Ender’s Game Read Along, Wk 2: Ender vs. Peter

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ENDER’S GAME POSTS: Introduction, Week 1: Sci-fi and Orson Scott Card, Week 2: Ender vs Peter, Week 3: Science of the Story, Week 4: Conclusions

WELCOME TO WEEK 2!

Sci-FiThis week we delve deeper into Ender’s Game by focusing on Ender and Peter, two of the main characters.  In some ways you couldn’t have two more different characters.  While Peter seems to relish violence and forcing his will on others, Ender struggles to exercise his power in a way that is responsible and virtuous.  What is Card getting at with this conflict?  What are some of the moral themes that flow from their relationship?

Before we jump in, here’s a reminder of our reading schedule:

 Sept 28: Chapters 1-4
Oct 5: Chapters 5-8
Oct 12: Chapters 9-12
Oct 19: Chapters 13-15
Nov 1: Writing Contest Begins
Nov. 22: Finale Podcast

PODCAST PARTICIPANTS

And now, to the podcast!  Here is a short introduction to the readers joining us today:

John Headshot 2John Ottinger is a writer, classical educator, and dad.  His reviews, interviews, and articles have appeared in WORLD magazine, Publishers Weekly, Black Gate, Strange Horizons, SF Signal, and Tor.com.  He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in English at the University of Central Florida with research interests in Science Fiction, Christianity, and Southern Literature.  He blogs at Graspingforthewind.com.

Jack 5Jack Mertens is a freshman college student at Louisiana Tech University. When he’s not studying or doing homework, he’s probably reading, writing, playing guitar, watching a TV show, attending a Bible study, or hanging out with friends. He is also a regular contributor to the blog Thousand Mile Walk.

Abby Burns is is also a Redeemedreader intern and a rising college freshman in Richmond, Virginia.  She has had a love for literature her whole life, stretching all the way from Dr. Seuss to Dostoevsky. Unfortunately, like many readers, she had to learn at a young age that she could not survive on eating, sleeping, and reading alone. (She says she gave it her best shot, though!) Now she divides her time between her family, preparations for her first year of college, and work with her youth group.   You can read more of her work at www.wordsoundimage.tublr.com.

And of course, I’m Emily Whitten, mom, WORLD magazine writer, and host for this read along.  You can read more about me in Redeemedreader’s About page.

THE PODCAST

RR Podcast 36:

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS by John Ottinger

“Take my monitor away, and I am just like Peter,” says Ender at the end of chapter one. Ender has just thrashed another boy, a bully, and is poised to do the same again in chapter four.  When the restraints are off, when no adult is watching, violence seems to be a part of Ender’s nature, a part of him that he shares with his brother. But is Ender really like Peter? Is Peter’s wanton cruelty the same as Ender’s self-defense? At what point is violence okay?
As you read this week, look closely at Ender. Besides his age and genius, what makes him a character we identify with even as we abhor his violence? Is there something different about his violence? How is Ender’s desire not to be like Peter going to affect him at Battle School?

 

1. What does Ender desire most? How can such a desire be a positive, how could it be negative?

 

2. What people in our society might have the designation THIRD? How should we react to such people? If you are a THIRD, how should you react to those who belittle you for being a THIRD?

 

3. Why do we, as readers, find Ender appealing? Why do we root for him in the battle with Stilson or the boy on the shuttle? Is this good or bad? How does Orson Scott Card make Ender appealing to the reader? Why is it that adults and teens can relate to a six-year-old genius? (I’ll tell, you, I’ve read this book several times, and each time, I can’t help but root for Ender’s success!)

 

 

4.  What effect do the introductory dialogues of the chapters have on you? Do you think it was a good idea for Orson Scott Card to include them in the story? Why or why not?

 

 

7. How is Ender different from Peter? How is he the same?

 

8. Is the swearing and foul language in the book necessary or unnecessary? What is gained by Orson Scott Card’s use of it, what is lost? How does it help us interpret each character and their relationships?

 

 

9. In chapter four, Ender hurts another boy. Why didn’t Graff help Ender or stop the boy picking on him? Do you think Graff’s harsh treatment of Ender is the best way to lead Ender to his future greatness? What effect does Graff’s treatment have on Ender? What does Ender conclude as a result or the events in the shuttle? How do you think this might affect him later in the novel?

 

10. What keeps Ender from being a bully? Is this important for a future military leader? Why?
Thanks, John, Abby, and Jack for your insight today!  Can’t wait to delve in again next week!  Until then…happy reading!

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Ender’s Game Read-Along Wks 2 and 3 – Grasping for the Wind - October 13, 2013

    […] in posting about the read-along. Here is Week 2 in which I give you some thought questions about Ender vs. Peter and in week 3 we talk on the podcast about the science behind the […]

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