Skip navigation

Category Archives: C. Exact

Calvino defines Exactitude as accomplishing three things:

1. a well-defined and calculated plan for the work
2. evocation of clear, incisive, memorable images
3. a language as precise as possible in choice of words and expression of subtleties

I think Ender’s Game easily satisfies the first two conditions of Exactitude. The book is acclaimed for its last appeal. It represents the triumph of a single boy over his own military, his classmates, and an alien race. Card created a great tale about strategy and tactics that kept the reader cheering for Ender, because the reader was able to identify with Ender’s problems. I think any story where the protagonist can triumph against all odds will excite the reader and leave a lasting impression.

It satisfies the second condition as well, because it created a lot of original ideas. Card prophetically guesses that the world will be consumed by global politics in the near future, and that war is really the only thing that brings these powers together as one. Furthermore, his concept of Battle School, and recruiting children into the military is a very original concept. Ender is six or seven years old when the story begins, and by the end he’s barely in his teens and saving the human race. The lasting effect of the Battle School idea was the creation of the game Laser Tag, which was a popular game in arcades during the 90’s.

Lastly, I think Card had a very precise style in his writing. He conveyed characters’ thoughts and emotions extremely well so the reader could always sympthize with their plight. He successfully immersed audiences in the thoughts of those tasked with saving humanity.


So then, what would be the best way to convey the Exactitude of Card’s writing and the legacy he left with his book? Well, we have our first hint right there: precision and leaving a lasting mark. Card’s writing influenced many writers after him to write in a way that would create memorable characters in very possible futures.

I think Macnab would describe Exactitude as being embodied by the number four. The number four, Macanab states, is the first number to indicate depth (as the first 3 points are planar). This fourth point creates the tetrahedron. Depth in Ender’s Game, I think, is shown by the lasting impression it has had on people after they read it. One emblem of precision, the crosshairs, are represented as 4 lines emerging from a center point.


The evocation of this image should be pretty clear. The Target symbol is the epitome of precision, turning a standard bull’s eye into a pop icon to represent their ability to target demographics and trends with considerable skill. Macnab points out that this design was used because a “bull’s eye is a term for success and hitting the mark.” While at first glance, the Target symbol seems to only have two elements, the dot and the surrounding circle, I see it as four. There are two segments of red, but also the contrasting areas, the white spaces. The red represents the mark(s) being made, and the whiteness is all that is affected by it.

I think the significance of this symbol is that the point in the middle represents the “impact” that Target has made, and the circle around it is the ripple effect. I think Macanab would argue that the depth the Target logo creates as a result of its “impact” is representative of the number four. The ripple effect is the lasting mark that something makes in its field, which is something that Ender’s Game has also done in the science fiction genre.


The simplicity of this emblem is probably what I like the most about it. I took an image of another planet (it doesn’t matter which) to represent the Formic homeworld. Since Ender’s objective is to fight the Formics, I have a crosshair targeting their homeworld. As mentioned previously, the crosshair can be composed of four lines and thus divides an image into four quadrants.

Ender eventually does destroy the alien homeworld, which is what makes this emblem fitting. While I chose not to put a ripple effect on this emblem, destroying the planet surely did have some conseuences in the diegesis. Fror one, Ender was ridden with guilt over wha the had done and passed into a coma. That is the mark of Exactitude–to not only hit the mark but to leave one behind.

Continue to D. Visible.