Background: I first read Ender’s Shadow (for an English class) then read Ender’s Game. So yes, I have Ender completely backwards in my mind. Or as a reviewer on Amazon said, “Bean is smart, clever and clearheaded ‘always’ whereas Ender looks hesitant and overwrought…”
I don’t remember my original thoughts when I went from Shadow to Game and am too lazy to search through my journal archives, but generally I think I would have agreed with that reviewer’s sentiments. I was probably confused as to why people liked Ender so much.
Reading Orson Scott Card’s introduction to Game though, I picked up on this: “These readers found that Ender’s Game was not merely a ‘mythic’ story, dealing with general truths, but something much more personal…. They didn’t love Ender, or pity Ender (a frequent adult response); they were Ender, all of them.”
That explained a lot to me. I read Ender’s Game first when I was about 18, past the stage of outcast child. I pitied Ender. It explained why my feelings about Ender were different from my friends’. I was reading it from an adult’s perspective.
I was also reading from a perspective of someone who never felt like an outcast because of my intelligence. (No, I felt different because I’m a little weird. :P) There were lots of classmates smarter than I was. In fact, I felt stupid in elementary school and middle school … and high school … because those classmates excelled much more than I did. Sure, I didn’t struggle too much in school (except with writing), but that didn’t set me apart.
Knowing that, and not remembering Bean’s side of things, I can read the story with a clean slate. :3
One thing I’d like to comment on in that review; “Where does Bean get the experience to become Enders [sic] ‘supervisor?’ I don’t know but he is deemed fit enough with a couple months as a team leader to be fleet commander.”
Again, I don’t remember the specifics (and I’ve got horrible dizzying head
ache and can’t think straight), but Bean was really smart, a super brain. He knew and understood a lot of things, practically everything. But he doesn’t have the “human” side to him that Ender does, which Bean knew. Wasn’t that also the reason why Bean knew Ender had to lead? Bean was more of a backup to Ender; if Ender failed, Bean would be there as one last chance to beat the Buggers.
But that thought doesn’t lead anywhere in this entry.
(Also, funny additional comment by the reviewer about Inda. XD)