc, while Valentine is the 'mom' of the trio, and it IS a bad thing that she is so overbearingly optimistic, empathetic, caring and overall 'feminine'. If Ender had been allowed to stay with Valentine solely, it's nearly certain he would have been completely ineffectual in defending the earth, dooming everyone else (if there had been another invasion).

Forgive me if I'm reading too much into what you're saying and being insultingly assuming, but you're seemingly stating 'true masculinity' as the peak of what a man should be, folding what I would say are the 'good parts' of feminism and removing the 'bad parts' of both masculinity and femininity. I'm seeing more of what I would describe as a perfection in personhood than in just masculinity.

For curiosities sake, what would you describe as 'true feminism'? Personally I dislike both monikers as descriptions of how a sex should be, and prefer the philosophy that both 'feminine' and 'masculine' should be seen as negatives, and a balance of the two should be what is desired.

Of course as said before, it's an 'all girls' organization, so such objections are quelled and chalked up to me being afraid of women (And I **** you not, accused of 'vagina envy' by the only other boy in the class).

No worries, I was just as bad to you in my reply XD



The kiss is a cultural thing. Doesn't mean he's gay. Italian people kiss on the cheek to say hello. Probably the same thing. In other words, it's probably completely Platonic.

I am aware of that now, I only thought it was a 'gay' thing when I was twelve, it was immature of me and a bit amusing on reflection.

Salaam means "peace" I think. So the fact that he kisses the snake to make peace with it likely mirrors the scene with Alai. It's not about a "feminine" mindset. (In Valentine, that's just the symbolic exterior because we culturally associate pacifism and meekness as "feminine".) It's really about how Enders is tired of having to live by violence and force even though it's his job.

Ah but that is the entire point I was making! Valentine is an embodiment of empathy care love etc, and is portrayed by a girl. To say it has nothing to do with 'femininity' is just plain wrong, as it has everything to do with it. Alai's actions were feminine working from the definitions I was given to base my essay on, and it's hard to say that his actions don't stand out in the violent atmosphere of the battle school. Pacifism and meekness = female, even symbolically is my whole point. I'm aware of what Salaam means, having looked it up when I re-read the book at an older age (and could actually appreciate it), and Alai's actions are a copy of what his MOTHER did to him as a child (If I recall correctly), Alai is metaphorically loving Ender as a mother would, does that still have nothing to do with 'feminine'?

Also Alai's ritual probably has a religious basis to it. And in the far-flung future of Ender's Game, religion is probably considered a bad thing. Much like having a third child. Remember that Ender's parents pretty much stopped practicing their family's religion in order to conform to society's expectations. I'd imagine religion is not looked on favorably because it demands its practitioners to engage in behaviors that defy conventional wisdom -- such as having more kids on an overpopulated planet.

This too, but note again that it comes back to the parents, and mothers in particular. Seeing as how that's who Alai was taking after (or not if I'm mistaken, it may be Ender who was tended to in his sleep. Or even both, didn't Enders mom pray over him as he slept?)

I'd think that saying women are necessarily pacifistic is actually pretty sexist.

I'm not saying WOMEN are pacifistic, I'm saying that pacifism is seen as a 'feminine' aspect, and that means that WOMEN should be pacifistic. If a boy says he doesn't like fighting, he'll often be accused of being 'gay' or being a '***', and if a woman loves fighting and violence she'll be called 'mannish' and possibly 'a dyke'. The fact that WOMEN are told to be 'feminine' and men 'masculine' is the point, there is often little room between them.

In addition, saying that Enders secretly wants to be a girl and has a Freudian compulsion to kiss the boys is a pretty silly interpretation.

Okay, did you even READ what I said? I was TWELVE, and I said it was immature of me to think that. At what point did I say Ender wants to be a girl!? I said he had Feminine qualities, NOT GIRLY ONES. You're completely missing the point because you can't see past the ignorant 'it's feminine, it must be woman' view that is ingrained in you. My saying he has 'feminine qualities' immediately makes you leap to the conclusion I'm saying he's a transsexual psychological wreck is nothing short of ignorant and offensive!

Sorry if I lost it a bit at the end there, but come on, that last comment you made was just immature.

Zencao
2009-07-14, 06:21 PM
Double post my bad.

(This kid's a noob, ***) :P

Zombie Nixon
2009-07-17, 10:02 PM
Ender's game isn't as great as people think it is.

Rutskarn
2009-07-17, 11:24 PM
Double post my bad.

(This kid's a noob, ***) :P

Reference get.

Zencao
2009-07-18, 03:14 AM
Reference get.

A winrar is you?

YesImSardonic
2009-07-25, 08:29 PM
Well I'm writing the essay in a sixth form college ran by an all girls catholic school for a class that is entirely female apart from myself and one other boy (who is proudly camply gay, not to say that it is a bad thing, but he tends to try a little to hard to act girly to the point of loving on Carol Ann Duffy who is a total hack... I'm digressing...) with a female teacher, so my essay does have to be bias towards the 'good' feminine and the 'evil' masculine (Read: The gun is good! The penis is evil! :P) so forgive me if I'm stuck in that mindset X(

Ah. That's actually what I think I thought I saw in you: a male who hates his maleness. Thanks for correcting me.


The sea of testosterone comment was an implication of the male relation to brutality, because when people think 'brutality' or 'violent attack' they universally picture a male. A piece on criminology today had us imagine a stereotypical 'criminal' we would feel threatened by if one walked towards us on the street. Some of them described them as tall, thin, fat, short, black, white, long haired, scruffy, neat, short haired etc yet they all pictured the 'threatening' figure to be male. Do you think if Enders game had been a school of predominantly female students it would have been laughably absurd? No doubt several fan-dumb readers would label it as 'a book about little girls fighting aliens'.

True.


So while I won't deny that the two are linked, I will say that to infer 'feminine' qualities is hardly to infer 'girly' ones, to apply one gender solely to one sex is the main problem.

I'll have more on this in a moment.


We are agreed on the topic of the Formics. It WAS well within reason to expect another assault, and in light of that the only way for Mankind to survive would have been to commit to an all-or-nothing assault on them preemptively, it's more of a tragedy of circumstance than a tragedy of 'masculine aggressiveness'.

I've already said about the feminist chauvinistic aspect of my argument, but that's the way the cookie crumbles in our society and our education. I did, early in the course, make a case against 'complete femininity' being in some ways far worse than extreme masculinity. Of course I was accused of being bigoted and punished for stating that it would be far better for a 50/50 mix than either being inherently better... I'm digressing again.

Your class really has earned you my sympathy.


Peter's development into a rounded adult I viewed as being his development into just that, an adult, a balance between the two genders in a mature way. Peter as a child was un-distilled aggression and dominance, the torturing of the animals, the threatening and mind-rape of Ender etc, while Valentine is the 'mom' of the trio, and it IS a bad thing that she is so overbearingly optimistic, empathetic, caring and overall 'feminine'. If Ender had been allowed to stay with Valentine solely, it's nearly certain he would have been completely ineffectual in defending the earth, dooming everyone else (if there had been another invasion).


Forgive me if I'm reading too much into what you're saying and being insultingly assuming, but you're seemingly stating 'true masculinity' as the peak of what a man should be, folding what I would say are the 'good parts' of feminism and removing the 'bad parts' of both masculinity and femininity. I'm seeing more of what I would describe as a perfection in personhood than in just masculinity.

For curiosities sake, what would you describe as 'true feminism'? Personally I dislike both monikers as descriptions of how a sex should be, and prefer the philosophy that both 'feminine' and 'masculine' should be seen as negatives, and a balance of the two should be what is desired.

You were quite right about the way I was categorizing masculinity and femininity, so I've done some thinking on the issue and have finally come to a conclusion (hence finally posting).

I made the mistake earlier of associating "feminine" with "girly," as you put it. Usually I hear "feminine" or "masculine" in reference to appearance, and made the jump to behavioral patterns from there.

I'm thinking at this point that using the two to describe personality traits is not so good an idea, as it would mean I like my women to be more "masculine," when I generally like them to express their femininity, as it were. To be more like Eowyn, if I may reach into literature, or Joan d'Arc. Both were notably deficient in prenatal testosterone (if appearance is anything to go by), but both excelled in what was seen as a man's duty/profession/necessity/what-have-you.



Of course as said before, it's an 'all girls' organization, so such objections are quelled and chalked up to me being afraid of women (And I **** you not, accused of 'vagina envy' by the only other boy in the class).

Wow. I'm not exactly sure how I'd respond to that. It's kind of out of my experience range.

I'd probably end up like Kirk in Star Trek IV: "Well, double dumbass on you!"



No worries, I was just as bad to you in my reply XD.

At least we know we're equals, ja?

Tackyhillbillu
2009-07-27, 10:46 PM
**Interrupting your currently scheduled argument**

YesIm, I hate to say it, but the David Reimer case being used as scientific proof that Gender differences are inherent is a load of bull. It is evidence, but nowhere near as conclusive as it is presented. There were a number of outside factors that very likely influenced David Reimer and ruined it as an experiment. There is just as much evidence that Gender Roles are learned as they are inherent. The fact is that most professionals believe that there are very, very few traits that are inherently male, though there are most likely a number which they are inclined to.

**Returning you to your currently scheduled programming**

YesImSardonic
2009-07-28, 08:37 AM
**Interrupting your currently scheduled argument**

[...]

**Returning you to your currently scheduled programming**

Could you post a link? I'm curious as to the nature of these factors.

Tackyhillbillu
2009-07-28, 11:06 AM
Sorry, most of my research comes in the form of textbooks for the various philosophy classes.

The biggest one people harp on is the fact that the parent's knew his true gender. Children pick up on a lot more then they are generally given credit for, in the way of body language and subverbal tells. It's very unlikely that the parents could have given no hint whatsoever as to the childs true Gender.

sikyon
2009-07-28, 04:27 PM
Parson is not like Ender.

For the simple reason that Parson is not a child.

Ender's game is completly focused on the fact that ender is a child. That he is a brilliant mind, with a child's morals in a child's body.

Parson comes from a world with a mind possessing the exact opposite - the maturity of real life.

Ender is a genius with a child's understanding, thrust into an adult's world with adults pulling the strings.

Parson is a genius with a regular person's understanding of ethics and Morales, and thrust into a cartoon world of fantasy.

Stories are not parallel at all.

Even looking at the endgame, parson used a scorch and burn.

Ender just dropped a bomb of anhillation on his enemy.

Even their strategies are different. Ender is not the best strategist in Ender's game universe. Bean is. Ender is *almost* a good a military thinker as Bean, being able to come to the same conclusions much of the time. But Ender has to work for it, and to Bean he virtually breathes in strategy and blows out godly battle plans. Ender's true strength, that makes him greater than bean is his ability to connect with and fully utilize his commanders. He is capable of understanding the minds of others, and putting them in positions which pefectly suit them. If ender had failed and it had come down to bean leading, it would have been harder to win because it would be Ender's extremly good strategy excuted by perfect commanders vs Bean's nigh perfect strategy executed by good commanders. Ender was all about the human element, how to use extremly good people to maximum potency.

This is much clearer in Ender's shadow and seqaules.

hamishspence
2009-07-28, 04:34 PM
Though when Bean puts the effort in- he's an exceptional commander of adults. Shadow of the Giant stressed that all the children were egotists- hungry for victory and command.

Ender was better able to manage the other children- but would he have done as well with real soldiers the way Bean did?

YesImSardonic
2009-07-28, 10:00 PM
Sorry, most of my research comes in the form of textbooks for the various philosophy classes.

The biggest one people harp on is the fact that the parent's knew his true gender. Children pick up on a lot more then they are generally given credit for, in the way of body language and subverbal tells. It's very unlikely that the parents could have given no hint whatsoever as to the childs true Gender.

Then why'd they keep using Money after his work was known to be patently unreliable?

Tackyhillbillu
2009-07-28, 11:32 PM
You want me to take a stab in the dark at their motivations?

Money is in a position of Authority. Academic Authority is actually some of the most powerful, from a psychological point of view. Money tells them they are wrong, and they listen because to not would mean doubting the Academic Edifice which Money's Career and reputation are a part of.

If you need proof of the power of authority, go look at the Milgram Experiment. If people are willing to kill someone just because they are told to, they'll mess up their own sons life easy.

YesImSardonic
2009-07-31, 08:39 AM
I'm familiar with the Milgram experiment, though I'm not certain the principles apply. The family could have very easily found a psych that encouraged Bruce's being Bruce.

Tackyhillbillu
2009-08-01, 12:07 PM
I'm more talking about the parent's. Money's position as a Psychological Professor, and holder of a degree placed him in a position of Authority. The Parent's in turn, were converted into his actors, and ignored their knowledge and observations, simply because Money told them to.

YesImSardonic
2009-08-01, 10:16 PM
That's who I'm speaking of, as well. I'm fairly certain another Doctor of Psychology could have been found, with equivalent or superior credentials compared to Money's, that would have encouraged penile reconstruction.


On another note: I've just picked up "Ender in Exile" today. Almost finished. At the point where Ender's assistant, Abra, discovers the remnants of the Formics' recreation of Giant's Cup scenario. Honestly, the Alessandra storyline was a bit unnecessary. Interesting, but unnecessary.

What frustrates me is the lack of any closure regarding Bean's spawn on Ganges. Has Card written anything on that?

EDIT: *headdesk* Just finished. Ignore above paragraph.

tribble
2009-08-04, 10:04 PM
Shadow of the Giant stressed that all the children were egotists-

was this conclusion reached by the studies of the same folks from the university of the obvious who determined Paris, France to be the snobbiest city in the world?

EDIT:

Remember: To be a Stu, it has to be written badly. If you have to really observe the character and study the varying aspects of his story for you to notice, it's probably not a Stu. There are a lot of would-be Stu's out there that would make some good media horrifying to read/watch, but are just written so you never notice. I'd like to give a few examples but, as you can understand, it's a very... Sensitive subject. Nobody can really agree who is a Stu and who isn't. Usually if these debates occur in a very mature way, it's not a real Stu.

this is incorrect. Dante is a Sue in the divine comedy, which is a brilliant...Epic? Story? Poem?...thing.

hamishspence
2009-08-05, 03:26 PM
The point I was trying to make, is that the fact Bean isn't especially good at commanding the other children, compared to Ender, doesn't mean Ender would be better at commanding ordinary troops than Bean, as well.

Stormthorn
2009-08-06, 12:29 AM
First of all, if you haven't read Ender's Game yet, but intend to, stop right here, as this post will contain spoilers.


What if you havnt read Enders Game but you have read Enders Shadow?

Winterwind
2009-08-06, 08:47 AM
Parson is not like Ender.

For the simple reason that Parson is not a child.

Ender's game is completly focused on the fact that ender is a child. That he is a brilliant mind, with a child's morals in a child's body.

Parson comes from a world with a mind possessing the exact opposite - the maturity of real life.

Ender is a genius with a child's understanding, thrust into an adult's world with adults pulling the strings.

Parson is a genius with a regular person's understanding of ethics and Morales, and thrust into a cartoon world of fantasy.Mmm, that is a most interesting point of view.
Though one could argue that what this means is that both are thrust into a world which is not theirs and does not share their respective moralities.


Stories are not parallel at all.Here, I disagree. Parallel does not mean identical, and I think enough similarities abound to warrant such a term.


Even looking at the endgame, parson used a scorch and burn.

Ender just dropped a bomb of anhillation on his enemy....the difference being? :smallconfused:


Even their strategies are different. Ender is not the best strategist in Ender's game universe. Bean is. Ender is *almost* a good a military thinker as Bean, being able to come to the same conclusions much of the time. But Ender has to work for it, and to Bean he virtually breathes in strategy and blows out godly battle plans. Ender's true strength, that makes him greater than bean is his ability to connect with and fully utilize his commanders. He is capable of understanding the minds of others, and putting them in positions which pefectly suit them. If ender had failed and it had come down to bean leading, it would have been harder to win because it would be Ender's extremly good strategy excuted by perfect commanders vs Bean's nigh perfect strategy executed by good commanders. Ender was all about the human element, how to use extremly good people to maximum potency.

This is much clearer in Ender's shadow and seqaules.I'm not sure how this is supposed to relate to my point. :smallconfused:
Yes, I know that Bean is the supreme strategist, while Ender is the supreme commander. So? Your point?

Incidentally, Parson was never called the perfect strategist, either. He's the perfect Warlord, whatever this might include.


What if you havnt read Enders Game but you have read Enders Shadow?Well, that works, too, though I think Game provides better evidence for my point. :smallwink:

MReav
2009-08-06, 09:16 AM
...the difference being? :smallconfused:


Ender dropped it on his enemy's home base, Parson did it on his own.

Winterwind
2009-08-06, 09:28 AM
Ender dropped it on his enemy's home base, Parson did it on his own.Oh, I see.
Well, in either case the result was the obliteration of both forces, with the exception of the commander in question and his closest friends. :smallwink: