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Maturity as a State of Mind

When a person is referred to as ‘mature’, it does not necessarily mean that he/she must be an adult. In Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card, maturity is a recurring theme. Yet, the major characters are mostly comprised of young children. This brings forth the idea that age can not be the deciding aspect when judging one’s maturity. The traits that typically make up maturity are only presumed to come with age. Shown all through the novel Ender’s Game, maturity is a state of mind created by encounter rather than a characteristic that only develops with age.

In Ender’s Game, the main protagonist is a young boy named Andrew, or Ender, Wiggin. As the reader will locate out correct from the starting, Ender is diverse from the other little ones. However, there is one particular trait that he and his fellow students share: none of them are childish. “Ender’s Game is one novel brave sufficient to actually look at kids without having generating them childish” (Kelly 112). The young children in the novel do not act like typical children their ages. In reality, they are shown to be fairly mature for their ages, especially Ender. Ender is constantly bullied by the other boys he goes to college with. But when the reader sees how he reacts to it, it is not in the way that 1 would count on from a youngster as young as him. “Ender’s response to the other boys’ bullying is a lot more intelligent and calculating, as almost everything Ender does is, and Card utilizes it to show yet another aspect of childhood, the struggle amongst intellect and fear” (Kelly 113). Normally, a kid might cry and run away, or act completely on impulse, but not Ender. He seems to know what he’s carrying out. He is able to plan issues out in his head efficiently. This assists in differentiating him from other children, showing that he is smarter and thinks differently than them. This, of course, only makes him a target for more bullying. “Yet he possesses a genius and mature assuredness that tends to make him a target for abuse by peergroup bullies and adults who are in control” (Kelly 112). When Ender is involved in these varieties of situations, it is his fast wit and “mature assuredness” that gets him out mainly unharmed. He reacts practically as if he already has expertise in these situations simply because he is capable to calculate the final results of his attainable actions. This begins to bring up an underlying tone of maturity. Ender’s thought processes early on show that he is advanced and make him appear mature to the reader even though he is only a young kid.

Though Ender seems to be the a single character most obviously displaying improvement of maturity, he is not the only 1 to act in this way. One particular of these characters who appears to already be grown up is Ender’s brother, Peter. “Peter…seems patterned on evil geniuses…but never does he show a hint of a child’s mental formation. He is completely grown from the start—an adult” (Kelly 114). As quickly as the reader is introduced to Peter, it is evident that he is a really aggressive and violent character. While getting to know Peter as a character, the reader realizes that although Peter is technically a kid, he shows no aspects of being childish. He also appears to have already developed his personality, which is not anything that is common in a kid. Peter’s several cruel actions are not impulsive, either, like a troubled child’s might be. For example, when Peter makes Ender play “buggers and astronauts” with him, he kneels on Ender’s torso, generating it challenging for him to breath: “‘I could kill you like this,’ Peter whispered. ‘Just press and press till you are dead. And I could say that I didn’t know it would hurt you, that we have been just playing, and they’d believe me, and every thing would be fine. And you’d be dead. Every thing would be fine’” (Card 12). Every thing he does is believed out and planned, and he is fully conscious of what he is carrying out. He is typically shown to be smarter than the typical adult. Because Peter is represented in this way – an “evil genius” – it is like he never had to develop up he is currently an adult in every single way except age. This demonstrates the thought that maturity does not rely solely on age for improvement. Another portrayal of this notion is the character Valentine, the sister of Peter and Ender. Valentine is like Peter in the way that she calculates things. When the two siblings make a decision to cooperate in order to communicate their ideas with the world over the world wide web, the only items holding them back are their legal ages. “The only factor separating Peter and Valentine from adulthood…is the reality that the planet can see that they are kids and for that reason discriminates against them for it” (Kelly 114). Once they are capable to get on the nets appearing as adults, they are in a position to speak without getting disputed. The recurring question of what impact age really has relating to maturity is after once again raised in the novel. Though kids may have the same ideas as adults, they are typically not taken seriously merely since they are young children. Even if their personalities have currently been created, the globe nevertheless sees them as nothing other than children. The character Bean is another instance of the typical theme of currently getting grown up. “He was a soldier, and if any individual had asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he wouldn’t have recognized what they meant” (Card 224). Bean, despite the fact that technically a youngster, knows what he is in life: a soldier. This not some thing typical of a kid, but rather something an adult may well feel. This also hints at the repeated notion of not needing to grow up. Bean already knows who he is and does not need to develop up to figure it out. It is also attainable that Bean feels grown up by this time – maybe not physically, but mentally. And maturity is predominantly a mental high quality, which means that Bean is currently mature simply because of his obvious lack of needing to develop up, related to Peter and Valentine. Maturity is constantly being represented as one thing that is figurative rather than literal, because the most mature folks in the book are the young children.

The way it is illustrated in Ender’s Game, maturity is anything that is forced upon the young children if they have not but created it. One particular case of this is when the gifted children chosen for Battle School are introduced to the reader. “Children have to also possess an capacity to adapt quickly to new situations empathy, or the potential to recognize and care for others, is also a useful character trait” (“Ender’s Game” 107). If they have not yet began to display certain qualities, they are primarily forced into speedily developing their personalities to match the military program. This is generally forced maturity. An instance of this is when the adults that run Battle College are talking about Ender, right after he has arrived: “‘His isolation cannot be broken. He can in no way come to think that anyone will come to support him out, ever’” (Card 38). In this quote, it can be noticed that the adults currently have a plan to develop Ender to their liking. The Battle School technique is particularly meant to take sophisticated kids and make it so that they develop themselves even quicker for the advantage of society. “The military is purposefully structured to be unjust, breaking these who can't rise above injustice rapidly enough” (Blackmore 115). Those who run the military know what they are carrying out, and use unfairness to their advantage. If only the ‘strong’ young children who are able to develop rapidly can move on, then the system is kept at its most efficient. Yet, becoming in a position to deal with injustice efficiently is generally one thing adults are faced with, and this time it relates to youngsters. This shows that it is feasible for young children to be mature, because if it wasn’t, then the complete foundation of Battle College would fail. 1 of the tools that the adults of Battle School use to mold the youngsters – especially Ender – to their liking is isolation. “Isolation makes dependence on other folks not possible Ender is forced to fall back on and develop his own resources” (Blackmore 117). Since Battle School is up in space, the kids are extremely far away from their households down on Earth. This forces them to rely on themselves for their own well-becoming. “Parental authority is replaced by dependence on the self” (Blackmore 117). These youngsters no longer have their parents to guide them and inform them what to do. The only orders they’ll receive are those from their commanding officers. That is not anything that children are utilised to rather, it is some thing characteristic of adults. But in Battle College, that is what they come to count on and are forced to adapt to. So, in a way, it is like the youngsters in Battle College are not genuinely young children. A single of the characters who is a kid in Battle College, Dink, has been taking note of this fact for the duration of his time at the school. “‘…I’ve got a quite very good idea what kids are, and we are not young children. Young children can drop occasionally and nobody cares. Kids are not in armies, they are not commanders, they don’t rule more than forty other kids, it’s far more than anybody can take and not get crazy’” (Card 108). Dink acknowledges that the children in Battle College are not actually kids, due to the fact of the thing that they are created to do – not regular ‘kid things’. When the kids are place into extreme conditions a lot more typically related with adults, it tends to make them appear much less and much less like actual youngsters. This once again illustrates the forced maturity brought onto the kids when they are selected for the school. The traits that make up what most individuals think of as maturity are also able to be seen in the young children in Battle School. “‘That’s proper, we never cry…Nobody ever cries. We truly are attempting to be adults’” (Card 109). Dink says this to Ender when he sees that Ender was starting to tear up following anything he said but told Dink he was fine. Not crying is usually a stereotype of adults. Yet, the youngsters in Battle College find out not to cry since it shows weakness, and weakness is the core point that the adults at Battle College want to beat out of the kids. The children who are ‘weak’ do not make it up to becoming commanders. Most clearly evident in Battle School, the adults are forcing the kids to ‘grow up’, but given that they cannot actually age faster, they need to mature, once once more displaying that it is a state of thoughts.

When maturity is described in Ender’s Game, age is generally the last thing that comes to mind. Going back to the time when Peter is trying to convince Valentine to go on the net with him to share their concepts with the globe, they have the following dialogue exchange:

“Peter, you’re twelve.”

“Not on the nets I’m not. On the nets I can name myself anything I want, and so can you” (Card 129).

Peter is telling Valentine that he can produce a fake representation of himself on the nets he does not have to be 12-year-old Peter. This shows that Peter may possibly literally be a child, but he is not in other elements, such as his way of thinking. On the nets, folks will think he is an adult if he is listed as a single due to the fact of the way he thinks and articulates his tips. The contrasting viewpoints in the Ender’s Game also help to show the overarching similarities between the adults and the children. “Card forces the reader to move in between two viewpoints: that of the suspicious, manipulated kid and that of the paranoid, utilitarian machine worker” (Blackmore 116). There is a typical understanding of the injustices at Battle School amongst the adults and most of the children. The “machine worker” refers to the adults of the military technique, and a quantity of young children know that they are getting fooled by them. They are being tricked into believing that they are folks at Battle School and they all have a chance at greatness. But there are a couple of of the youngsters who know that they are only becoming utilized collectively by the adults to attempt to save society. They know what the correct intentions of the adults are. Dink is a single of these youngsters. “‘I cannot believe you haven’t seen through all this crap but, Ender. But I guess you’re young’” (Card 107). He says this to Ender right after explaining that the corruption of the military technique is what kept him from accepting promotions to become a commander. He doesn’t want to be manipulated anymore by the teachers. Dink’s reasoning for why Ender is still alright with the military system is that he is young. Becoming young typically implies that a single is na?ve due to a lack of knowledge in the globe. Dink realizes that simply because Ender is young, he is also na?ve, and so he hasn’t but come to see all of the corruption that goes on at Battle College. At this moment, Dink is shown to have an clear sense of maturity due to the fact of his potential to recognize corruption, which is normally some thing that adults would do. The children and the adults in Ender’s Game are certainly not the same, but it is not their levels of maturity that separate them from one an additional.

Card has a discreet way of separating his kid characters from his adult characters and producing his child characters really believable as kids. Worry is often utilised in the novel to show the difference between the youngsters and the grown-ups. It is a lot easier for fear to take over the minds of young children. “Fear pushing intellect into the back seat is a affordable characterization of childhood” (Kelly 114). Fear can be very strong in people, most notably in kids. This fact is utilised to portray a lot of of the children’s emotions in Ender’s Game, as subtle as it may be. Feelings of fear and anxiety can lead to rational considering to be side-stepped, producing affordable thoughts challenging to come by and resulting in impulsive actions, specifically in quickly-paced circumstances. “Insecurity is unavoidable in new scenarios, and in childhood everything is a new situation—maturity is just a matter of recognizing repeating patterns, and with out comforting recognition, all these kids have to defend themselves with is violence” (Kelly 112-113). Most prevalent in Battle College, the children are shown to be insecure with their surroundings. This is one particular of the most contributing variables in differentiating among the children and the adults. The adults who run the military program are certainly really familiar with what they are doing. The children, nevertheless, have no experience in this whatsoever. They are away from their residences and families, and getting put in circumstances with other kids, such as simulated battles, that they have by no means been in ahead of. So, in order to establish some sense of handle, they have a tendency to resort to violence. This ‘control’ would, of course, only be over other students at Battle College. The adults are the ones with the ultimate power and handle in the military technique. “…reviewers specifically applauded Card’s compelling portrayal of Ender as an innocent kid getting manipulated by controlling adults” (“Ender’s Game 111). All through most of the novel, Ender is recognized as the child who is younger and smaller sized than everyone else. Even when he has become the prime commander in school, he is nevertheless the “little boy” out of all of his fellow commanders. “They couldn’t beat him in the battle space, and they knew it—so as an alternative they would attack him where it was secure, where he was not a giant but just a small boy” (Card 187). This portrayal causes the reader to really feel sympathy for him, anything that is not felt when the reader is introduced to the adults of the book. This also separates the adults and the kids in the reader’s thoughts. However, even even though there are these small variations between the two groups, there are significantly a lot more noticeable similarities. “…no distinction is made between a child’s insatiable ego and the evil genius’s power-hunger” (Kelly 114). Adult qualities, such as “power-hunger”, are combined with factors that represent children, like naivety, almost making it seem like there is no distinction amongst the two. This implies that is quite possible for young children to be mature, even although it is not classic. There is a fine line separating the kids from the adults in Ender’s Game, which once more suggests that it is completely plausible that youngsters can be mature, just as adults are.

The mature way in children are characterized in Ender’s Game is fitting for the story, and, in a way, justifies how similar they can be to adults. If the kids in the novel had been like stereotypical young kids, the plot would fail and practically nothing would make sense. Card feels this way about his portrayal of his kid characters: “…considering it an innovation, as if the only option would be having the cadets in the Battle School play marbles and speak child talk” (Kelly 112). He considers it a positive addition to the story. Card’s opinion is again evidenced in the novel, when Colonel Graff and Main Anderson are possessing a conversation about the way the youngsters in Battle College act:

“Does it ever seem to you that these boys are not youngsters? I look at what they do, the way they talk, and they don’t look like little youngsters.”

“They’re the most brilliant children in the planet, every single in his personal way.”

“But shouldn’t they nevertheless act like children? They are not standard. They act like-history. Napoleon and Wellington. Caesar and Brutus” (Card 66-67).

It would appear rather foolish if the kids in the book acted how people may count on them to as typical children considering the intense situations they are involved in. Obtaining the youngsters show adult qualities is a huge part of the story and aids it to progress. Not only does this characterization of young children work quite nicely with the story, but it also gives the reader with an sincere point of view of kids. “…they are not any much more vicious than children are in genuine life, or could be” (Kelly 112). The kids in Ender’s Game are made more relatable to the reader due to the fact Card is genuinely being honest about them. “…they praise Card for his unflinching honesty about the cunning and cruelty, the wisdom and humanity, of children” (Kelly 112). He is delivering a right interpretation of who youngsters genuinely are and how they behave in reality, rather than utilizing the stereotypical kid archetype. Most of the youngsters in Ender’s Game are gifted children. They are much more sophisticated, so of course they are going to look much more mature. The level of maturity demonstrated by youngsters in the novel only tends to make their characters a lot more fitting for the story and believable to readers because it shows that children can certainly be mature, just like how they might act in genuine life.

Functions Cited

Blackmore, Tim. “Ender’s Game.” Novels for Students. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski. Vol. five. Detroit: Gale, 1999. 115-118. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Internet. ten Feb. 2015.

Card, Orson Scott. Ender’s Game. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 1994. Print.

“Ender’s Game.” Novels for Students. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski. Vol. five. Detroit: Gale, 1999. 99-121. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. ten Feb. 2015.

Kelly, David J. “Ender’s Game.” Novels for Students. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski. Vol. five. Detroit: Gale, 1999. 112-115. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Net. ten Feb. 2015.
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