Orson Scott Card’s Speaker For The Dead

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Orson Scott Card’s Speaker For The Dead is another tale that delves on miscommunication. But the story did not end tragically. It did not also led to death of humans or the wipe out of an entire alien race. The Speaker For The Dead offers Ender the redemption he so desperately sought after the Xenocide of the Buggers in the preceding book due to miscommunication.

In Speaker for the Dead, Ender was called by his real name Andrew Wiggin. Ender wanted to amend for his previous mistake by working as a speaker for the dead or a person who speaks in behalf of the dead to shed light on their actions or the way they lived their lives.

Another possible miscommunication problem arose in the story when a new specie of intelligent alien called the Pequeninos or popularly known as the “piggies” had been discovered. Conflict arose when the piggies killed two xenologists – Pipo and Libo. The killing started when Novinha discovered the presence of descolada in every life form in Lusitania. The significance of Pipo’s and Libo’s murders was revealed: the piggies do not consider the trees as their gods and do not worship them.

The trees came from dead piggies called the brothertrees. Another tree was the fathertree derived from dissected piggies. These fathertrees are capable of reproduction and are sentient. Descolada aids in the change of piggies to trees. Due to Ender’s efforts, he was able to forge peace between humans and piggies through a signed treaty. In this instance, Ender effectively lessened the harmful effects of miscommunication.

Card’s Speaker for the Dead offers us hope in the midst of such grimness. Humans, as we are, miscommunication would be something we need to cope with. With Speaker for the Dead we learned that the hope of eradicating the debilitating effects of miscommunication is found in the act of reaching out to another person or race.

It is indeed ironic that we come to hate what we don’t understand. At the same time, we come to understand only if we stop hating. All three stories depict the kind of hatred that could stem from miscommunication. Hatred could be as blinded as Ender’s. But hatred and its dire consequences could be greatly reduced if we all take the time to understand the enemy. At least, if not to understand them, then to stop hating them so we could start the long process of understanding their motives.

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