Essay on Snares of Steel and Thought

Submitted By AndrewWiggin
Words: 711
Pages: 3

Jachin Smith
English 10.1
3 September 2012
Snares of Steel and Thought
Like a well-constructed trap, the power of manipulation can be utilized in more ways than one. Although traps that are crafted of steel and stakes are viewed as the most pestilent, the snares that creep and tick are those that hold my interest. As Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game progresses, we see multiple forms of manipulation winding and clicking into place in the minds of those who are affected. However, with time to think, I have come to see that while sticks and stones may break your bones, words can quell a spirit. Verbal manipulation within Ender’s Game is abundant with almost every turn of the page, and with each turn, we see how strongly the words of each character affect the introspective world of Ender. Even when things aren’t said directly to him, Ender is being analyzed and manipulated, and while that may not be viewed initially as negative, it affects him nonetheless. “And the mind game is designed to help shape them, help them find worlds they can be comfortable in” (Card 121). Within the novel, Ender had plenty of time to himself, and during so, he played the “fantasy game.” The game, however, started to influence his thoughts, and eventually, his actions and mannerisms. Likewise, we are affected in everyday life by things that we don’t even know are ensconcing themselves within our minds. The most common example of manipulation of this type is subliminal advertising. Sometimes, verbal manipulation is so potent that it can opt to bite its tongue. With the snares of tongue and thought being discussed, we look to the pitfalls forged of steel and spitting flame; physical intimidation. From a very early time in Ender’s life, he has had to defend himself against physical attacks. His brother, Peter, has bullied him for quite some time, and has even become a symbol for injustice and other negative qualities. When Ender is not the best he can be, he views himself as nothing more than a product of Peter’s discipline. “I’m a murderer, even when I play. Peter would be proud of me.” (Card 65) In Ender’s mind, Peter is even related to murder. Throughout Ender’s life, he has been pushing himself further away from the qualities he deems as “Peter’s,” but while he’s doing this, we see that Peter’s attacks had no direction. Just as word without action is meaningless, action without direction is treacherous. Reckless words, however, can serve a purpose. In a recent UN speech, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made comments that were, for lack of a better word, abrasive. In this speech, Ahmadinejad did such things as threaten Israel, referred to 9/11 as a “big lie,” and much more. The things said in…