Discussing the overwhelming progression of science-fiction novels is one that would take it’s own research. However, one thing that has always stuck out to me was the influence of one of the most iconic science-fiction novels that has come to the literary community, Enders Game. Even with being a New York’s Best time seller and holding rank 3 under Top 100 Science Fiction, Fantasy Books: Readers’ Poll done by National Public Radio, I never find someone that is an avid reader that enjoyed this book or have even heard of it. By far, it is one of my favorite books to read when I have leisure time, when time permits, of course.
The plot of this book follows our main character, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin. Ender lives with his kind but distant parents. Tension surfaces in the family when Ender is drafted into the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training, after his sadistic brother, Peter, and his loving sister, Valentine, didn’t make the cut. For over hundred years, Earth has been at war with a hostile alien race. To develop a secure defense against them, the government has been working on a program that creates extremely gifted and intelligent children and trains them as soldiers.
Quickly, Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and he becomes very respected in the Battle Room. Here, child soldiers play mock battles in zero gravity and Ender is very good at it. The absolute downside to this is that the artificial community of young soldiers is very difficult to thrive and grow up in. Ender, specifically, suffers greatly from the isolation, rivalry of peers, pressure from the adult teachers and an unsettling fear of the alien invader. Added on to this, he suffers from many psychological battles including loneliness. Will he become like his cruel brother he remembers or will he become the general Earth needs? It has been a hundred years since the war has been going on and quest of the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments but will he be the one that holds the abilities to remake the world? If, that is, the world survives.
This book is targeted towards students that are in grades 6-12. It is one of the first successful science fiction novels written towards a young adult audience. There are different themes towards teenage development and identity that are explored all through the book. The book creates and interesting environment with an exciting setting that keeps the target audience in interest. The book is about a boy who is very similar in age with 6-12 year olds and is seen as a character who is always developing throughout the novel.
With not only being a novel that provokes serious questioning, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, gives the readers a hero’s memories. That is, they have had the experience of dealing with very large difficult moral issues. These issues deal with the conflict of personal identity and what society itself wants you to be. Is it morally right with how society wants you to act or should you fight the wrong that is being done by the ones around you? A lot of this personal development leads to making personal sacrifices along the way. Our hero also takes personal risks, imposes self-discipline, and submerges themselves for the good of the group. With these memories and experiences, they take root with the readers which creates an exceptional powerful story. Students can find similarities in personal growth and exploring their own identity with this novel. It explores the questioning of one’s self and the consequences that come with our actions, good or bad. This novel, when taught with intent, can be a reference to students when they are faced with difficult situations and question their own personal morals.