The Ender Series Critical Essays

Orson Scott Card


(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

Orson Scott Card is deeply concerned about the impact of his stories. He has written several essays and books explaining how he creates characters and how he addresses ethical, moral, and theological issues in his fiction. As he matured as a writer, he repeatedly returned to his early work in order to rewrite his stories to make them more “true.” Card does not pretend that the incidents really happened; what he wants is for his readers to believe that his stories truthfully describe how people make ethical decisions and how they can improve the human condition.

Card believes that a story should be an end unto itself and consciously writes to the reader rather than to the critic. He reveals his characters innermost beliefs and motives through their choices and actions. Card wants his readers to feel the choices his characters make and creates strong situations because he believes that a storys emotional impact is more important than its critical interpretation. Card believes that people have a hunger for stories that make sense of things.

Readers identify with Ender Wiggins loss of innocence. Employment of a child as a hero has become one of Cards most successful and most used techniques. His stories typically focus on children endowed with remarkable gifts that must be developed and used to provide salvation for their communities. Xenocides god-spoken, Gloriously Bright, is one such child facing almost unbearable opposition. Ender is brilliant, but as a boy he must pay the price of loneliness that is demanded of children who value genius more than athletic ability and strength....

(The entire section is 659 words.)