Ranked among the most controversially ban books, “Ender’s Game” by Oscar Scott Card, follows the story of young genius, Ender, through his childhood as he faces harsh physical and mental treatment in order to later on save the entire human race. Published back in 1985, Ender’s Game has been challenged and ban several times around the world; most of which have been in the 21st century. Its main reasons for ban have been for profanity, the use of racial slurs, excessive violence and an anti- adult theme.
Although many want “Ender’s Game” off school shelves for good, others feel that Ender’s Game provides good orals and lessons for children while rest want it gone purely because of the author’s social views. A large majority of challenges for “Ender’s Game” come from parents with adolescent children as they feel the book is too inappropriate for them. In South Carolina in 2012, a 9th grader child in an AP english class complained to their parents that the book was pornographic and the teacher at Jack L. Schofield middle school was place on administrative leave (Forbes).
In addition to reporting the teacher to the school board, the parents filed criminal charges to the police as well. The uggestion of an anti-adult theme has been prevalent as well as adults see the book as a degeneration of adults (Lawrence Library). The adults in the book are portrayed as tough and extreme as they turn a blind eye to the children engaging in violent bouts and turn a cold shoulder to Ender on purpose to make him grow strong. Furthermore, the use of swearing and racial slurs in the book have prompt for a ban as well.
Due to many complaints about the word, nigger, in the book, the newer edition was changed as stated by Stack Exchange: “Let’s freeze a few,” Alai said. “Let’s have our first battle. Us gainst them. ” They grinned. Then Ender said, “Better invite Bernard. ” Alai cocked an eyebrow. “Oh? ” “And Shen. ” “That little slanty-eyed butt-wiggler? ” Ender decided that Alai was joking. “Hey, we can’t all be niggers. ” Alai grinned. “My grandpa would’ve killed you for that. ”
“My great great grandpa would have sold him first. ” “Let’s go get Bernard and Shen and freeze these bugger- lovers. Finally, the violence in the book has caused lots of controversy among adults due to the descriptively portrayed fight scenes and large quantity of young children engaging in death matches with each other. Former 5th grade teacher, Joy Porter, stated that she was appalled to read swear words and passages about characters renouncing religion and killing each other. However, despite all the slander against “Ender’s Game”, many believe that parents are just making it out for worst than it actually is. Despite calls for a ban, is “Ender’s Game” more mellow then people make it out to be?
Although the book may suggest an anti-adult theme or include violence and curse words, John Rice believes that children should differentiate between fiction and real life with the help of their parents. As a parent himself, John Rice has taught his children that although the children in the book use video games as a means to learn tactics and combat skills, children in real life shouldn’t be affected by it if they understand that it isn’t real just like its anti-adult theme. Dystopian books are made out to be more extreme than society is.
The children in the book are being trained to save the whole human race, of course adults are going to be tough on them to make them stronger. Also, there are not that many swear words in the book but the use of swear words makes the characters seem more real as these kids are mature beyond their ages so re able to comprehend the use of curse words to express themselves. Just like swear words, the word, nigger, has been a point for ban but it is used in the book to prove an anti-racial point when Alai calls Shen a “little slanty-eyed butt- wiggler” (Ender’s Game).
To add, the book is written in 1985 when swear words and racial slurs were part of everyday conversational vocabulary. Since its rerelease in 1991, the racial slurs in “Ender’s Game” have been taken out changing “little slangy-eyed butt-wiggler” to “little butt-wiggler” and “hey, we can’t all be niggers” to “If you didn’t hold yours so tight it would iggle, too” (Stack Exchange). Despite the opinions of others, the fact that the author, himself, raises questions for a ban stirs questions as to why.
Recently, an “Ender’s Game” movie was released and many people boycotted the movie because of the author’s views on gay marriage. Due to his mormon roots, Oscar Scott Card has been rather vocal about his anti-gay leanings as he stated in an interview that he would “act to destroy that [pro-gay marriage] government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help e raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.
Card has never failed to openly defend his church for their anti-gay standings and this in itself has caused many issues to arise as well. Because of his religion, Card’s book has also been placed on a buddhist hit list for evil books as many buddhist believers are anti-mormon (Hatrack) because Card was “a Mormon, and therefore no children should be reading a book by him. ” The official reason they gave for its ban include its anti-adult theme. However, in a 2004 interview, Card thought that the reasons for challenges and bans against his ook were unreasonable and should be repealed.
Stated by Card at the end of this interview in 2004: Since I never use my books to preach my religion or advance my political agenda, it’s always a real stretch to find excuses to ban my books. Ultimately, the motive almost always seems to come down to wanting to punish me for actually being an orthodox and vocal Latter-day Saint. Official reasons for its ban include the use of racial slurs, violence and anti-adult themes but Card believes that many ban the book purely because of his orthodox religion.
When his book became more frequently ban n libraries for its use of the N word, Card urged his publishers to rewrite the scene in which the offensive word is eliminated. Because Card believes that some people are fully committed to having “Ender’s Game” no matter what, they simply chose other words to be offended by (Hatrack). Overall, the extremity of the book really depends on the maturity of the reader, that’s why it is on an AP reading list for children 14 and above as opposed to children in the 6th grade. However, if the child were to enjoy science fiction and dystopian societies, it would be a suitable book.
All in all, the book is very iolent but provides strong morals and issues for readers to wrap their heads around (Krypton Radio). Ender’s Game is a novel that Marine corps are required to read because of its strong display of leadership in battle. If you were to only focus on the bad in the book of course you will be hypersensitive to the swear words, improper themes, author’s views and whatnot. However, if you read the book from a purely subjective view, is the coarse language, violence and dystopian elements as bad as you thought they were or would it serve as a good lesson for you just as it does for the Marine corps?