Ender’s Game

This one is for you Val. It may be sometime until you read it though.

Today I finished reading “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card. Before I start to read online commentary about the book I wanted to get some of my thoughts down first.

Around the last chapter of the book I decided that I wanted to and needed to reread the book. It’s one of those habits I picked up from a college English lit course. You can’t really understand a book before you read it a second time. Picking up on everything you missed and understanding how all the subtle events at the start of the book lead to the major events at the end of the book.

My first reactions after reading the last word of the book was “I like it!”. There were some parts that were obvious like the big reveal the main character receives towards the end of the book, but all in all I completely enjoyed the experience. A second reaction I thought of after finishing it was “I want to read Sun Tzu’s ART OF WAR”. I think I have a copy of it somewhere, but if I don’t I think I’m going to try to find a version of it with commentary; like a Norton Anthology version of it. Though I don’t know much about Tzu’s work, I feel that Ender’s Game employed a lot of important battle strategies that probably came from Tzu. There was also a good amount of concepts of psychological behavioral that were used throughout the book. I found all of it very interesting.

A third reaction I am having after reading this book, is the same reaction I always have after reading a book that I felt has improved my way of thinking; and that is “how can I use what I have learned to somehow improve upon my own life”. Its an odd thing to come about from reading fiction. But its mostly related to liking the main character so much, that I want to be or emulate that character in real life somehow. I guess its akin to the way kids like to dress up like their superheroes. Only instead of dressing up, I want to behave and think like them.

There are few fictional characters that I’ve experienced as of late that I have come away feeling like this. The most recently notable are Ender Wiggin of Ender’s Game, Joe Ledger of Patient Zero, and L of the Death Note series. All of them extremely talented strategists. Beings that have the ability to think in a multitude of ways always ten steps ahead of their opponent; although L is the only one who is eventually defeated.

So other than just simply enjoying a piece of fiction for the simple satisfaction of having read a good story, How can I use this experience to improve my life?


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