Friday, August 2, 2019
Enders Game vs. For All We Have and Are :: Orson Scott Card Rudyard Kipling
The poem "For All we Have and Are" by Rudyard Kipling examines the sacrifices made in war. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card, also analyzes the what an individual must give up for the survival of a group, but two of his characters, Ender Wiggin and Colonel Graff, would have differing views of Kipling's poem and a person's role in war. Rudyard Kipling wrote his poem in 1914 at the beginning of World War I. "For All We Have and Are," is a calling to protect England from a real possibility of falling. Kipling describes an urgent need to fight back, "Stand up and take the war./ The Hun is at the gate!" He knows that fighting means the loss of life, but he believes it is worth it to defend what is at stake, "For all we have and are." Kipling makes the point that as long as England prevails, the death of an individual is unimportant. Colonel Graff would agree with Kipling idea of individual sacrifice. It is the policy of the I.F. throughout the novel to forgo the freedoms of a person to ensure the survival of humanity against the buggers. At Battle School, Graff?s purpose is to train children for mankind to use as tools to fight the buggers. Graff cares for Ender, but he willingly misguides and manipulates him. He takes away Ender?s freedom, takes him from Earth, takes him from Valentine, and forces him to kill. Graff sacrifices his own humanity, so that Ender can become humanity?s tool. Graff explains to Ender the I.F. philosophy which parallels Kipling?s, ?Human beings are free except when humanity needs them. [. . .] if humankind survives, then we were good tools.? Ender could not truly relate to Kipling?s poem because everything to Ender is distant. In Ender?s world the buggers are not the pressing threat that the Central Powers were in World War I. The buggers are light-years away. Ender has only faced them in videos and in his dreams. Ender understands he must be a tool, but he is never given an opportunity to be anything else. Graff understands the feelings Ender?s isolation creates, ?when you never meet people, when you never know the Earth itself, [. . .] it?s easy to forget why earth is worth saving.