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Is It The Author, Or His Content?

1788 words - 8 pages

Orson Scott Card’s novel, Ender’s Game, has been the most popular science fiction novel since its release is 1985. While the book is essentially a fantasy, it contains a lot of scientific and philosophical information that are both manifest and latent. The issue that critics argue over may not necessarily refer to the plot of the book, but rather to its moral dynamics. In this literary analysis, we will analyze Ender and his sibling’s relationship by referencing the Personality Development theory, and the history of many historic biblical saints. But first, the author himself will be analyzed in order to understand what influenced him to write such a popular book.
As an author, professor, columnist, and political activist, Orson Scott Card possesses a well-rounded and immense amount of talent. He has been awarded the Hugo and Nebula awards for his outstanding work in Ender’s Game and its sequel, Speaker for the Dead ("About”). But as one may know, his literary legacy did not conform overnight. As a child, Card showed many different interests that ranged from reading books about the French revolution to playing the French horn in his schools marching band. While in school, he often soaked in in new information that was presented to him. During junior high, Card had his first acquaintance with mock political bates and Greek literature from authors such as “Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, Plutarch, and many other writers of the ancient world” (“About”). Today, much of Card’s interests as a child still coincide with his interests as an adult, and typically can be found in most of his literary work. Card once wrote that “there is always moral instructions whether the writer inserts it deliberately or not… but when [he] write[s] without deliberately expressing moral teachings, the morals that show up are the ones you actually live by” (Kessel). He definitely has shared with his readers his morals and acquired knowledge, most relevantly in his novel Ender’s Game. Although Card often makes obvious references to scientific and historical allusions, he also tends to incorporate other latent information into his writing as well. For instance, in his book Ender’s Game, the main character, Ender Wiggin, and his siblings, Valentine and Peter Wiggin, all share two major similarities. They all are named after historical saints, and wholesomely reflect what psychologist Sigmund Freud refers to as parts of the personality.
The key element in Freud’s Personality Theory, is the Ego which operates “on the reality principle, [and] seeks to gratify the id’s impulses in realistic ways” (Myers). In the novel, Ender symbolized the ego, and developed into a young man that shared his brother Peter’s “ruthlessness” and his sister Valentine’s “compassion” (Card). The relationship that Ender had with his siblings was established at the start of the book, but was not made obvious until towards the end when Ender admitted that “in the moment when [he] truly understand[s] [his]...

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