Enders Game by Orson Scott Card

Title: Enders Game
Author: Orson Scott Card
Published: 1985Winner of the Hugo and Nebula AwardsReviewing “Ender’s Game” gives you one entry into the Hugula Challenge!

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“Ender’s Game” is without question among the most influential science fiction novels of recent history. A large part of that is due to the fact that it’s written about a group of extaordinary children, endearing the story to younger readers and often instilling a love of science fiction generally in the process.

The question that often comes up for adults though is whether or not children could or would act in such a way, regardless of how gifted. My gut tells me no.

I believe that children (or some) would have the capability to do many of the things described in the books. As a mother of two children, one well beyond the oldest kids in the novel, I’ve seen some amazing things. My 16 year was learning multiplication at 3. Not because I was one of those psycho moms. It was because I didn’t set any artificial limits on learning; if he showed an interest – be it biology, physics, math, reading – I taught.

He turned out to have some serious intellectual gifts, especially in math. Maybe not a super genius like Ender, but close enough that I could imagine him being capable of the kind of high level thinking and problem solving exhibited by Ender and his cohorts in the novel.

What I can’t imagine is the emotional capability.

Flat out, children are insane by any definition, except for the fact they are children. The behaviors, thought processes, emotions that we see in children would be diagnosed as narcassitic, sociopathic, and even psychopathic in adults. Seriously, we instituionalize adults who act the way 5 to 10 year olds do.

I’m not a child psychologist, but I’ve seen it in my own and others’ children. The world truly does revolve around a child. They have little to no ability to conceptualize external and even personal consequences. Empathy of any sort is extremely hit and miss.

Although I could imagine children capable of doing many or all of the things seen in “Ender’s Game”, I don’t see a child ever choosing to do those things. It’s just beyond their emotional faculty.

Lisa K. Dec. 29, 2012

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