Book club questions- Ender’s Game

Enders Game– Compare and contrast the Wiggin children. What attributes do they each possess that are necessary for the world that they live in?

– Is Colonel Graff a good character or a bad character? Does he exploit Ender or make the hard decisions that are necessary for the survival of Earth?

– What moral lessons does Card include in Ender’s Game? Are any particularly applicable to today’s problems?

– How does today’s world differ from the one that first read Ender’s Game in 1985? Are any of the points made with the novel still applicable today?

– In Western society, we don’t reach social maturity until at least age 18, while children in Ender’s world are expected to act and perform as adults at a much younger age. Do societies in the real world exist where a child enters adulthood at a young age? What effect does that have on the society as a whole?

I’ll be addressing the last question in my discussion, now on Monday, November 11th. Check back here to participate or leave a comment regarding any of the discussion questions. Can’t wait to hear what you think about the alternate world that Card has created for our hero to live his remarkable life.

I’ll include a brief mention of the film adaptation of Ender’s Game, released last weekend. I haven’t seen it yet but am looking forward to seeing how director Gavin Hood (X-men Origins: Wolverine, Rendition) builds Ender’s world of null gravity. If you’re going to see the movie, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read the book first! It’s a quick read and no matter how well done the movie is, it couldn’t possibly hold a candle to the version built in the imaginations of Orson Scott Card and you!

3 thoughts on “Book club questions- Ender’s Game

  1. FIRST!

    Card does a good job of contrasting the kids on his own – a trend that continues through the End series. All of the Wiggin kids are of roughly equal intelligence, but Peter is border line sociopath, ruthless, and very goal oriented. Valentine is very empathetic and emotional. Ender, as is pointed out in the book, is basically the average between the two. He has the ruthlessness necessary to defeat any enemy, but is able to do it because he can empathize with them enough to understand them and what they may do next. Each of these roles is critical in the story, Peter serves as the real antagonist, the dark side that Ender doesn’t want to be but has to be. Like wise, Valentine’s emotional intelligence means that she knows just what to say and do to defuse any situation and make people see what they have to do (that becomes more important in the rest of the series). If it weren’t for Peter Ender would not have the self defense reactions he does, if it weren’t for Val, he never would have gone to Command School to defeat the Buggers.

  2. FIRST!

    Card does a good job of contrasting the kids on his own – a trend that continues through the End series. All of the Wiggin kids are of roughly equal intelligence, but Peter is border line sociopath, ruthless, and very goal oriented. Valentine is very empathetic and emotional. Ender, as is pointed out in the book, is basically the average between the two. He has the ruthlessness necessary to defeat any enemy, but is able to do it because he can empathize with them enough to understand them and what they may do next. Each of these roles is critical in the story, Peter serves as the real antagonist, the dark side that Ender doesn’t want to be but has to be. Like wise, Valentine’s emotional intelligence means that she knows just what to say and do to defuse any situation and make people see what they have to do (that becomes more important in the rest of the series). If it weren’t for Peter Ender would not have the self defense reactions he does, if it weren’t for Val, he never would have gone to Command School to defeat the Buggers.

    • I think that it’s particularly interesting how the kids see themselves. We, the reader, are able to see them as characters- one too hard, one too soft, one juuuuuust right. They are all necessary to the story and to build the fictional world that Card creates. But their personal dilemmas come from their own tendency to be one extreme or the other, to not have much needed balance. Ender continually says that he is afraid to be like Peter but I think he is just as afraid to be too much like Valentine, or at least realizes that it would mean he couldn’t be the commander the world needed him to be. His external struggle may be with the Buggers but his internal struggle is certainly to find and maintain that balance.

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