Have you ever wondered what a child prodigy would seem like? Yes? No? Well, in the book “Shadow of the Hegemon” by Orson Scott Card, Bean, a child genius, is a very calculated and risk-taking character.
Although Bean may be around 13 years old, he shows a very strong calculating characteristic in his personality. In the exposition, after his family’s house was blown up in attempt to assassinate him, Bean, the protagonist, devises a plan “‘to keep moving. No more than a few week in any one place,’ said Bean. ‘And I have to get on the nets new identities every time we move, so no one can track the pattern’” (Card 61). The text reveals that despite being tracked by antagonist Achilles (pronounced ah-shEELS), who kidnapped most of the Battle School graduates, Bean has created a hiding plan on the spot to ensure the safety of his family and friends. This shows that Bean cares a lot about his family and can think outside the box. To be a child prodigy, you must be clever; however, Bean is also a very risk-taking character. After Bean proposed a mission to save Petra, Peter said, “‘You never know a military mission will succeed. And that’s not what worries me… you’re making the assumption Petra wants to be rescued’” (205). In the text, it is implied that Peter thinks that Bean is a stubborn, daring person as Bean planned an almost-impossible mission without knowing all the details; although, Bean is actually non-verbally expressing that no matter what happens, if Petra does or doesn’t want to be saved, he will bring her back. Now that’s true friendship right there.
Although I can never be as great and influential as Bean, we both share one characteristic, which is being very calculating. Like Bean’s hiding plan, I calculate a lot with my swimming sprint times. Whenever I want to improve on my times during a swim meet, I would split up the distance into intervals. If I need to swim a 200m freestyle under 2:20, I would divide the distance by time, and I would get eight 25m freestyles in 17.5 seconds each, which would then help me pace and reach my goal time.
Throughout the whole plot of the book, Bean is characterized as a calculating and risk-taking character, which helps explain his actions and emphasize many scenes. Despite being fictional, Bean is one of the most clever and considerate characters I know.
Picture Credit: Card, Orson Scott. “Ender’s Shadow Quotes.” Quotesgram. Quotesgram, n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2016.