Question about Ender and Bean

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Question about Ender and Bean

Postby Pixel » Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:41 pm

Dunno if this has already been asked. If so, feel free to yell at me and such, but...

At what point is Ender told the truth about Bean? Some point in EiE, I'd assume? I mean, I was skimming EiE today and saw an email from Graff to Ender about Bean's genetic condition, his marriage to Petra, and the situation of their babies. I also assume that Peter told Ender all about Bean's military campaigns through the ansible. I don't mean that stuff.

I mean, doesn't Ender eventually found out about how famous Bean was in the Battle School? How Bean was really smarter than Ender? How Bean was always watching Ender's back, and how he looked up to him and stuff? The reason I figure he must've found out is because he implies it when talking to Achilles II on Ganges. He mentions how Bean was his closest friend and how Bean was smarter and quicker than he was.

And speaking of that, one of the things that irritates/saddens me the most about the Enderverse is how one-sided the friendship between Ender and Bean is portrayed. Of course this is an issue due to Ender's Game being written way before Ender's Shadow, but Bean was so neglected in EG and Ender paid him little attention [or so it appears given how the book is written]

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Postby neo-dragon » Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:53 pm

When Ender was on Shakespeare he received letters from his parents, and possibly Petra as well. I assume they told him all about Bean. He certainly knew that Peter and Petra were married before he actually spoke to Peter to write the Hegemon. As you said, his confrontation with Achilles II on Ganges makes it apparent that he knew Bean's full history by that point.
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Postby lyons24000 » Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:31 pm

The entire Bean plot (smarter then Ender, quicker then Ender, and protector of Ender) is not canon. Therefore there is no reason to discuss it. Whenever something of this sort is mentioned I treat it as if it is a Gnostic gospel or something.

Further, Bean's plot marrying Petra and having the genetic alteration and passing it on to his children is canon. Also, the storyline of his children being kidnapped is canon. The genetic alteration only affected his growth and made him an unusually intelligent child. Ender and Peter were both more intelligent.

Throughout the novels, Bean did not show in any way whatsoever any type of super extraordinary intelligence. A few times he had some bad feelings that got him out of trouble but he never impressed me. Bean was not smarter then Ender, quicker then Ender or protector of Ender. He was just a normal kid with a crappy past who had a massive growth spurt.
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Postby Pixel » Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:46 pm

So....you were just elected to declare what's canon and what isn't now, ooor...?

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Postby wigginboy » Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:03 pm

Bean WAS smarter and quicker than Ender. Bean DID protect Ender and work to help him in every facet of the game. This IS canon because it WAS written by OSC in ES. Just as the books of the Bible are considered canon because they are included in the Bible and the Gnostic gospels are not. This, however, has nothing to do with the fact that Ender most likely knew Bean was smarter and faster and also a little obsessed with Ender. While he does not know that Bean assembled his whole army, when they are in Dragon together, Ender places a lot of responsibility on Bean in the later days. During their time in command school, Ender relies on Bean and Petra the most, indicating that he knows Bean is quicker and more reflexive and can react in time to situations that Ender may not be able to control. I do not think Ender would have known the full extent to which Bean understood the situation, but I am sure he had a good idea or he never would have used Bean as he did. As for what is canon and what is not, the only one who decides that is the author, when he writes it.

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Postby Bean_wannabe » Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:07 am

The entire Bean plot (smarter then Ender, quicker then Ender, and protector of Ender) is not canon. Therefore there is no reason to discuss it. Whenever something of this sort is mentioned I treat it as if it is a Gnostic gospel or something.
You can't just disregard the whole of the Shadow Saga because you don't like it. Ender isn't some kind of super-human - it's OK for someone to be better than him at some things.

It's like saying that because because in SftD Novinha is portrayed as better at Xenology than Ender, the book is therefore non-canon because it makes Ender worse than her.

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Postby ^Peter » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:42 am

Bean WAS smarter and quicker than Ender. Bean DID protect Ender and work to help him in every facet of the game. This IS canon because it WAS written by OSC in ES. Just as the books of the Bible are considered canon because they are included in the Bible and the Gnostic gospels are not. This, however, has nothing to do with the fact that Ender most likely knew Bean was smarter and faster and also a little obsessed with Ender. While he does not know that Bean assembled his whole army, when they are in Dragon together, Ender places a lot of responsibility on Bean in the later days. During their time in command school, Ender relies on Bean and Petra the most, indicating that he knows Bean is quicker and more reflexive and can react in time to situations that Ender may not be able to control. I do not think Ender would have known the full extent to which Bean understood the situation, but I am sure he had a good idea or he never would have used Bean as he did. As for what is canon and what is not, the only one who decides that is the author, when he writes it.
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Postby Pixel » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:53 pm

Phew. Thanks guys, I had a bad feeling nobody was going to side with me. :[

I agree with all of you guys. Whether you like it or not, anything OSC writes is canon. Even in the cases where he changes something he did in Ender's Game to make more sense in Ender in Exile or something, no matter how much whining or debate there is about it, I would think that the LATEST thing the author decides is what is declared canon.

Thanks for the more serious answers ;o

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Postby lyons24000 » Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:01 pm

Sorry, Sorry, Sorry! I wasn't meaning to tick anybody off.

Anyway, I don't "disregard the entire Shadow series" at all. I just go by the EG Bean/Ender relationship instead of the ES Bean/Ender relationship. If OSC had hinted at Bean's superiority in EG besides a "The Enemies Gate is Down" statement I could accept it. Everyone can admit that when EG was written, OSC had nothing in mind about Bean being superior. He didn't come up with that until about 25 years later.

Also, the "there is no reason discuss it" statement was a joke. I alway forget that I should use those little yellow faces on my left! :oops:
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Postby Pixel » Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:56 pm

I see. Well that changes my opinion of you entirely.

I can see what you mean, how you read the original Ender's Game that was there first and you know and love and there's no hint of that relationship there, so when people bring it up it seems iffy.

I didn't really have that issue. All the Shadow series hate (which I'm not going to get into debating) aside, I really loved Ender's Shadow. I mean on par with Ender's Game. I especially like Bean [from the Shadow series of course] about just as good as I like Ender. Equal. So when I look back at Ender's Game and see Bean get little attention, I feel like he's being neglected.

That said, while I can see your point of view, I'm pretty sure since OSC went through all the work of making the Shadow series and such afterwards, his character of Bean and his relationship with Ender, no matter how one-sided, is intended to be canon. We unfortunately just couldn't see it much from Ender's view :/

And yes I read Ender's Game, and the whole Ender quartet, first.

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Postby Bean_wannabe » Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:16 am

Sorry to be picky, but I can't really see a difference between the 'Ender-Bean relationships' in EG and ES. The conversations are the same, word for word, the events are the same, it's just the emotions are different because the story is told from the other perspective.

From Ender's side, Bean wasn't that important, as he was trying to deal with the guilt of 'injuring' Stiltson and later Bonzo. Ender didn't focus on his soldiers as much - he knows they can do what he needs them to, but is distant enough that he is excluded from private jokes (somewhere mid-way through EG) and cannot read Petra well enough to see that she is about to snap on Eros.

However, from Bean's perspective, Ender was the most important thing around, once Achilles was out of the way. Bean knew everything about him, memorised the dossiers of him and the rest of the army. HE could see that Petra was going to snap, and he knew exactly what it was that would give Ender the motivation to win the final battle. From Bean's perspective, Ender was being deliberately obtuse and antagonistic, but in fact Ender just didn't know him enough.

Sorry for the rant, but this whole 'I don't like the shadow saga, it is full of contradictions' is really starting to bug me.

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Postby Pixel » Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:21 am

After reading your post, at first my response was going to be something like, "You're right that the dialogue is all the same, but even though Ender talked to Bean, he never really thought about him in the 1st person narration much. In terms of knowing what he thought about Bean, you really need to know what he's thinking as well as what he's saying. With Bean you had a thought to companion every sentence he spoke aloud, which sounds redundant but that's what I really liked about Ender's Shadow."

But then I decided to look into EG and test that theory.

Sometimes it applies and sometimes it doesn't. Sure the dialogue is the same, but Ender gives practically no thought to Bean at all when he gives Bean a toon and when Ender leaves for Command School.

On the other hand, I was reminded that he does give Bean particular thought after confronting Bean about giving him a toon when Bean asked for one.

So in the end, you're right. EG doesn't focus on it much, though it does hint that Ender thinks Bean is smart, because Ender has his hands full already. Meanwhile ES focuses on Ender because he was important to Bean [like he was to every Jeesh member.]

I guess in the end I wasn't really trying to prove a fact or point out a contradiction to make one better than the other, I was just saying how I liked the focus given between then in ES more because I like Bean so much, and I felt he was neglected in EG. It's more of an opinion thing.

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Postby greenbrowngreen » Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:23 pm

I have to agree with Bean_wannabe, EG and ES are told from two vastly different perspectives, so while the events are the same the vantage point of EG is more of a 3rd person narrator, while the point of view of ES seems more 2nd person.

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Postby Graphmiester » Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:26 pm

I just wanted to reply to the idea that Ender didn't think about or know Bean very well and the fact that Bean was smarter than Ender.

For starters Ender was the LEADER and studied all of the people in the battle school and you can believe he studied everything he could on his own soldiers. He knew Bean and trusted him with his back. A good leader does not try to do everything himself and can't do it all so he finds the best he can and uses thier talents to strengthen the whole group. This is why he depended on Bean and Petra so much. They were his point people while he tried to stay focused on the big picture and the final outcome not the individual battles. Bean was a great stratagist and Petra was a great field leader and that is what made Ender so good.

Henry Ford wasn't the smartest auto engineer but he surrounded himself with people that were but his name is what is on the cars not thiers.

You can argue who is smarter or weather Ender thought much of Bean but if you look at the respect Ender gave Bean after he proved himself its obvious he trusted Bean more than anyone else. Trust like that only comes from knowing the person inside and out.

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Postby Syphon the Sun » Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:34 pm

I have to agree with Bean_wannabe, EG and ES are told from two vastly different perspectives, so while the events are the same the vantage point of EG is more of a 3rd person narrator, while the point of view of ES seems more 2nd person.
Eww. No. Absolutely not.

Second person narration involves telling the story using second-person personal pronouns ("you") and is a rarity in fiction, generally only found in the Choose Your Own Adventure books. Example: "You walk into the room and hear the hushed sounds of conversation die down." As far as I can recall, Orson Scott Card has never used this type of narrative (except in illustrating examples in Characters and Viewpoint).

Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, like the vast majority of Scott's work, employs a form of third-person narrative known as deep penetration third person point of view.

ETA: I just wanted to add that in both Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, the scene where Ender gives Bean a toon is from Bean's point of view, which some of you apparently missed.
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