Social isolation destroys innocence, Discuss this viewpoint through a discussion of Orson Scott Card's Ender’s Game and Goldings' Lord of the Flies?
Innocence and youth are difficult to identify throughout Ender’s Game or Lord of the Flies. As both novels progress, the reader understands that the children are being forced to make hard decisions at too young an age. But being a child has its advantages, Ender considers what “it would feel like to have hands as large as a grown-up's. They must feel so big and awkward, thick stubby fingers and beefy palms.” and when Ralph blows the conch, children approach because they have an ingrained sense of order and obedience. But is innocence ever present in children? Both of these books portray isolated children as being every bit as ambitious, conniving, controlling, fearful, ignorant, angry, hungry, and loving as adults1. Which, of course, they are. In both novels, children are presented as a being in refinement, and in each situation another facet of their character is illuminated and moulded. The boys throughout both novels learn to respond to their environment and situation, and it is this process that destroys innocence and reveals their personalities. T. Maddison said “no one loses their innocence, it is either taken or given away willingly”, and throughout the novels Ralph and Ender have theirs taken, whereas Jack and Stilson give theirs away. I believe that it is the social isolation of being leader's in both the form of the Chief and being the best that isolates Ender and Ralph from the others as forces them to let their innocence be taken.
Direct quote from Orson Scott Card off
River (his website)In Ender's game, it is clear from the outset of the book that he distrusts adults in general. The first thing an adult says to him is both patronising and a lie. He has come to realise at six years old that adults lie frequently, he readily accepts the lie when the nurse says, "This won't hurt a bit". It is a prediction that it will hurt because adults always say the same lie. This shows us that Ender has never felt a connection with adults, we soon discover he has no respect for his teachers as "It gave him something to do while the teacher droned on about arithmetic. Arithmetic! Valentine had taught him arithmetic when he was three ". The use of 'droned' here implies each of emotion, routine and his boredom. This lack of respect initially merely shows us his intelligence, but throughout the book we realise this is also due to his parent's emotional distance from him. Graff explains, “they see you as a badge of pride, because they were able to circumvent the law and have a Third. But you're also a badge of cowardice, because they dare not go further and practice the noncompliance they still feel is right.”For Ender's parents, Ender is their form of disobedience but they are also ashamed of their own lack of conviction. This affects him profoundly and is the fi...