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The I.F. has control over Ender because they were the ones who authorized his birth....
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“Should” is a judgment call. The effects of government control over individual can be discussed. In Ender’s case, the government is controlling population size by restricting families to two children each—Ender is called a “third” because he is the third child in the Wiggin family, allowed to be born because part of a government experiment in turning children into superfighters. What this says about the government is that humanity as a species is more important than any individual. In history, this kind of preference is shown whenever an involuntary draft system forces someone to join the armed forces againt their will (Israel has such a policy; the U.S. in the 1970’s had a lottery system.) On a bloodier level, any government that goes to war is putting the country before the individual (cf. Normandy, for example). Since this book is a utopia or dystopia (depending on the reader’s assessment of the “rightness” of the government’s justification), the author can exaggerate this ethical dilemma and raise the stakes from government to civilization itself, as Card does. In our present social/political situation, there is plenty of resistance to government control of our individual lives, for example in wiretapping and gathering personal information; the government justifies these claims by referring to terrorist threats that can be thwarted by infringing on privacy rights. The past few decades have seen such progress in the technology for such government practices that its “right” is not so much the question as the inability of an individual to stop it. In Ender’s Game, the sophistication of his government’s intrusion in his mind, and its advanced training techniques, echo this present-day technology.
Posted by wordprof on June 10, 2012 at 10:35 PM (Answer #1)
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