Study Guide

Speaker for the Dead Literature and Writing

By Orson Scott Card

Literature and Writing

Ender is a fantasy of the writer as supergod. He has a near-mystical (or just plain mystical) ability to see everyone's story and know them better than they know themselves just by seeing their face on a screen a couple of worlds away. He makes up scenes which really, truly happened just as he says they did. And when he writes (or speaks), his insights and prose transform everyone they touch with the depth of their meaningfulness. It's hard not to imagine Card finishing the book, leaning back from the typewriter, and thinking, "Wow. I'd like to be that guy." (Shmoop's prose, of course, is so limpid and transformative that Shmoop need envy no one. See? There.Your life changed. Just admit it.)

Questions About Literature and Writing

  1. Is Ender a great writer because he is empathic? Or the other way around?
  2. Does Ender write fiction?
  3. Is Ender a different person from the Speaker for the Dead? Is Valentine a different person than Demosthenes?

Chew on This

Ender is writing his own story when he writes The Life of Human.

In Speaker for the Dead, literature is its own religion.