“Every nation has its war party... It is commercial, imperialistic, ruthless. It tolerates no opposition.”
Robert M. La Follette
It isn’t a big surprise that intelligence and harmful but strategic approaches are tied to warfare. In order to win a battle, one must act with no conscience or mercy. Even today, the media heavily censors the wars Canada fights due to the outrage citizens would be in if we were exposed to the horrors that our country takes part in overseas. Planning and fighting a war is an incredulous task that no ordinary person can handle.
Now let’s talk about Andrew “Ender” Wiggin. Military and special intelligence services praise him as a priceless human weapon. Proved to be a natural gifted genius, Ender’s mind operates in an almost technological pattern that keeps him keen and five steps ahead in any problem thrown at him. He’s everything that any higher power would want. The twist?
He’s only 6 years old.
Shipped off of the planet and to a space station known as Battle School, Ender and fellow elite children with the minds of pure ingenuity are submerged into the world of physical defense and military tactics. He learns skills with ease and establishes himself as a “genius among geniuses.” Little does Ender know that military officials have future plans for him with a side effect of lifelong mental scars. But of course, as he so desperately wants to believe, it’s all just a game, right?
This book was absolutely haunting and is definitely one of my all-time favourite books. As the story progresses and our protagonist grows older and wiser (if that’s even possible), we begin to see the psychological impacts that military training can have on a child. Ender experiences extreme isolation from his peers in order to prepare for his ultimate task. He is forced to live his childhood lacking basic fundamentals such as love and compassion towards him in order to fit the ideal figure of a combatant. Ender struggles with his own self-identity, often questioning whether his actions in Battle School match with the moralities that he’d learned about long ago on Earth. Ender’s Game brings up the subject of how the extremities of the measures humans take in order to become triumphant, regardless of the path of destruction they leave in their wake.
I believe that Ender’s Game is not only a story, but is a reflection of the true events that are taking place in the world at the very moment. People often get too carried away when set on winning, causing the very remnants that make us human to disappear. If you’re looking for a psychological sci-fi read with a tinge of historical shadowing, then I would definitely give this book a try.
Back to reality: How are your summatives and exams coming along? I hope you’re all doing at the very least better than me, since I have a ton of last-minute essays and projects to complete. With that said, I’ll see you later - that is, if I don’t completely drown in all the schoolwork.
Ottawa Public Library’s Teen Bloggers in Residence are fantastic teen volunteer writers from across the city. They blog about their favourite teen reads and authors, and get writing assignments to cover special teen events happening at the library. Their residency rotates throughout the year. Call-outs for upcoming terms are made through the Teen Blog in May/June, September/October and January/February.