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Several genres can lay claim to this novel--fantasy, science fiction, utopian (or dystopian) novel—but the strongest argument can be made for a Bildungsroman, the German term for a novel about growing up and acquiring social and moral values. Such famous novels as Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, Golding’s Lord of the Flies, and Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man all fit into this category, and to the extent that we follow Ender through his maturation process, Ender’s Game fits that genre. As fantasy (or science fantasy), its plot and setting qualify; as a utopian or dystopian novel, the reader must agree or disagree with the social changes suggested in the development of the world that Card invents, and in his intentions to advocate or condemn such a society. The nature of the novel’s ending (past the military development in Chapters 1-10) gives weight to the Bildungsroman and to the Utopian genre theories, but if there were such a genre as fictionalized philosophical statement (like Camus’ The Stranger or Gide’s The Immoralist), Ender’s Game would qualify.
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