The goal was – finish this before the movie came out. That didn’t happen. I forced myself to finish it. And was promptly told by friends not to bother with the movie. It’s a hard book to like, though it deals with hard themes the entire time as well: bullies, the meaning of family, war, genocide. And that isn’t even hitting on the whole breading generations of child warriors. I couldn’t decide if Hunger Games was a better world to be in a child in versus this one.
While this book certainly came first, it’s take on post apocalyptic society, and the role of government and the military can be seen elsewhere in science fiction since. It is still startling to read at times.
I spent much of the book flipping backwards to trying to remember just how young Ender was. Hence the startling to read at times. There is no way to say these children aren’t children. And there is no getting around how they, and the families they are plucked from for that matter, are used by their government and military. (I had trouble seeing a line between the governing bodies and military leaders.) The controversy the book stirs may have actually been a good thing given it’s publish date in 1985. People reading it for the first time now will certainly look at it differently, but the important thing it cause controversy – and it got people talking about bigger issues being ignored in society at the time.
While I probably will never feel a need to read it again, and I did struggle through finishing it, I’m glad I read it. The quote above is something amazing that came from the book – and sometimes we need a reminder that life isn’t just about us individually, but what we can do for the greater good.
How do you take a stand when you realize you’ve been used? How do you change the course of history, or even simply, of another person’s life when they’ve been wronged, by you or someone else? Do you even respond?
I took the lesson of the book more as a need to stand up for what’s right, even when no one else will. Something I couldn’t do in the book for Ender despite wanting to.