In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: The Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War.
Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered, but again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening...again,... read more
The second book in the Ender Series
Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card is the second science-fiction novel in Ender's Quartet. Preceded by Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead picks up nearly three thousand years later. The main character of Ender's Game, Andrew 'Ender' Wiggin,... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
The second book in the Ender Series
Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card is the second science-fiction novel in Ender's Quartet. Preceded by Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead picks up nearly three thousand years later. The main character of Ender's Game, Andrew 'Ender' Wiggin, appears again in Speaker for the Dead, because in the futuristic time setting of interstellar travel, taking a ship from one planet to another will only take you a few weeks, but to everyone not on your ship, it would appear to take decades. This allowed Ender and his sister, Valentine, to survive the momentous years by 'skipping' from planet to planet, while those around them aged and passed away.
Ender is a Speaker for the Dead, meaning that when someone is disheartened at one's passing, they call for a Speaker to speak the truth of their lives, good and bad, no matter how difficult it might be to hear. This is how he skipped from planets, for on each planet, he stayed less then a year working on the speaking of one of his calls. His next call comes from a young girl called Novinha, for the speaking of Pipo, the closest thing she ever had to father, since her parents died when she was of a young age. She called Ender from the planet with the least calls in his history; Lusitania. Lusitania is framed around the Bishop of the Catholic church and believes that people should only be remembered by the good of their lives, forgetting their mistakes. For this, they despise Speakers, for they speak both a person's best and worst. Speakers do this because from one's mistakes, we learn what they wished their lives to be, and how it made their hearts react if it failed.
So as Ender went to answer the call, he left his sister behind for the first time in thousands of years. In Trondheim, she had married and was with child, and though she wished to accompany Ender, she knew that she could not. As Ender leaves on the ship, he knows that Valentine, and Novinha, will age for almost twenty years, while he will only age for two weeks. The weeks pass to Ender, and at the end he is found as he was. As the years pass to Valentine, she bears three children and is in her late forties. To Novinha, she gets a married, has six children, and lives through the passing of her husband. When Ender lands on Lusitania, the adventure begins.
Pipo was found dead near the gate surrounding the piggies. The 'piggies' are a humanoid alien figure with abnormally large snouts (thus the name piggies). Pipo was a xenologer studying the creatures. He has all his vital organs removed, while his eyes stared lovingly at the creatures he had for years studied. Ender has to find out why Pipo was killed, and whether the piggies are human or animals, while trying to find the history behind Novinha's children and their departed father. As the secrets are unraveled, the people of Lusitania are hit with more than they ever thought possible. The answers lie in Speaker for the Dead, by Orson Scott Card.
“Since we are not yet fully comfortable with the idea that people from the next village are as human as ourselves, it is presumptuous in the extreme to suppose we could ever look at sociable, tool-making creatures who arose from other evolutionary paths and see not beasts but brothers, not rivals but fellow pilgrims journeying to the shrine of intelligence.Yet that is what I see, or yearn to see. The difference between raman and varelse is not in the creature judged, but in the creature judging. When we declare an alien species to be raman, it does not mean that they have passed a threshold of moral maturity. It means that we have.”Demosthenes
“...touching her heart is like bathing in ice.”“I imagine. I imagine it feels like bathing in ice to the person touching her. But how does it feel to her? Cold as she is, it must surely burn like fire.”
“She's a much more popular teacher than you are--she answers questions with answers; you just answer with more questions.”Plikt
“No human being, when you understand his desires, is worthless. No one's life is nothing. Even the most evil of men and women, if you understand their hearts, had some generous act that redeems them, at least a little, from their sin.”Andrew Wiggin
“Will he always come between us?”“Yes,” said Ela. “Like a bridge he'll come between us, not a wall.”
“No human being, when you understand his desires, is worthless. No one’s life is nothing. Even the most evil of men and women, if you understand their hearts, had some generous act that redeems them, at least a little, from their sins.”Highlighted by 329 Kindle customers
“This is how humans are: We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we really believe, and those we never think to question.Highlighted by 305 Kindle customers
When you really know somebody, you can’t hate them.” “Or maybe it’s just that you can’t really know them until you stop hating them.”Highlighted by 249 Kindle customers
Once you understand what people really want, you can’t hate them anymore. You can fear them, but you can’t hate them, because you can always find the same desires in your own heart.”Highlighted by 242 Kindle customers
For he loved her, as you can only love someone who is an echo of yourself at your time of deepest sorrow.Highlighted by 203 Kindle customers
Only one rabbi dared to expect of us such a perfect balance that we could preserve the law and still forgive the deviation. So, of course, we killed him.Highlighted by 184 Kindle customers
“As long as you keep getting born, it’s all right to die sometimes.”Highlighted by 149 Kindle customers
No, to understand who a person really was, what his or her life really meant, the speaker for the dead would have to explain their self-story—what they meant to do, what they actually did, what they regretted, what they rejoiced in. That’s the story that we never know, the story that we never can know—and yet, at the time of death, it’s the only story truly worth telling.Highlighted by 142 Kindle customers
I grew dissatisfied with the way that we use our funerals to revise the life of the dead, to give the dead a story so different from their actual life that, in effect, we kill them all over again. No, that is too strong. Let me just say that we erase them, we edit them, we make them into a person much easier to live with than the person who actually lived.Highlighted by 123 Kindle customers
It was the miracle of the wafer, turned into the flesh of God in his hands. How suddenly we find the flesh of God within us after all, when we thought that we were only made of dust.Highlighted by 112 Kindle customers
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