November 15, 2013 by throughwriting
April 23, 2013
In the planet, there are different people who are willing to do whatever they can to maintain the end in a way that makes a remarkable sign. These people either do whatever they want to do for themselves or for the majority, which lies under the idea of utilitarianism. According to which, the majority of people must be happy by suffering, manipulating, telling lies to the minority or the recommended one. There are some people who depend on other people or another person to live happily and satisfy their needs. On the other hands, there are some people who live without harming the others even the smallest one. Power structure is common among authoritative people to either manipulate or control people the way they think is the best. Power structure works through manipulation, lying, and the idea of “the end justifies the means” in Ender’s Game.
Ender is manipulated from the beginning until he wins the last battle. A monitor is used to know what Ender is doing daily, how he behaves, and how he thinks about things around. The way he thinks is different in terms of analyzing the problems, if any, and the situations before he does anything. When Ender hits Stilson, he doesn’t have his monitor on his neck, but Graff knows what approaches he takes to hit Stilson. One of the ways to easily manipulate a person is to know all about him, so Graff monitors him before taking him to Battle School. Graff tells Ender, “I know you, Ender. I’ve been watching the monitor disks for some time. You won’t miss your mother and father, not much, not for long. And they won’t miss you long, either” (p.21). That is, Graff blatantly tells Ender he knows how Ender thinks. Furthermore, Ender knows that he is manipulated when he gradually knows IF well and their purpose, which is to win. Yet, his knowledge is limited because he doesn’t notice that the last battle is an actual one and is not a game for training. Ender strives not to follow what IF wants but he can’t because Graff watches all his acts. Whenever he encounters something serious such as hitting Bozo, the rules are changed and new commands are given. For instance, when Ender hits Bozo harshly, Graff watches him and doesn’t do anything at the beginning because he wants to know whether Ender improves, depends on himself, and does whatever it needs to win. Ender doesn’t want to kill Bonzo. However, through Battle School and what he hears from Graff, and knowing the purpose of IF, winning is required and becomes a part of Ender.
Lying is another major theme through out the novel. It can be noticed that Graff doesn’t not always talk similarly and tell complete truths. For instance, when Graff has a conversation about Ender as he is needed, he doesn’t tell Ender, “He’s clean. Right to the heart, he’s good” (p.36), whereas he says, “Individual human beings are all tools, that the others use to help us all survive” (p. 35). That is, Graff uses two different ways to talk about Ender. In the first place, when Ender is absent, Graff honestly talks about Ender and reveals how he is, so I think truth can be said when the main character is not present. Likewise, love is more describable when the lover is not present. On the other hand, Graff uses words, such as tools, that are not used regularly to compare human beings, so Graff in a sense lies because we are not all tools. Accordingly, Ender immediately states that as a lie. Ender’s knowledge to recognize what is a lie is limited because at the end of the novel, readers can see that Mazor Rakham lies as showing the last bugger battle as a computer game. Ender wouldn’t be able to know that and when he is told, he doesn’t care what happens at the beginning. Therefore, power structure in essence changes and affects the way human beings think. We could be genius at certain levels of challenge, but when tasks become beyond our control, we either give up or use self-technique to over come the task, such as Ender uses his own rule at the last battle, uses Dr. Device and finishes the buggers.
Another way of manipulation is following the idea of “the end justifies the means.” Ender’s Game like other books has different yet linked themes that can be seen in an advanced level to grab the most idea out of it. That is, looking at the novel both philosophically and figuratively to understand it well. Graff does whatever it takes to make the means as successful as possible for the majority, which is the world but not Ender, who has to cry, suffer, be manipulated, and be murderer, which is according to his own view and thinking. Ender has to endure all these problems because he has the sentence in mind that he is needed, although he sometimes cries and wants to give up. Yet he cannot because Ender is the sole approach to justify the means. In the same manner, utilitarianism is akin to this idea in which the majority must gain absolute happiness in return of toleration of a person. Ender is given challenging tasks over and over again without thinking how childish he is. For example, when he is at Battle School and given an army, he happens to have unfair games by playing with more than two teams at once and playing two games everyday after being realized by Graff that he has improved and learned, also taught the soldiers, unique tactics. Therefore, the purpose of challenging Ender is to make him win even though the games and battles are unjust.
All in all, through science fiction novels, by reading between the lines, readers can gain more in terms of how a writer express his or her opinion and how a novel links to human beings’ lives. Ender’s Game has different themes, such as love, hate, power structure, manipulation, what is a lie, what is a truth, the end justifies the mean, and more importantly, I think, friendship. Power structure is one of the main themes that readers see throughout the novel, and it is used as a way of taking advantage of Ender’s genius. He is manipulated, told lies and he is used to justify the end, that is, to save the world from the buggers.
- Returning to Battle School: Ender’s Game Movie Review (Spoiler free!) and Impression. (uncommongeek.com)
- Ender’s Game (bereansatthegate.com)
- Ender’s Game Review (onceuponaneste.wordpress.com)
- Ender’s Game: I Was Right! (heybonnykate.wordpress.com)
- Ender’s Game – The Graphic Novel (comparativegeeks.wordpress.com)