Bean as Our Future: How Ender's Shadow Disputes the 1997 Backlash Against Human Cloning
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In 1997, Dr. Ian Wilmut and colleagues at the Roslin Institute performed a successful somatic cell nuclear transfer on a female sheep named Dolly. Fear-mongering media coverage of Dolly immediately postulated concerns surrounding potential human cloning. In 1999, Orson Scott Card reimagined the Enderverse with the genetically enhanced clone Bean as the protagonist for Ender’s Shadow. Bean exists as Card’s counterexample to the aforementioned speculation. Card’s portrayal of Bean posits a world in which cloning technologies maintain human dignity, respect individuality, and benefit mankind’s pursuits. This paper demonstrates the historical concerns surrounding cloning as inadequately corroborated through analyses of Bean and Ender as literary foils, of Bean and Nikolai as unique personalities despite being genetic copies, and of Bean as a helpful wholesome clone due to the Christian education Sister Carlotta provides him. By presenting a contradiction to dispute the media’s fallacious and unfounded claims, Card requests more discourse over the cloning debate and pleads for an understanding of various perspectives.