I read this book because of the recommendation of my Seminary teacher. He actually recommended it to me several months ago, but seeing as I don’t have access to the public library, I couldn’t  get it to read it until last week (Plus I was reading Freakonomics, Outliers, and the Screwtape Letters by recommendation of a few different Seminary teachers, and I had to finish the books I got from the school library because the school year was ending. I was a little swamped with books.)

What impressed me about this book is specified in the Introduction (Hardcover second edition or something like that). The author was talking about how some people complained because they didn’t think that real children talked the way that the children in the book did. Having been an EXTREMELY gifted child (I’m kidding), I remember thinking in some of the same ways as these children in the book did, except for that I wasn’t smart enough or able to think about one thing long enough to reach any sort of conclusion. I think that real children have the inclination to think like the kids in this book, but there is too much pressure on them to think the way that adults think they should think. Children are sheltered from thinking about things that adults don’t think that children should have to think about, so they don’t think about them.

The reason I liked this book for the most part is the way that Ender became so tired all the time. Not physically, but mentally. He got tired of “the game” and he realized that he didn’t really have to play it or even play by the rules of it. Fortunately, for him, he was in a situation where the adults who were trying to control him almost wanted him to realize this stuff because they needed him to think a certain way (which was incredibly rude of them, but there you are). This way of thinking does not, however, work in the real world very well.

In the eighth and ninth grade when it was still required that I take Physical Education, I remember trying everything I could possibly do to get out of doing anything via reasoning and logic. Anything short of open rebellion. I hated the pointless laps and the meaningless sports. I was no good at any of them and wearing shorts outside of my home is beyond embarrassing. I was constantly telling my teacher about how pointless it was and about how I really didn’t need to do it. Of course I wasn’t really very clever at it, just complainy, but I know I made a bunch of good points that were ignored. So, as a result of my unwillingness to “play the game” I received a B- and an S in P.E. No matter how brilliant I was in any other area (okay, so I’m not. Whatever. I was pretty good at English and analyzing crap, so we know how I got to this point) I couldn’t get out of doing it. I could have refused, but then I would have gotten stuck in some room with a bunch of druggies and treated like a criminal, whereas Ender was practically praised. (Psh)

I call myself a realist, but I’m probably being a little too optimistic with that view (haha) because I’m definitely a pessimist. There are some things that I just get so sick of doing (like P.E.). Even if I know that I won’t be tired at first, but I will later. I don’t even want to start in the first place. That reminds me of the song 2 Atoms in a Molecule by Noah and The Whale. One of the verses says:

But now I look at love
Like being stabbed in the heart
You torture each other from day to day
And then one day you part
Most of the time it’s misery
But there’s some joy at the start
And for that, I’d say it’s worth it
Just use a blade that’s short and sharp on me

Or the Anglerfish song by Hank Green:

Yes it’s true that I once went through life
As a guy who always had to rhyme life with strife
Yes, I’ve been burned and I’ve been spurned
And through it all, yes, I have learned
That love is not about whether you get stabbed
But how slow the knife gets turned

(I realize that this has NOTHING to do with the book, but I like books that make me think and what I think about as a result of reading the book might not have anything to do with the book at all. Just bear (bare beer bair?) with me.) The point of this is that I’d much rather not do something that might be good at the beginning but then turn horribly wrong (I will most likely end up an old maid). In my opinion, unlike Charlie Fink (or whichever band member wrote the song), the beginning isn’t worth it if you’re just going to end up miserable. I’m not the person who is able to be glad that something happened. I’m the one who is sad that it’s over. (Yeah, I’m lame).

ANYWAY.

I really enjoy reading books that change the way I look at people. The way this book was written made me forget how young Ender was. I lost all track of his age there in the middle, and then there at the end, my mind was completely blown (which sometimes isn’t hard). The way he and Valentine were constantly analyzing the world was something that I related to (even though I just notice what other people do and not always why they do it). This doesn’t mean that I look at all kids as if they are geniuses, but I know that they’re quite capable of thinking like adults if adults weren’t so lame at making kids think like kids (there is a line that you shouldn’t cross with children, but I’m not even going to go into that to find out where exactly it is, so…. whatever)

So, yeah, I liked the book. Now I get to read Harry Potter 4-7, The Shannara trilogy (with four books), and possibly the rest of the Wheel of Time series… and The Seeker books…. and I have to finish The Lord of the Rings… (I will never be able to read all the books that I want to…)

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