King Lear

Ender’s Zero-Sum Game — Psychoanalyzing Andrew Wiggin

Ender’s Zero-Sum Game — Psychoanalyzing Andrew Wiggin

Thanks to some recommended reading from one of my sisters, I’ve come to read Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game in an entirely different light. In “Creating the Innocent Killer:Ender’s Game, Intention, and Morality,” John Kessel offers a fascinating reading of the moral ambivalence, and even potential immortality, of Card’s novel.

In Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, Kessel sees the construction of an ostensibly “innocent killer” merely; in other words, that Ender, though guilty of tremendous atrocities by the novel’s end, is written off as simply a product of his circumstances and thus justified rather than morally culpable. … After his own damning character analysis of Ender, Kessel concludes, “If I felt that Card’s fiction truly understood this, then I would not have written this essay.” …

That said, and I’m tempted to say that Radford and Kessel may likely agree, I am not yet prepared to toss all copies of Ender’s Game — and Card with them — onto the pyre, cultural or otherwise. Instead, rather than a zero-sum condemnation of Ender’s Game, I believe Radford and Kessel’s critiques offer readers an additional layer to Card’s novel — though not at all necessarily one Card himself may have noticed or even intended.

Of Madness and Mercy — An Analysis of King Lear

Of Madness and Mercy — An Analysis of King Lear

For the past few months, I’ve been ruminating on King Lear, a play I had previously never seen before. I had the opportunity to watch Ian McKellen play Lear on 27 September 2018, broadcast by the National Theatre Live. Shortly thereafter, I watched Anthony Hopkins’ own performance in Amazon’s recent adaptation. And shortly after that, I read the Yale Annotated Edition of King Lear, with an essay by Harold Bloom at the end. Since that late September, I’ve been fascinated, maybe even a touch obsessed with this piece and its titular figure. With some effort, I’d like to see if I can express what King Lear has evoked in and elicited from me over the past four months.