In my nearly fifteen years of life, I have read a good deal of literature. I can recall from my unconscious the many titles I have read without great difficulty, yet there are a few novels that, upon recollection, produce a certain nostalgia the others lack. One of these is Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.
In retrospect, I find it problematic to discern the source of my enthrallment with this work. Neither Ender’s Game nor its author will not be remembered as comparable to Shakespeare, Twain, Tolstoy, or the writings of that lot, but it I believe it is a fundamental piece of literature to the young adult of this age.
I read Ender’s Game in some of the most jubilant and prosperous days of my life thus far, a circumstantial factor that likely influences my opinion of the work. Yet I feel that almost any reader would be able to connect with and place himself or herself in the context of Ender’s Game as easily as I did.
Taken away from his family at the ripe young age of five for training at the Battle School, Ender draws the reader’s heartstrings, compelling us to find compassion for a boy so isolated from those whom he loves. The plot almost wholly is devoted to the chronicling of Ender’s development and life at the Battle School, a rewarding feature of the novel for the reader, who, as Ender’s Game comes to a close, rejoices as the protagonist fulfills himself, becoming immortalized as the savior of the human race in its struggle against the alien buggers. Nonetheless, simultaneously, we are enlightened by Ender’s anger and regret that accompany the realization that he has eradicated an entire species of sentient life, a major theme for the rest of the Ender Series.
Card is by no means innovative in his storytelling: the concepts of science fiction which he utilizes can be seen throughout the genre; his subject matter is not flagrant in its contentiousness or luring in its gravity; his characters and plot are not necessarily unique. But Ender’s Game, in my eyes at least, remains a masterpiece.
The manner in which Card is able to captivate his reader as he expounds upon the basic human necessity for belonging, his powerful and relatable characters, and the allure of his diction and portrayal of events surpass much of modern literature, thereby fully captivating the reader. Ender’s Game is not so much a work of science fiction as it is one of coming-of-age; for this, all should grab a copy.
As the cinematic version of this tale arrives this November, I can only hope the silver screen does Ender’s Game justice. Surely this is something I could not accomplish in the 460 words I’ve typed here.
-Sebastian R., 10th grade