By: Orson Scott Card
I was all ready and excited to share how much I loved this story, but then I came across “The Orson Scott Card Controversy.” I honestly had no knowledge of all this before I read the book, and if I had, I might have thought twice about reading it. In a way I’m glad I didn’t know. Here is a link to the essence of the controversy, but in a nutshell, it turns out that Orson Scott Card is an extremely right leaning person who is wholeheartedly against gay rights. So basically, his views are the polar opposite of mine. As a result of his personal views many have chosen to boycott the movie as well as his books.
I have to say, I’m extremely disappointed and a little surprised by this revelation. I liked this story a lot, and its themes don’t reflect the author’s personal views in any way that I can detect. The book is about compassion, communication, and understanding, among other things, which is one of the reasons I liked it so much. Although, in light of this new information, I feel a little weird about liking it. If liking the book supports views I disagree with does that mean I’m somehow going against my own beliefs? I’m going to say no. I think it’s best to separate the art from the artist. While I wish I could like the author as much as the book, and support him accordingly, I’m sure there have been plenty of other authors along the way who I would have disagreed with in some way, only I just didn’t know enough about them.
Ultimately, it is freedom that I believe in most strongly, and that includes freedom of speech and ideas, even if I don’t like them. Orson Scott Card has every right to think the way he does, and write what he wants to, just as people have the right to boycott his work as a result. And with that I will ignore all of this and write the review I first planned on…
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How far do you push a child in order to save the human race? I always felt so bad for Ender. His life was always so difficult from the start. I don’t think I would have had the mental and emotional strength to survive all that. I would have given up way too soon, but then again, I never would have been smart enough anyway. This is a very psychological book, which is why I liked it so much, in a similar way to The Hunger Games. The two books are not at all alike, except for pushing their characters to the breaking point, which makes the story all the more compelling. Ender’s journey is fascinating, especially how he overcomes obstacles, even impossible ones.
There were a couple great twists in the end, which made it that much better, and it had a great overall message. I was really impressed and I would definitely recommend it.
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As for the controversy, I will continue to read the Ender series, but only as long as the personal views of the author don’t ruin it. If that happens, I’ll move on, but if not, I will judge the book solely on its own. Until next time…