Two Worlds Collide
When I read Speaker for the Dead I was stuck in Camp Shaver’s office, Kevin and AP the only two other coworkers that volunteered to work the group were sitting with their feet propped up and their faces glued to their phones. During the summer a group of wide-eyed campers would wander into my cabin unsure of what the next seven days had to offer. The dirtier we were the more fun we had. I found few times to read but when I did I enjoyed myself.
I related to Ender who questioned, “why else do you think I have wandered from world to world for all these years, if not to find a place for you [Hive Queen] (Card 69).” I wandered into the middle of the unknown, known as the Jemez mountains and was greatly rewarded. Sci-Fi novels are excellent at finding the gray area of what people don’t remember in science and warping it just enough to accomplish the impossible (I enjoy intelligent fantasy). My favorite pre-chapter insight highlighted the fact that “the Descolada body isn’t bacterial. It seems to enter the cells of the body and take up permanent residence, just like mitochondria, reproducing when the cell reproduces (Card 134).” I found the biological and moral theme well woven.
Within the novel the Xenologists, jacks-of-all-science, studied piggies; I imagined them as little bears, like the ones from Star Wars. However, the day the Xenologers Pipo and Libo happened upon “Rooter [who] lay spread-eagled in the cleared dirt. He had been eviscerated, and not carelessly. Each organ had been cleanly separated…
nothing had been completely severed (Card 25-26),” I questioned their Star Wars cuddiliness. The gruesome scene they painted before the reader invited a self analysis of the human race and questioned what “we” consider alien. Eventually, things did work out. When Ender was creating the treaties with the piggies at the very end of the story he had to explain that sometimes the way things have always been is not always the right way, “Ender marveled at his mind, this small raman. How few humans were able to grasp this idea, or let it extend beyond the narrow confines of their tribe, their family, their nation (338).”Ender acted as the philosophical messiah that shed light on all that was right in the life of a person or alien who didn’t fit in.