Bean and Ender

Discuss all things pertaining to the EnderVerse milieu.
ptr.arkanian
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Bean and Ender

Postby ptr.arkanian » Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:53 pm

In the Speaker series, Ender dies in a literal sense but not in a theoretical sense because his spirit lives on in young peter and young val.

In the Shadow series, Bean dies in a theoretical sense but not in a literal sense because he is on a starship going in and out of statis to prolong his life.

If you haven't noticed already, the "deaths" of Enderverse's two main characters are essentially opposites of eachother. This is a contrast, yet it is a similarity because they both get killed off at the climax of each series.

Why was it that Orson Scott Card chose to kill off his most essential characters? In my opinion, it leaves readers devasted, but it also leaves a lasting impression of the book. I cried for hours at each of these characters deaths. Was Card simply proving that his heros were human? Or did these deaths hold a deeper meaning?
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Postby Janus%TheDoorman » Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:01 am

Bean's not dead, at least not yet. There's another book coming out, Shadows in Flight that promises to wrap up the Enderverse as a whole. The Wiki article seems to suggest that it will take place after Bean's death, but details are ... scarce.

Either way, I don't really see how they're opposites. Care to explain further?
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Postby Psudo » Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:52 am

It seems clear to me. Ender's physical body died, but his exercise of his will lives on through Young Val and Young Peter. Bean's physical body lives on, but his exercise of his will is limited to the minutia of raising his doomed children. Being so radically separated from society and alienated from his former control, this containment and obscurity is a kind of metaphorical death for Bean without a literal, physical death.

They both "die" in an incomplete way, but the deaths are incomplete in completely opposite ways. It's a dichotomy. The similarities and the differences are both stark and vivid. It's a great literary construct, a beautiful thing.

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Postby Janus%TheDoorman » Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:29 am

I just don't see the significance of them possibly having been constructed as opposites along those lines- if Peter and Ender had died similarly opposed deaths, or Bean and Achilles, but Bean and Ender's relationship from a literary standpoint is that Ender is the humanist side to war whereas Bean is the rationalist side. Ender succeeds through insight into his enemy and a charisma that binds his troops, where Bean succeeds through a cold calculus of probabilities. Now, yes you can frame Ender's death in that light - he dies so that two constructs who have no real right to live at the cost of his life by all the conventional definitions of life, emblematic of his relation to everyone and everything he encountered. Bean, on the other hand "dies" simply because it's all that's left to him, his clock has run out.

If Bean and Ender's deaths are opposites, it's not a matter of their deaths leaving them in a particular state as far as their mind and bodies are concerned, but why they died. Ender died because of his heart, and Bean died because of his mind, literally and figuratively.
"But at any rate, the point is that God is what nobody admits to being, and everybody really is."
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