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    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joran View Post
    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...
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    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.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2009-07-07 at 04:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oslecamo View Post
    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?
    Quote Originally Posted by Oslecamo View Post
    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?
    Quote Originally Posted by Oslecamo View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joran View Post
    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.
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    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

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    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)
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    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olorin Maia View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zencao View Post
    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.

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    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.

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    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.
    Last edited by Imgran; 2009-07-09 at 07:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kreistor View Post
    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.
    Last edited by BossMuro; 2009-07-10 at 12:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Imgran View Post
    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.

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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talic View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kreistor View Post
    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).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kreistor View Post
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zencao View Post
    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by YesImSardonic View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zencao View Post
    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.
    Last edited by LurkerInPlayground; 2009-07-13 at 11:57 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zencao View Post
    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). 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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by YesImSardonic View Post
    To deny the two are inextricably linked is foolishness (see John Money's failed gender reassignment). 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

    Quote Originally Posted by LurkerInPlayground View Post
    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.

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    Double post my bad.

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

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    Ender's game isn't as great as people think it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zencao View Post
    Double post my bad.

    (This kid's a noob, ***) :P
    Reference get.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rutskarn View Post
    Reference get.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zencao View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zencao View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zencao View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zencao View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zencao View Post
    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).
    Quote Originally Posted by Zencao View Post
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by Zencao View Post
    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!"


    Quote Originally Posted by Zencao View Post
    No worries, I was just as bad to you in my reply XD.
    At least we know we're equals, ja?
    Last edited by YesImSardonic; 2009-07-28 at 08:34 AM.
    This statement lacks verisimilitude.

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    **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**

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tackyhillbillu View Post
    **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.
    This statement lacks verisimilitude.

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    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.

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