Ender's Game

Problems Of Modern Society Depicted in Ender’s Game

February 15, 2021 by Essay Writer

Imagine a world in which your childhood was stripped away from you. One that forced you into slavery, the military, or even marital trades. In the novel Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, this is exactly the kind of world the main characters are living in. Ender was taken to become a member of the military at a very young age, and forced to fight the so-called “invaders” of our planet. Children in our world face very similar fates today. Child labor is a massive issue in today’s society and in Ender’s Game because children are often coerced into doing things no child should do, and children are forced into servitude or slavery. Ender’s Game points out the severity of this issue by showing how the children being forced to fight are feeling. This essay will point out the similarities between present child labor issues and the issues depicted in Card’s novel.

Firstly, one of the important topics that Card’s novel Ender’s Game touches on, is child enslavement. This issue is obviously immoral, and is against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which proclaims that “no one shall be held in slavery or servitude” in Article 4. It also states that “slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.” In Ender’s Game, the children are taken from their families and put into Battle School, where they are then forced to train to kill aliens. This is similar to how children are often forced into trades such as human trafficking, where women and girls are kidnapped and sold to people all over the world. Except in the book, the children are traded between fleets and groups in which they are going to fight. According to the International Center for Research on Women, one third of girls are married before the age of eighteen. This means that underage children are put into arranged marriages, or sold to a foreign husband, or even kidnapped and sold to a man or group of men.

Yet another main subject of Card’s novel is the issue of child warfare. Child warfare is the use of children as “weapons” during wars, hence the name. The main character, Ender, is a prime example of one of these children. Ender was brought to Battle School when he was about ten years old, and trained to be one of the top soldiers in the fight against the “Buggers,” which were what the aliens supposedly invading Earth were called. Another character named Dink explained to Ender that “[the teachers] get [them] to fight each other, to hate each other” (Card 108), which was a breakthrough in the story because it revealed to Ender that they were just being used by the adults. This is similar to how armed forces take advantage of children in the real world. According to childrenandarmedconflict.un.org, “There are many ways for children to become associated with armed forces and groups. Some children are abducted and beaten into submission, others join military groups to escape poverty, to defend their communities, out of a feeling of revenge or for other reasons.” This quote is speaking about how easy it is for adults to manipulate children into doing their “dirty work” and using them to fight in war.

Lastly, Ender’s Game draws attention to child labour in general. For hundreds of years, we have coerced children into working the jobs no adult wants to do, often in places with poor conditions. Almost every country has had issues with child labour, and children are forced into working for little pay. Geir Moulson wrote in an article about “an exuberant group of children rescued from mines, sweatshops and servitude descended on Geneva… and inspired calls for the International Labor Organization to restrict child labor worldwide.” His writing tells about a large population of children that had been found working potentially dangerous jobs, that were recently rescued from their entrapment. In the novel, the book is centered around the idea the the adults are using all of these brilliant young minds to do their bidding. Adults have been using children for purposes like this for centuries, despite the many laws against it.

In conclusion, the novel Ender’s Game points out the problems we have in our society, especially when it comes to child enslavement and child warfare. Across the globe, innocent young minds are forced into things like Ender in Card’s novel, taken at a young age and told that they must follow orders or else they will be beaten or killed. Children are not only taken as soldiers, but also enslaved to work in abhorrent conditions, as well as forced into being sold as wives or mistresses. By bringing attention to the mistreatment of children, Card paved the way for readers to take a stand themselves, and defend the less fortunate. Maybe you should join them.

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Comparison Of Good And Evil in Ender’s Game

February 15, 2021 by Essay Writer

In the End, Good Intentions are Never Enough

“Valentine turned and screamed at him, screamed as if he were killing her ‘Ender is not like Peter! He is not like Peter in any way! Except that he’s smart, that’s all — in every other way a person could possibly be like Peter he is nothing nothing nothing like Peter! Nothing! “(Card 148). In the novel, Enders Game by Orson Scott Card, good and evil are compared through Ender Wiggin and his older brother, Peter. The novel examines how certain outcomes cannot be changed despite good or bad intentions, but these intentions are vital when analyzing a character.

This novel focuses on the life of the protagonist, Andrew (Ender) Wiggin, a child genius, from the age of six to fourteen. Throughout the novel Ender struggles to follow his moral compass while being manipulated and deceived. Ender faces various antagonists in his life from Peter and other bullies at his school, to authority figures that often either ignore or try to manipulate him. His only companion is his sister, Valentine. Ender is separated from her at the age of six when he is recruited by the international fleet to defend Earth from an inevitable alien invasion. He is brought to a training school where he is deliberately isolated from the other students by the director and the instructors. He is a brilliant military strategist and is hated by other students who resent Ender or mistake his confidence for arrogance. After several years

Ender is moved to command school where he begins to play a virtual strategy game that simulates space combat. He is joined by friends from the training school who accompany him as captains in the simulation. After becoming experienced at the game, Ender and his comrades are forced to face their greatest challenge, battle scenarios created by a war hero, Mazer Rackham who seems determined to defeat Ender by making the scenarios more and more challenging. The final battle is the most unfair. Ender commands only a few ships which must fight a massive fleet of enemy ships defending a planet. Determined to fail this test, Ender attacks the planet with a molecular disruptor believing that this act of barbarity would prove Ender not fit to be a commander. The planet is destroyed, but instead of reprimanding him, the adults at the school congratulate him. Ender is confused until Mazer explains that the simulations were a deception and that he was controlling real space battles. The planet Ender destroyed was actually the aliens’ home planet. Ender realizes that he has just killed billions of aliens and passes out, waking up days later. After a few more months at command school, Ender is reunited with Valentine and leaves on a voyage to colonize an abandoned alien planet where he tries to find a way to follow his ethical code.

Ender Wiggin has two major motivations: his sense of duty and responsibility, and his moral code. Sometimes these two motivations support the same actions but other times they are opposing. This creates an internal conflict in Ender which is usually resolved with careful reasoning. The only serious changes that Ender goes through are in physical size and in spirit. Ender is much more disenchanted at the end of the novel, but he is still driven by his moral obligations. “‘We have to go. I’m almost happy here […] I’ve lived too long with pain. I won’t know who I am without it.’ So they boarded a starship and went from world to world. Wherever they stopped, he was always Andrew Wiggin, itinerant speaker for the dead, and she was always Valentine, historian errant, writing down the stories of the living while Ender spoke the stories of the dead”(323-324). Ender feels an obligation to tell the stories of the aliens who he has destroyed and, although he enjoys life on his colony, he feels that he must follow his moral compass.

One important theme that Card conveys in this novel is that good intentions do not always lead to good actions or outcomes. At the beginning of the novel Ender is considered the “good” sibling because he is much kinder and more peaceful than Peter is and he is not able to defend himself. Peter is considered “evil” because he takes out his anger on people weaker than he, such as Ender. These seemingly simple ideas of good and evil are examined and dissected by Card in order to explain to the reader the relationships between intentions and actions, and how what one can do may be totally different from what that person feels. This is evident through Ender’s actions; at the age of six, Ender is attacked at school by a bully named Stilson. Stilson is larger than Ender and, although he tries to avoid a conflict, Ender is drawn in and forced to fight. Ender fights well and eventually knocks Stilson down and proceeds to kick him thinking, “I have to win this now, and for all time, or I’ll fight it every day and it will get worse and worse”(7). This psychology leads Ender to beat Stilson brutally regardless of his ethical feelings. A similar incident occurs at the battle school when an older boy attacks Ender in the shower. Ender first tries to talk the boy out of a fight but fails. Ender has to fight, and he fights well defeating the other boy swiftly and harshly, continuing to hit him once he has been beaten. It is not until years later that Ender learns that both boys have died from their injuries. During his life, Peter never kills anybody, and actually saves millions of lives by stopping a great war and gaining power over the world. The most evil acts that Peter ever commits are bullying and the vivisection of animals for pleasure; however, Peter exhibits sociopathic behaviors while Ender is compassionate and empathetic even for his enemies and always tries to do what he believes is right. Ender’s intentions are good throughout the story, whereas Peters are often selfish or evil; because of circumstances, these intentions are often insignificant in the outcome of an action but important when judging a character. By this reasoning Ender is proven a “good” person and Peter a “bad” person regardless of their actions.

One literary device that is significant in this novel is foreshadowing. Each chapter of the book begins with a conversation between two adults who are discussing Ender. These adults are usually high ranking members of the International Fleet. Their conversation always foreshadows the events that will occur in that chapter. One example of this foreshadowing occurs in chapter 10, the chapter starts with a talk between directors of the school: “‘what we’re going to do to him isn’t all bad, you know. He gets his privacy again.’ ‘Isolation, you mean’ ‘The loneliness of power. Go call him in’” (155) Later in the chapter, Ender is Isolated by other students when he is made a “commander”. This device is effective because it adds suspense by giving the reader a hint of what will occur in the upcoming chapter, evoking his or her curiosity, and revealing to the reader how the International Fleet sees Ender and plans for him, concepts that we can’t learn from Ender.

In Enders Game by Orson Scott Card good and evil are compared through two brothers who seem to be complete opposites. Ender is considered the “good” brother and Peter the “evil” brother, however because of circumstances. Peter saves many lives by ending a war and taking control of the earth, whereas Ender kills two boys and billions of aliens. This comparison is used by Card to express the idea that a character can still be good or bad regardless of their actions as long as they remain the same morally. Peter could have easily taken the world over with war instead of peace if the circumstances had been different. Ender deeply regrets killing and often examines himself to see if he is becoming like Peter. The relationship between these brothers represents the idea that a person’s action does not always define him/her and can often be misleading.

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Manipulation in “Ender’s Game”

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

The Ender’s Game, written by Orson Scott Card, presents a futuristic setting where the government selectively chooses, controls and trains young prodigies to win the endless battles against the “buggers” or aliens. Ender, the main character of this novel, is a six-year-old prodigy who lives with two siblings, Peter and Valentine who both underwent government monitoring. The government forces Ender to act the way they would like by monitoring him constantly, and tricks Ender into being a part of the International Fleet to fight against the buggers. Ender skips some ranks in the battle schools as he quickly learns the war techniques and skills. The teachers isolate and manipulate Ender on purpose to bring out Ender’s inner killer instinct like his older brother, Peter. Due to the officials’ strict control of Ender’s life and his time in battle schools Ender undergoes a series of challenges and faces a social isolation. How the government controlled Ender was inhumane, and the officials’ lack of recognition and reluctance on this issue eventually cause mental and emotional distress as well as depression.

In chapter one, Card portrays how the government manipulates Ender through the monitor. “‘We were connected directly to your brain. We heard all that you heard, whether you were listening carefully or not. Whether you understood or not. We understand’” (Card 23). The conversation shows that the officials have closely monitored Ender, even before he started battle school and took his privacy away. It also gave the government the capability to have an early manipulation on him. The government has invaded Ender’s privacy, even before he was mature enough to consider any contracts between him and someone else. The government took advantage of Ender’s ignorance in his childhood, taking away his privacy and manipulating him.

The officials isolate Ender socially to help him concentrate on his training, so that he would quickly be ready to fight the buggers. “With Ender, we have to strike a delicate balance. Isolate him enough that he remains creative – otherwise he’ll adopt the system here and we’ll lose him‘’”(Card 27). The conversation between the officials depicts what they are going to do to Ender – to isolate him so that he won’t have any friends that might “distract” him from being a commander to win the war with buggers. Also, the officials made Ender become brutal to other people, turning him into a murderer. Card manifests another social isolation by quoting, “The fear stayed, all through dinner as no one sat by him in the mess hall. The other boys were talking about things – the big scoreboard on one wall, the food, the bigger kids. Ender could only watch in isolation”(41). Card carefully describes the isolation of Ender in the dining hall, and his description shows that the officials have successfully isolated Ender. As a result, Ender becomes socially isolated, which made Ender emotionally and mentally distressed.

After the final game between Mazer Rackham and Ender, Colonel Graff reveals to Ender that the officials had manipulated him into killing the buggers, instead of playing war simulation games with Mazer Rackham. Colonel Graff quotes, “‘Of course we tricked you into it. That’s the whole point … You had to become a weapon, Ender. Like a gun, like the Little Doctor, functioning perfectly but not knowing what you were aimed at’”(Card 298). It is clear that the officials had manipulated Ender through feeding him endless lies and going against Ender’s actual desire. Ender didn’t want to be a killer or murderer, but the officials had deceived Ender to win the war. The government’s control and manipulation affected Ender emotionally, since Ender didn’t want to “become Peter” after decimating the enemies. The government’s lies to Ender were wrong, and they need to be responsible for affecting Ender’s emotion negatively, since Ender especially felt regretful for killing the buggers.

The government’s enforcement of abusive manipulation on Ender has affected his mental and emotional states. After all, the government initiated manipulation on Ender through the monitor, socially isolated Ender, and fed Ender endless lies to achieve what they wanted at the end. As a victim in the government’s devious plan, Ender underwent a great depression, both emotionally and mentally. However, the government did not even bother to help Ender out in the least bit. These events show the government officials’ cruelty and inhmane treatment towards Ender. What the government did to Ender to achieve what they want was inhumane, and their manipulation must stop so people like Ender and other prodigies can make their own decisions for more growth and independence.

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Analysis Of The Enders Game

May 19, 2020 by Essay Writer
  1. Bibliography:
  • Card, Orson. Ender’s Game.  New York: Tom Doherty Associates Book, 1991.
  • 370 pages
  1. Title:

It is called Ender’s Game because the main characters nickname is Ender. He ends the final game by winning the battle for Earth against the buggers. It is also called Ender’s Game because if they didn’t win everything was over for Earth.  The human race was going to be extinct and the buggers were going to colonize Earth. 

  1. Characters:

Ender is the protagonist and the main character of the story. Everything in the book and movie is based around him. Physically he is skinny, has a large head, and is not athletic. He is also portrayed as nice, but strict and a good leader.

Petra is a main character and one of Ender’s first female friends at battle school.  She is athletic, fast, and strong. She is also nice, open minded, and a strong leader too.

Alai is Ender’s first friend straight out of the fresh group of Launchy’s. He is skinny, has a small head, and he is also not athletic. He is also kind, open minded to all, and a good group leader.

Dink is Enders second best friend while in Rat Army under command of Rose the Nose. He is athletic, fast, and strong. He is also commanding, a teacher, and a leader.

Graff is the Colonel of the International Fleet who first came to recruit Ender from his house back on Earth. He is fat, slow, and not athletic. However he is also smart, tricky, and a mental torturer.

Bean is Ender’s best friend while he was commanding Dragon Army. He is small, skinny, and athletic. He is also smart, quick minded, and a take charge person.

Major Anderson was in charge of all the battles that Ender’s army fought against other army’s. He is overweight, tall, and not athletic. He is also kind, outgoing, and a giver.

Valentine was the main lover in the book. She was Ender’s older sister who loved him with all her heart and he loved her with all his heart. She is athletic, tall, and skinny. She is also known as a lover, is open minded, and intelligent.

  1. Setting:

The main events take place on Eros at the command training center. The Protagonists childhood occurs on Earth through the age of 6. Eros is a dark and scary place where an alien species colony was murdered by the humans to make a space outpost. In the book, Earth is turned into a war zone between all the world’s leaders’ countries and are hungry for world control.

  1. Plot:

Chapter 1: Third

  • The first chapter begins with Colonel Graff and Major Anderson having a conversation about if Ender Wiggin is the one to save the human race from the buggers. They also are debating whether he is the same as his brother or sister or a good mix of both.
  • Graff and Anderson decide to see what Ender’s reaction would be to the kids at school if he were to have his monitor chip, in the back of his neck, removed. This same thing happened to his siblings, but not for the same reasons.
  • Him losing his monitor chip creates others to hate him. A bully named Stilson was picking on Ender and pushing him around.  Ender defended himself with a sharp object.  Stilson fell to the ground and Ender began kicking him repeatedly. Friends of Stilson asked Ender to stop, so he did.

Chapter 2: Peter

  • Chapter two begins with Colonel Graff approving of how Ender reacted to the beating of the school bully Stilson. They then start thinking that they don’t need to make Ender happy. They need to make it to where he’ll save the world for them.
  • They start comparing Ender to Mazer Rackham who died in the second Invasion at Earth against the buggers. Mazer was a man who Ender grew up watching and studying on videos through his young ages.  

Chapter 3: Graff

  • Graff and Anderson talk about how they need Ender to come with them to battle school. But aren’t sure if he will love his sister. They had a very strong bond. So Graff goes to get Ender from his household.
  • He first brings up the fight with Stilson as if they are there to punish him. Then they ask why he did it and Ender’s answer was, I wanted to end all the battles to come, not just that one. Then Graff’s reply was, Ender I would like to invite you to our Battle School.

Chapter 4: Launch

  • Graff and another adult are deciding on what to do with Ender. They then decide that Ender must be isolated to become the soldier they want him to be. They want him to be a super smart genius and have authority and leadership skills.
  • Ender’s first observation of the other children there is they act like kids, laughing and playing. He knows they are being watched by the adults and commanders. He decides he must be serious and show he is a leader. 
  • He begins to realize that the gravity will affect them differently in space than on Earth. He begins to think of how things look to people in space because of the foreign gravity to all the children. This are the kinds of things that make Ender stand out from the other children.

Chapter 5: Games

  • Graff continues to insist that isolation is best for Ender. They want him to think no one will ever help him, in and out of a battle. Ender and his other launchies in his group are introduced to Dap who is going to be taking care of them.
  • Ender then goes to the game room to get the feel of it. He then challenges an older student to best out of 3 matches. Ender loses the first by a lot. Then barely takes the victory the second time around. Then on the final game Ender sweeps the student making him furious and forcing that boy and his friends to remember the six year old Ender Wiggin.

Chapter 6: The Giant’s Drink

  • At the start of this chapter Graff is discussing with another adult that Ender’s launchy group is split apart because there is a bully that dislikes Ender because they know how he is favored by Colonel Graff. Ender begins playing a video game called Fairy Land to escape from the others. This game messes with Ender’s head and makes him have suicidal thoughts.  It had been known to do that.
  • Ender and the other launchies take their first trip to the battle room to get a feel of null gravity. They aren’t used to the suits and how they feel. Ender and Alai quickly figure out how to rebound in null gravity and start experimenting with their freeze guns on themselves and other launchies.

Chapter 7: Salamander

  • The chapter begins with Graff having a conversation with General Levy about Levy being concerned and having doubts about Ender being a kid. Graff is happy now that Ender got past the Giant’s Drink, an extremely difficult level on the game Fairy Land that Ender has been playing. Levy is concerned that none of the students at the battle school act like actual kids at all. Levy tells Graff not to hurt Ender any more than he has to.
  • Ender ends up finding out later that not that he has been transferred to the Salamander Army under the command of Bonzo Madrid. Graff felt that it was time for Ender to leave as he was starting to see Ender get close to some of the other launchies, isolation was key to them.
  • The salamander Army has a battle when Ender first arrives. Commander Bonzo informs Ender to stay back. Ender defies orders and goes in anyways and was the only soldier to be totally untouched.

Chapter 8: Rat

  • Graff wants Anderson to set up unfair battle simulations for Ender’s army. So it challenges him and puts him to the limit. She objects, saying the school is based off the fairness of the battles.
  • Ender is again transferred to Rat Army which is in command by Rose the Nose. Rose says he can’t sue his desk where he plays games and can’t practice with launchies anymore. But then a boy named Dink in the same army says Rose can’t do anything to stop him from doing either of those.
  • They then have a battle against Centipede Army. Ender is sent out first just so he can get frozen. But before he is frozen he freezes a couple of the enemy players. He then talks to Dink and finds out he was promoted to commander twice, but denied the promotion every time. This is because he didn’t like bossing people around.

Chapter 9: Locke and Demosthenes

  • Graff is enraged that the computer threw an image of Peter, Ender’s brother, into the game Ender plays. Graff asks a computer expert why it is doing this .He explains because the game is between the computer and Ender’s mind. He said the computer must think that it will help Ender in some way, shape, or form and that is the only reason.
  • Ender’s 8th birthday arrives and Valentine is at home and lights a fire in honor of Ender who is up in space. While she is doing this, her brother Peter is torturing a squirrel. She asks why he would be doing that. He tells her to shut up or he will kill her too.  Valentine knows that Peter will never actually kill her. This is because Peter only does things that are calculated to help what he needs, there is no reason to kill her. She thinks he is planning to do something bad very soon to Earth though.
  • Peter convinces Valentine into making fake net profiles to try and gain control in government. Peter is Locke and Valentine is Demosthenes on the fake profiles.

Chapter 10: Dragon

  • Graff issues the order to make Ender commander of a retired army called Dragon Army. The only catch is that Graff is picking the list of members in the army. Also Ender isn’t allowed to make any trades with other army’s.
  • That day right after Ender meets all army members he takes them straight to the battle room to test their skill levels. Bean, who is a short dragon army member, asks to be a toon leader. Ender denies the request. He thinks about why he did that to Bean and realizes the same thing happened to him when Graff isolated him. He realizes that by doing to Bean, what the commanders have been doing to him all along, he will be a better platoon leader later on.

Chapter 11: Veni Vidi Vici

  • Graff and Anderson discuss what they think of Dragon Army and how well they will do. This is because Anderson has scheduled a lot of battles for them, sometimes they will have three in a day instead of one.

        Their first battle is an easy one for them they destroy their opponent Rat Army. Ender’s Army functions weirdly and different from others. Each of his five toons can work without the others help. Ender starts realizing that because of his successc Petra and Dink don’t seem like they are friends with him anymore. The next day Dragon Army beats Phoenix Army which Petra is commander of. Ender knows this didn’t make anything better for their friendship.

Chapter 12: Bonzo

  • The chief of the I.F. police comes to see Graff because of a report saying that the battle school is an unsafe environment. That there is nothing stopping kids from fighting or bullying others. Graff says that Ender needs to stick up for himself because no one can help him against the buggers besides himself.
  • Ender gets a warning from Petra about him being in real danger with Bonzo. Ender doesn’t care and goes to sleep. He later wakes up and goes to take a shower.  While there he gets ganged up on by seven people including Bonzo. He convinces Bonzo to fight him alone without his back up to help him. Dink comes and tries to tell Bonzo not to fight him. Bonzo attacks anyways. Ender dodges and hits him in the face then hits him in the crotch, but notices that Bonzo is not moving once he fell. Dink takes him away before anything else could happen. Bonzo later dies, but Graff never told Ender that directly.

        This incident makes Ender want to quit and leave school.

Chapter 13: Valentine

  • This chapter starts with two officers talking about Peter and Valentine stirring trouble on the net. Graff tells them to leave the two alone. Valentine likes being her fake profile and her and Peter know that the world is preparing for war. They believe that a war is going to break out as soon as the buggers are defeated. They believe that no compromise can stop this event from occurring.
  • Valentine is brought to see Ender who has been staying at a Lake House on Earth for two months. Graff believes that Valentine is the only person that can get through to Ender and get him to attend with him to command school. Graff tells her they need to prepare for the attack that is coming soon. Valentine goes out with Ender on the lake and goes for a swim. Her presence convinces Ender to return to school. They part ways and say goodbye while Ender goes to the shuttle take off station. They depart to Eros to command school.

Chapter 14: Ender’s Teacher

  • An admiral greets Graff at command school when they arrive and wonders whether the 3 month trip vacation to Eros was good for Ender or not. Ender begins to spend his time all by himself or with Graff. The next morning Ender wakes to an old man waiting in his room on the floor. They begin to fight and Ender learns a valuable lesson from the man, that he isn’t always going to win.
  • The man introduces himself as Mazer Rackham the pilot that supposedly died saving Earth in the second invasion. Ender begins to ask how he could be alive. In response Rackham shows him deleted footage of his cockpit cam of him ejecting right before he crashed into the mother ship.
  • Ender begins to do simulations with his crew including all his once friends from battle school. They win every battle simulation once a day every day for months. Then they have their graduation simulation. They succeed on destroying all the buggers’ ships. They then use the biggest and newest little doctor, a machine that tears apart molecules and turns it to dust. It destroys the entire planet, setting off a chain reaction destroying all the buggers. However, it also destroy all the I.F. military ships, including all the human men on board.  They were sacrificed, but the Ender’s army did not know this at the time. They always thought the battles were simulations.
  • Afterwards all the high ranking officials come and thank Ender and his commanders. Ender is confused on why they are so happy. They tell him that all the battles were never simulations, but actual battles. Then that hits Ender. He just then realized that he killed off an entire race and thousands of Earth’s soldiers. They trank him so he doesn’t overreact.

Chapter 15: Speaker for the Dead

  • Ender awakes to find out that he is being prosecuted for murder against Stilson and Bonzo. Ender stays in Eros through all of the trials. The court finally comes to the verdict not guilty because they found it to be self-defense both times.
  • Ender wants to return home, but can’t according to Valentine. Valentine claims that she made it to where Ender can never go back to earth. Her and Peter had made a pact with all of the government officials on Earth to not allow Ender to ever come back to Earth for his own safety.
  • He stays on Eros and starts the first outer space colony for the humans. He also begins to search the universe for a colony spot for the Bugger’s final queen egg to hatch.
  • Ender was the only one that knew that the queen egg was never actually destroyed. He looks for a long time to find the right place.  He realizes now that they meant no harm to the humans. So he feels that is his duty to do this for them as payment for what he did.
  1. Symbols:

The first symbol is Peter as a reminder to Ender to never to purposely become a bully and a killer like him.  One instance is when Ender retaliated against Stilson for picking on him.  Another example, is when Ender got ganged up on by Bonzo in the showers. Ender didn’t want to harm them, in fact, he didn’t want to fight them at all. He only did in self-defense. He always thought of his brother as a reminder of how he did not want to become.  The second symbol is Valentine who represents love and family and someone that will always be there for Ender.  One main example of this is when Valentine creates the pact to never allow Ender to return to earth. She loved her brother so much that she couldn’t risk him coming back to be harmed, even if that meant sacrificing being with him again.  Another example is how Valentine was always there to support Ender, she always had a strong love for her brother and it showed.

  1. Theme:

I think that the message to be learned from Ender’s Game is that love and compassion conquers all.  I feel this theme was present through a lot of the book.  For example: Ender’s sister Valentine risked having her brother ever returning home to be with her.  This was done out of love for her brother and his best well-being.  Another example, is the compassion that Ender showed the Queen Bugger at the end of the story.  He understood that they didn’t want to harm the humans and they didn’t need to fight anymore. He was compassionate by finding a safe place for the queen’s egg to hatch, so it would not be found.  I believe the author’s purpose for telling the story was to show the hardships a young boy faced.  He encountered isolation, hate, murder, and war.  However, in the end all Ender wanted was love and compassion for all. For all humans and non-humans to love one another. 

  1. Movie and Book difference description:

        In the book Ender goes from Salamander Army to Rat Army then to command of Dragon Army. But in the movie he went from Salamander Army to command of Dragon Army. In the book he met Dink in Rat Army. In the movie he meets him in Salamander Army. In the movie Ender goes by himself to discover the queen Bugger egg. In the book he goes with a little boy from his colony on Eros. In the movie he discovers the egg then leaves right away in the book he consults with Valentine about leaving with him. Also in the movie Valentine never travels to Eros with the first colony. In the book she comes to Eros to see Ender and help him with the colony. Those were the major differences between the book and movie.

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My Impressions From Ender's Game

May 19, 2020 by Essay Writer

Ender’s Game

Although this book is based on a futuristic image this book Ender’s Game is one of its kind. It’s a science fiction book written by Orson Scott Card. The reason why I choose this book because it gives a display of memories of what a heroic image is. The memories gave a rooted understanding on moral issues, making personal sacrifices and imposing self-discipline. Card wrote four novels in a series about Ender and the story of his life. The publisher of Ender’s Game is a company called Tom Doherty Associates. Card was born on 24 August, 1951. He is an American author, critic, public speaker, essayist and political activist. He wrote books in several genres, but is primarily known for his science fiction. Card novel “Ender’s Game” and its sequel “Speaker for the Dead”1986 both won Hugo and Nebula Awards.

The setting of Ender’s Game was generally on earth and the school in space. The season based on when he came back to earth was summer based on the description of the time by the heat and sunburns that Ender got. The time of the whole event seemed to take place probably in the twenty-second century. This is shown through the advanced technology: the monitor, battleships, Dr. Device and other things such as computers. Most of the book took place inside of the Battle School, a school for young elites and intelligent children.

The list of the description of characters are consist of:

Ender – The younger brother of Peter and Valentine, six year old Ender is chosen by Colonel Graff to help save the earth from the buggers. Ender has a strong fear of his brother and loves his sister. Ender has a strong mind and learns to overcome situations by the age of nine he is given his own army to command. Ender held an anger towards the people who manipulated him throughout the novel.

Valentine Valentine is Ender’s older sister. She became his protector especially from their older brother Peter. Valentine grew a strong interest in the world’s political views and began to spark influence over the growing situation.

Peter – Ender’s older brother Peter is gifted and very manipulative. He has a similar strength towards the only difference is that he acts without no remorse. Colonel Graff – Graff has a strong faith in Ender although he manipulates him, he also loved him for who he was. Graff is the head of the Battle School until Ender left. He is one of the few characters who actually allowed Ender to be his child like self and also demanded him to be better. He was also put under trial after the war for the deaths of Stilson and Bonzo.

Mazer Rackham Rackham is one of Ender’s last teachers. Rackham is also one of those who misled Ender into thinking he is causing confusion and explains to him that no one but a child could have won the war.

Major Anderson – Second in command to Colonel Graff at the Battle School, Major Anderson main responsibility is to setup the battle room scenarios.

Bean – Ender’s last friend at Battle School, Bean is very intelligent and unique in his own way. Bean helps Ender throughout the time with the Dragon Army and hold on to humanity. He became one of Ender’s commanders against the buggers.

Alai As the story continues Alai became Ender’s best friend and helped him gained popularity among the other recruits.

Dink Meeker – Ender’s platoon leader in Rat Army, Dink has a very great mind when came to strategy.

Petra Arkanian – Petra taught Ender how to fight in the battle room. Through the book they remained acquaintances and became one of Ender’s commanders for the battle against the buggers.

Bonzo Madrid – Bonzo is an enemy of Ender’s and the commander of Salamander Army. He faced a man to man battle with Ender’ which also brought him to his death.

StilsonStilson is an enemy of Ender’s and usually would gang him at the time before battle school. Later on in the book he also died from a battle from Ender.

Crazy Tom Crazy Tom one of Ender’s toon leaders in Dragon Army. He is very persistent in the way he thinks and quickly look at situation.

The book starts off when Ender was six years old. Ender’s real name is Andrew Wiggin, but he was given the name of Ender as a nickname. Ender has one sister called Valentine and one brother named Peter. Ender had a strong bond between Valentines because they both exchange a very like-minded approach towards their political views. All the children in the school wore a device on their neck that allows people to monitor their every actions. The leaders did this because they wanted to select the smartest of all the children handpicked to create a battle team of soldiers and commanders. This concept was done because an alien race attacked the earth over fifty years ago, So the humans strategized themselves to be ready for the next attack.

Ender losing the monitor placed on his neck, a device which gave access to the government to see and hear whatever he feels. The device was later remove separating him from his pairs. He is the third child of his family which led him to be subjected to scorn and derision.Valentine his older sister grew to become his protector, As Peter continue to grow in envy to brutalize them both. Colonial Hyrum Graff convinced Ender to accompany him to Battle School. At the battle school he will train to fight the Buggers, the aliens that invaded the earth almost fifty years ago and almost destroyed mankind.

In the conclusion of it all Ender’s Game is a fiction book which gives an insight and reflection of the real world we live today. Making personal sacrifices and day to day adjustments I will definitely recommend this book to anyone.

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How Manipulation Functions in Ender’s Game

June 4, 2019 by Essay Writer

The Ender’s Game, written by Orson Scott Card, presents a futuristic setting where the government selectively chooses, controls and trains young prodigies to win the endless battles against the “buggers” or aliens. Ender, the main character of this novel, is a six-year-old prodigy who lives with two siblings, Peter and Valentine who both underwent government monitoring. The government forces Ender to act the way they would like by monitoring him constantly, and tricks Ender into being a part of the International Fleet to fight against the buggers. Ender skips some ranks in the battle schools as he quickly learns the war techniques and skills. The teachers isolate and manipulate Ender on purpose to bring out Ender’s inner killer instinct like his older brother, Peter. Due to the officials’ strict control of Ender’s life and his time in battle schools Ender undergoes a series of challenges and faces a social isolation. How the government controlled Ender was inhumane, and the officials’ lack of recognition and reluctance on this issue eventually cause mental and emotional distress as well as depression.

In chapter one, Card portrays how the government manipulates Ender through the monitor. “‘We were connected directly to your brain. We heard all that you heard, whether you were listening carefully or not. Whether you understood or not. We understand’” (Card 23). The conversation shows that the officials have closely monitored Ender, even before he started battle school and took his privacy away. It also gave the government the capability to have an early manipulation on him. The government has invaded Ender’s privacy, even before he was mature enough to consider any contracts between him and someone else. The government took advantage of Ender’s ignorance in his childhood, taking away his privacy and manipulating him.

The officials isolate Ender socially to help him concentrate on his training, so that he would quickly be ready to fight the buggers. “With Ender, we have to strike a delicate balance. Isolate him enough that he remains creative – otherwise he’ll adopt the system here and we’ll lose him‘’”(Card 27). The conversation between the officials depicts what they are going to do to Ender – to isolate him so that he won’t have any friends that might “distract” him from being a commander to win the war with buggers. Also, the officials made Ender become brutal to other people, turning him into a murderer. Card manifests another social isolation by quoting, “The fear stayed, all through dinner as no one sat by him in the mess hall. The other boys were talking about things – the big scoreboard on one wall, the food, the bigger kids. Ender could only watch in isolation”(41). Card carefully describes the isolation of Ender in the dining hall, and his description shows that the officials have successfully isolated Ender. As a result, Ender becomes socially isolated, which made Ender emotionally and mentally distressed.

After the final game between Mazer Rackham and Ender, Colonel Graff reveals to Ender that the officials had manipulated him into killing the buggers, instead of playing war simulation games with Mazer Rackham. Colonel Graff quotes, “‘Of course we tricked you into it. That’s the whole point … You had to become a weapon, Ender. Like a gun, like the Little Doctor, functioning perfectly but not knowing what you were aimed at’”(Card 298). It is clear that the officials had manipulated Ender through feeding him endless lies and going against Ender’s actual desire. Ender didn’t want to be a killer or murderer, but the officials had deceived Ender to win the war. The government’s control and manipulation affected Ender emotionally, since Ender didn’t want to “become Peter” after decimating the enemies. The government’s lies to Ender were wrong, and they need to be responsible for affecting Ender’s emotion negatively, since Ender especially felt regretful for killing the buggers.

The government’s enforcement of abusive manipulation on Ender has affected his mental and emotional states. After all, the government initiated manipulation on Ender through the monitor, socially isolated Ender, and fed Ender endless lies to achieve what they wanted at the end. As a victim in the government’s devious plan, Ender underwent a great depression, both emotionally and mentally. However, the government did not even bother to help Ender out in the least bit. These events show the government officials’ cruelty and inhmane treatment towards Ender. What the government did to Ender to achieve what they want was inhumane, and their manipulation must stop so people like Ender and other prodigies can make their own decisions for more growth and independence.

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Maturity in Ender’s Game: A State of Mind, Not a Physical Quality

May 21, 2019 by Essay Writer

When a person is referred to as ‘mature’, it does not necessarily mean that he/she must be an adult. In Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card, maturity is a recurring theme. Yet, the main characters are mainly comprised of children. This brings forth the idea that age cannot be the deciding factor when judging one’s maturity. The characteristics that typically make up maturity are only presumed to come with age. Shown throughout the novel Ender’s Game, maturity is a state of mind developed by experience rather than a characteristic that only develops with age.

In Ender’s Game, the main protagonist is a young boy named Andrew, or Ender, Wiggin. As the reader will find out right from the beginning, Ender is different from the other kids. However, there is one trait that he and his fellow students share: none of them are childish. “Ender’s Game is one novel brave enough to really look at children without making them childish” (Kelly 112). The children in the novel do not act like typical children their ages. In fact, they are shown to be quite mature for their ages, especially Ender. Ender is constantly bullied by the other boys he goes to school with. But when the reader sees how he reacts to it, it is not in the way that one would expect from a child as young as him. “Ender’s response to the other boys’ bullying is more intelligent and calculating, as everything Ender does is, and Card uses it to show another aspect of childhood, the struggle between intellect and fear” (Kelly 113). Normally, a child may cry and run away, or act completely on impulse, but not Ender. He seems to know what he’s doing. He is able to plan things out in his head efficiently. This assists in differentiating him from other kids, showing that he is smarter and thinks differently than them. This, of course, only makes him a target for more bullying. “Yet he possesses a genius and mature assuredness that makes him a target for abuse by peergroup bullies and adults who are in control” (Kelly 112). When Ender is involved in these types of situations, it is his quick wit and “mature assuredness” that gets him out mostly unharmed. He reacts almost as if he already has experience in these situations because he is able to calculate the results of his possible actions. This starts to bring up an underlying tone of maturity. Ender’s thought processes early on show that he is advanced and make him seem mature to the reader even though he is only a young child.

Although Ender seems to be the one character most obviously showing development of maturity, he is not the only one to act in this way. One of these characters who seems to already be grown up is Ender’s brother, Peter. “Peter…seems patterned on evil geniuses…but never does he show a hint of a child’s mental formation. He is fully grown from the start—an adult” (Kelly 114). As soon as the reader is introduced to Peter, it is evident that he is a very aggressive and violent character. While getting to know Peter as a character, the reader realizes that although Peter is technically a child, he shows no aspects of being childish. He also seems to have already developed his personality, which is not something that is common in a child. Peter’s multiple cruel actions are not impulsive, either, like a troubled child’s may be. For example, when Peter makes Ender play “buggers and astronauts” with him, he kneels on Ender’s torso, making it hard for him to breath: “‘I could kill you like this,’ Peter whispered. ‘Just press and press until you’re dead. And I could say that I didn’t know it would hurt you, that we were just playing, and they’d believe me, and everything would be fine. And you’d be dead. Everything would be fine’” (Card 12). Everything he does is thought out and planned, and he is fully aware of what he is doing. He is often shown to be smarter than the average adult. Because Peter is represented in this way – an “evil genius” – it is like he never had to grow up; he is already an adult in every way except age. This demonstrates the idea that maturity does not rely solely on age for development. Another portrayal of this idea is the character Valentine, the sister of Peter and Ender. Valentine is like Peter in the way that she calculates things. When the two siblings decide to cooperate in order to communicate their ideas with the world over the internet, the only things holding them back are their legal ages. “The only thing separating Peter and Valentine from adulthood…is the fact that the world can see that they are children and therefore discriminates against them for it” (Kelly 114). Once they are able to get on the nets appearing as adults, they are able to speak without being disputed. The recurring question of what effect age truly has regarding maturity is once again raised in the novel. Although children may have the same ideas as adults, they are often not taken seriously simply because they are children. Even if their personalities have already been developed, the world still sees them as nothing other than children. The character Bean is another example of the common theme of already being grown up. “He was a soldier, and if anyone had asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he wouldn’t have known what they meant” (Card 224). Bean, although technically a child, knows what he is in life: a soldier. This not something typical of a child, but rather something an adult might feel. This also hints at the repeated idea of not needing to grow up. Bean already knows who he is and does not need to grow up to figure it out. It is also possible that Bean feels grown up by this time – maybe not physically, but mentally. And maturity is predominantly a mental quality, meaning that Bean is already mature because of his obvious lack of needing to grow up, similar to Peter and Valentine. Maturity is constantly being represented as something that is figurative rather than literal, because the most mature people in the book are the children.

The way it is illustrated in Ender’s Game, maturity is something that is forced upon the children if they have not yet developed it. One case of this is when the gifted children chosen for Battle School are introduced to the reader. “Children must also possess an ability to adapt quickly to new situations; empathy, or the ability to understand and care for others, is also a valuable character trait” (“Ender’s Game” 107). If they have not yet started to display certain characteristics, they are essentially forced into quickly developing their personalities to fit the military system. This is basically forced maturity. An example of this is when the adults that run Battle School are talking about Ender, after he has arrived: “‘His isolation can’t be broken. He can never come to believe that anyone will come to help him out, ever’” (Card 38). In this quote, it can be seen that the adults already have a plan to develop Ender to their liking. The Battle School system is specifically meant to take advanced children and make it so that they develop themselves even faster for the benefit of society. “The military is purposefully structured to be unjust, breaking those who cannot rise above injustice fast enough” (Blackmore 115). Those who run the military know what they are doing, and use unfairness to their advantage. If only the ‘strong’ children who are able to develop quickly can move on, then the system is kept at its most efficient. Yet, being able to deal with injustice effectively is generally something adults are faced with, and this time it relates to children. This shows that it is possible for children to be mature, because if it wasn’t, then the entire foundation of Battle School would fail. One of the tools that the adults of Battle School use to mold the kids – especially Ender – to their liking is isolation. “Isolation makes dependence on others impossible; Ender is forced to fall back on and develop his own resources” (Blackmore 117). Since Battle School is up in space, the children are extremely far away from their families down on Earth. This forces them to rely on themselves for their own well-being. “Parental authority is replaced by dependence on the self” (Blackmore 117). These kids no longer have their parents to guide them and tell them what to do. The only orders they’ll receive are those from their commanding officers. That is not something that children are used to; rather, it is something characteristic of adults. But in Battle School, that is what they come to expect and are forced to adapt to. So, in a way, it is like the children in Battle School are not really children. One of the characters who is a kid in Battle School, Dink, has been taking note of this fact during his time at the school. “‘…I’ve got a pretty good idea what children are, and we aren’t children. Children can lose sometimes and nobody cares. Children aren’t in armies, they aren’t commanders, they don’t rule over forty other kids, it’s more than anybody can take and not get crazy’” (Card 108). Dink acknowledges that the kids in Battle School aren’t really children, because of the thing that they are made to do – not normal ‘kid things’. When the children are put into severe situations more commonly associated with adults, it makes them seem less and less like actual children. This again illustrates the forced maturity brought onto the children when they are chosen for the school. The characteristics that make up what most people think of as maturity are also able to be seen in the children in Battle School. “‘That’s right, we never cry…Nobody ever cries. We really are trying to be adults’” (Card 109). Dink says this to Ender when he sees that Ender was starting to tear up after something he said but told Dink he was fine. Not crying is typically a stereotype of adults. Yet, the children in Battle School learn not to cry because it shows weakness, and weakness is the core thing that the adults at Battle School want to beat out of the kids. The children who are ‘weak’ do not make it up to becoming commanders. Most clearly evident in Battle School, the adults are forcing the children to ‘grow up’, but since they cannot literally age quicker, they must mature, once again showing that it is a state of mind.

When maturity is described in Ender’s Game, age is generally the last thing that comes to mind. Going back to the time when Peter is trying to convince Valentine to go on the internet with him to share their ideas with the world, they have the following dialogue exchange:

“Peter, you’re twelve.”

“Not on the nets I’m not. On the nets I can name myself anything I want, and so can you” (Card 129).

Peter is telling Valentine that he can create a fake representation of himself on the nets; he does not have to be 12-year-old Peter. This shows that Peter may literally be a child, but he is not in other aspects, such as his way of thinking. On the nets, people will believe he is an adult if he is listed as one because of the way he thinks and articulates his ideas. The contrasting viewpoints in the Ender’s Game also help to show the overarching similarities between the adults and the children. “Card forces the reader to move between two viewpoints: that of the suspicious, manipulated child and that of the paranoid, utilitarian machine worker” (Blackmore 116). There is a common understanding of the injustices at Battle School between the adults and most of the children. The “machine worker” refers to the adults of the military system, and a number of children know that they are being fooled by them. They are being tricked into believing that they are individuals at Battle School and they all have a chance at greatness. But there are a few of the kids who know that they are only being used collectively by the adults to attempt to save society. They know what the true intentions of the adults are. Dink is one of these kids. “‘I can’t believe you haven’t seen through all this crap yet, Ender. But I guess you’re young’” (Card 107). He says this to Ender after explaining that the corruption of the military system is what kept him from accepting promotions to become a commander. He doesn’t want to be manipulated anymore by the teachers. Dink’s reasoning for why Ender is still alright with the military system is that he is young. Being young usually means that one is naïve due to a lack of experience in the world. Dink realizes that because Ender is young, he is also naïve, and so he hasn’t yet come to see all of the corruption that goes on at Battle School. At this moment, Dink is shown to have an obvious sense of maturity because of his ability to recognize corruption, which is typically something that adults would do. The children and the adults in Ender’s Game are definitely not the same, but it is not their levels of maturity that separate them from one another.

Card has a discreet way of separating his child characters from his adult characters and making his child characters actually believable as children. Fear is often used in the novel to show the difference between the children and the grown-ups. It is a lot easier for fear to take over the minds of children. “Fear pushing intellect into the back seat is a reasonable characterization of childhood” (Kelly 114). Fear can be very powerful in people, most notably in children. This fact is used to portray many of the children’s emotions in Ender’s Game, as subtle as it may be. Feelings of fear and anxiety can cause rational thinking to be side-stepped, making reasonable thoughts hard to come by and resulting in impulsive actions, especially in fast-paced situations. “Insecurity is unavoidable in new situations, and in childhood everything is a new situation—maturity is just a matter of recognizing repeating patterns, and without comforting recognition, all these kids have to protect themselves with is violence” (Kelly 112-113). Most prevalent in Battle School, the children are shown to be insecure with their surroundings. This is one of the most contributing factors in differentiating between the kids and the adults. The adults who run the military system are obviously very familiar with what they are doing. The children, however, have no experience in this whatsoever. They are away from their homes and families, and being put in situations with other kids, such as simulated battles, that they have never been in before. So, in order to establish some sense of control, they tend to resort to violence. This ‘control’ would, of course, only be over other students at Battle School. The adults are the ones with the ultimate power and control in the military system. “…reviewers especially applauded Card’s compelling portrayal of Ender as an innocent child being manipulated by controlling adults” (“Ender’s Game 111). Throughout most of the novel, Ender is known as the child who is younger and smaller than everyone else. Even when he has become the top commander in school, he is still the “little boy” out of all of his fellow commanders. “They couldn’t beat him in the battle room, and they knew it—so instead they would attack him where it was safe, where he was not a giant but just a little boy” (Card 187). This portrayal causes the reader to feel sympathy for him, something that is not felt when the reader is introduced to the adults of the book. This also separates the adults and the children in the reader’s mind. However, even though there are these small differences between the two groups, there are much more noticeable similarities. “…no distinction is made between a child’s insatiable ego and the evil genius’s power-hunger” (Kelly 114). Adult characteristics, such as “power-hunger”, are combined with things that represent children, like naivety, almost making it seem like there is no difference between the two. This implies that is quite possible for children to be mature, even though it is not traditional. There is a fine line separating the children from the adults in Ender’s Game, which again suggests that it is completely plausible that children can be mature, just as adults are.

The mature way in children are characterized in Ender’s Game is fitting for the story, and, in a way, justifies how similar they can be to adults. If the kids in the novel had been like stereotypical young children, the plot would fail and nothing would make sense. Card feels this way about his portrayal of his child characters: “…considering it an innovation, as if the only alternative would be having the cadets in the Battle School play marbles and talk baby talk” (Kelly 112). He considers it a positive addition to the story. Card’s opinion is again evidenced in the novel, when Colonel Graff and Major Anderson are having a conversation about the way the children in Battle School act:

“Does it ever seem to you that these boys aren’t children? I look at what they do, the way they talk, and they don’t seem like little kids.”

“They’re the most brilliant children in the world, each in his own way.”

“But shouldn’t they still act like children? They aren’t normal. They act like-history. Napoleon and Wellington. Caesar and Brutus” (Card 66-67).

It would seem rather foolish if the children in the book acted how people may expect them to as typical children considering the extreme circumstances they are involved in. Having the children show adult characteristics is a large part of the story and helps it to progress. Not only does this characterization of children work very well with the story, but it also provides the reader with an honest perspective of children. “…they are not any more vicious than kids are in real life, or could be” (Kelly 112). The kids in Ender’s Game are made more relatable to the reader because Card is truly being honest about them. “…they praise Card for his unflinching honesty about the cunning and cruelty, the wisdom and humanity, of children” (Kelly 112). He is providing a correct interpretation of who children really are and how they behave in reality, rather than using the stereotypical child archetype. Most of the children in Ender’s Game are gifted children. They are more advanced, so of course they are going to seem more mature. The level of maturity demonstrated by children in the novel only makes their characters more fitting for the story and believable to readers because it shows that children can indeed be mature, just like how they may act in real life.

Works Cited

Blackmore, Tim. “Ender’s Game.” Novels for Students. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski. Vol. 5. Detroit: Gale, 1999. 115-118. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.

Card, Orson Scott. Ender’s Game. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 1994. Print.

“Ender’s Game.” Novels for Students. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski. Vol. 5. Detroit: Gale, 1999. 99-121. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.

Kelly, David J. “Ender’s Game.” Novels for Students. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski. Vol. 5. Detroit: Gale, 1999. 112-115. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 10 Feb. 2015.

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The Use of Perception of Reality: A Close Reading of Ender’s Game

April 17, 2019 by Essay Writer

“Real. Not a game. Ender’s mind was too tired to cope with it all. They weren’t just points of light in the air, they were real ships that he had fought with and real ships he had destroyed. And a real world that he had blasted into oblivion…” (Page 229)

This passage is quoted from the novel Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card — a narrative depicting a young boy’s isolated struggle whilst training to save the world from an approaching war with an insect-like alien species known as the buggers. Through the displayed example of Ender’s perception of reality being altered, Card uses symbolism to demonstrate the thematic concept of games vs. reality. When faced with factors such as Bonzo, and restrictions, Ender must be willing to do what benefits the greater good — carrying these skills over when faced to the Third invasion. Through the Fantasy Game, Ender is able to live through scenarios that directly reflect Ender’s life, and mind through symbolism. This can be exemplified by Ender seeing his own siblings in the game. When Ender dreams of the “End of the World,” he is able to replay the final chapter of his Command School life in order to cope with how he feels he is similar to Peter, due to his unintentional destructive nature and demise of the bugger world. This, as a whole, exemplifies a deeper emotional connection to the factors pressing on him outside of the game after he learns the game was merely the war in disguise. Through all three concepts, Ender’s game becomes his reality as time progresses.

When living in a society where the responsibility to save the world falls upon those of children, it can be assumed that the level of maturity would be sped up to adapt with the task at hand. However, there is irony in the fact that Bonzo Madrid, commander of the Salamander army, feels a strike in his pride when someone inferior to him appears to be better than him. Due to this, Bonzo tries his best to restrict Ender from having the opportunity to better himself; going as far as to restrict his free time. “You’ll do what I tell you, you little bastard. That’s right, sir. I’ll follow all the orders that you’re authorized to give. But free play is free. No assignments can be given. None. By anyone. While you’re in Salamander Army, you’ll obey me. If you try to control my free play, I can get you iced.” (Page 69) In this instance, Bonzo believes he can fully overthrow Ender, as he is perceived as someone who can be easily pushed over due to his age. However, when threatened to be removed from command at the cost of Ender’s free time, Bonzo switches his strategy to simply waiting to trade Ender out, and in the meantime, restricting all his authorized orders. When placed against the Leopard army, Ender exemplifies his dilemma of bettering himself versus following the rules; choosing to better himself by slowing slipping through the gate, into the game. “Everyone in Leopard Army assumed that it bad been a strategy of Bonzo’s, to leave a man till the last minute. It didn’t occur to them that little Ender had fired against orders. But Salamander Army knew. Bonzo knew, and Ender could see from the way the commander looked at him that Bouzo hated him for rescuing him from total defeat. I don’t care, Ender told himself. It will just make me easier to trade away, and in the meantime you won’t drop so far in the standings.” (Page 74) Through this conflict, along with many others, Ender is able to learn that the games can’t always be solved by the stereotypical strategies. These experiences allow for Ender to enhance his willingness to new ideas, due to the fact that he believes there will be minimal consequences. Even when taken to command school, Ender is able to apply the skills learned from Battle School and especially Bonzo because the perception of the game allows Ender to take risks that he wouldn’t have if he were to know it was real.

In the eyes of Ender Wiggin, going to Battle School was seen as a blessing to move away from his older brother Peter’s sadistic nature. However, while this came as an advantage, it also didn’t fully work out in his favor due to the fact that Ender had leave behind the only person who ever loved him: Valentine. Before Ender’s departure to Battle School, both his siblings had represented two varying things in his mind: compassion, and ruthlessness. Valentine was perceived as his protector, while Peter was seen as his abuser. “I could kill you like this,” Peter whispered. “Just press and press until you’re dead. And I could say that I didn’t know it would hurt you, that we were just playing, and they’d believe me, and everything would be fine. And you’d be dead. Everything would be fine.” Ender could not speak; the breath was being forced from his lungs. Peter might mean it. Probably didn’t mean it, but then he might. “I’ll tell,” Valentine said… “Oh, yes,” said Valentine. “They’ll believe that. ‘I didn’t know it would kill Andrew. And when he was dead, I didn’t know it would kill Valentine too.'” The pressure let up a little.” (Page 10) However, while Ender left both his siblings on Earth behind, they both lived in his mind, as well as in the Fantasy Game. Although, Ender holds compassion in his heart, and uses violence for reasons of self defense, he always believes that when he inflicts violence on others, he has liven up to the nature of Peter. After a battle strikes out between the Launchies, and older boys, Ender ends up hurting four people, resulting in an “ACCIDENTAL COLLISION IN NULL G.” (Page 91) Shortly after, Ender logs onto the Fantasy Game, and sees himself as Peter in the mirror, thus reflecting the events that happened prior. “He stepped on the head of the snake and crushed it under his foot. It writhed and twisted under him, and in response he twisted and ground it deeper into the stone floor. Finally it was still. Ender picked it up and shook it, until it unwove itself and the pattern in the rug was gone. Then, still dragging the snake behind him, he began to look for a way out. Instead, he found a mirror. And in the mirror he saw a face that he easily recognized. It was Peter, with blood dripping down his chin and a snake’s tail protruding from a corner of his mouth. Ender shouted and thrust his desk from him.” (Page 91) However, Peter does not only appear in the Fantasy Game, Valentine does as well. “This time he caught it in his hands, knelt before it, and gently, so gently, brought the snake’s gaping mouth to his lips. And kissed. And the snake in his hands thickened and bent into another shape. A human shape. It was Valentine, and she kissed him again…She arose from the floor of the tower room and walked to the mirror. Ender made his figure also rise and go with her. They stood before the mirror, where instead of Peter’s cruel reflection there stood a dragon and a unicorn…Tears filled his eyes, tears of relief that at last he had broken free of the End of the World. And because of the tears, he didn’t notice that every member of the multitude wore Peter’s face. He only knew that wherever he went in this world, Valentine was with him.” (Page 118) After many trials of facing the snake to only die as Peter, Ender ends up kissing the snake, thus transforming into Valentine. While Ender constantly views himself as Peter in the game, he realizes that with the use of compassion in the game, and in reality, there will always be a part of him that is Valentine. Through seeing a unicorn in the mirror, the symbolism of positive change in the world is shown through, being that Ender realizes there is an ounce of Valentine in him, and that he is not purely Peter. The ability of seeing he is capable of having both parts Peter and Valentine in himself allows for Ender to see that within himself, there is no dominant portion between the two, thus reflecting his ability to reflect his life, and mind.

To cope with unintentionally destroying an entire race without any knowledge of doing so, Ender begins to experience dreams about the buggers and the “End of the World.” In his thoughts, Ender leaps from a cliff and is brought to the bugger world, to repeatedly witness the destruction of the bugger world he had caused. “Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to kill anybody. But the forest laughed at him. And when he leapt from the cliff at the End of the World, sometimes it was not clouds that caught him, but a fighter that carried him to a vantage point near the surface of the buggers’ world, so he could watch, over and over, the eruption of death when Dr. Device set off a reaction on the planet’s face; then closer and closer, until he could watch individual buggers explode, turn to light, then collapse into a pile of dirt before his eyes.” (Page 231) The “End of the World,” essentially allows Ender to replay his last recollection of the Third Invasion, as he is tricked into ending the war. Not only does Ender feel remorse for his actions against the buggers, but upset at Rackham and Graff for using him. In addition to this, Ender being traumatized from a young age, as well as through the Fantasy Game is perceived to believe that he is the mere reflection of Peter. For Ender to be tricked into destroying an entire species without any knowledge, allows for Ender to draw a similarity to his brother, whom he never would want to be remotely compared to.

Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game depicts the distinction between games and reality; mainly exemplified through the willingness to disobey the rules to benefit the overall goal of saving the world, Fantasy Game, and the“End of the World,”. With the of willingness to benefit the overall goal of saving the world, Ender is depicted as being able to enhance his inclination to new ideas, due to the fact that he believes there will be no consequences. His experience with Bonzo further enhances this skill by examining his own moral compass as to what the most beneficial action he could do would be, such as disobeying orders to better himself, as well as the entire team. This carries over to his time in Command School because not only does it further his strategy to win the stimulation, but the overall Third Invasion.

With the Fantasy Game, Ender is able to live in the game with symbols that directly reflect Ender’s life, and mind. Through the game, Anderson and Graff are able to monitor this, and are able to detect Ender’s feelings, as well as what he is thinking whilst training at Battle School. Examples of this would be seeing Peter and Valentine implemented into the game, both symbolizing different images in Ender’s perception. In regard to the “End of the World,” Ender is able to replay the final chapter of his Command School life in order to cope with how he feels he is similar to Peter, due to his unintentional destructive nature and demise of the bugger world. While Card tackles many different themes and concepts throughout the novel, his most powerful literary elements are symbolism, and the theme of perception of reality which he exhibits through a variety of characters, and concepts.

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The Mark of Isolation in Adolescence

March 25, 2019 by Essay Writer

Adolescence marks a time for social interaction. Between school, sports and other activities, these social settings are the platform for peer groups to form and either accept a child or create an outcast. “The peer group has been defined as the constellation of associates of similar age and interest” (Lombardi 307). When a child is simply different, they fall outside of this constellation of interest, and therefore, fall outside of the peer group as well. Depending on the stage of development, “peer group influence can be a most significant factor,” ranging from their effect on academic performance to the development of emotional intelligence in youth (Lombardi 308). In Mark Haddon’s “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time”, Christopher Boone clearly differs from other youth, and his disinterest in associating with others is readily apparent as well. While Ender Wiggin from Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” also differs from other youth, he maintains an interest in forming bonds with others, and views them as useful for his personal development. This essay argues that even though both characters are isolated and considerable outcasts in their respective peer groups, in contrast to Ender Wiggins who despises his state of isolation and longs for the support of his friends and family, Christopher Boone does not comprehend or desire interactions with others due to his Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis.

As the first person narrator of “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time”, Christopher Boone’s Asperger’s syndrome becomes apparent because of his disregard for social norms and desire for isolation from peer groups and society. He begins by explaining the mystery of the murder of Wellington, the neighbor’s dog. He fails to introduce himself as a character until after he explains Wellington in chapter one, thus displaying his pre-occupation with the subject matter, and failing to follow social norms where one would typically introduce himself first. When he finally introduces himself in chapter three, it is almost as if he is following a script starting with “my name is Christopher John Francis Boone” (Haddon 2). He proceeds to explain his interests as if he is answering a question before someone has the opportunity to ask it: “I know all the countries of the world and their capital cities and every prime number up to 7057” (2). These facts are as important to Christopher as his identity; they are the same to him. Christopher goes on to display pictures of smiley faces with differing expressions, explaining how he understands happiness and sadness, but cannot recognize the others. Christopher has significant difficulty recognizing emotions in others where “if [he does not] know what someone is saying, [he asks] them what they mean or [he walks] away” (3). These are the reader’s first hints at Christopher’s features of Asperger’s syndrome where he exhibits “difficulty in communicating, difficulty in social relationships, and often a lack of creativity” (Dosani 33). Although Christopher cannot express or understand his desires, he is “subject to the same hopes and feelings as the rest of us, but [finds] it difficult to learn our ‘social’ ropes” (McClure 1247). One can also assume an individual with Asperger’s syndrome lacks emotional intelligence, which Salovey defines as “viewing emotions as useful sources of information that help one to make sense of and navigate the social environment” (281). Christopher’s lack of emotional intelligence hinders his ability to establish relationships with peers, as he cannot relate to or even recognize emotions in others.

In contrast to Christopher’s inability to read others, Ender has an extraordinary ability to sense his opponent’s weaknesses and extort them when necessary. Ender understands that “no one but the enemy will tell you what the enemy is going to do…Only the enemy shows you where you are weak. Only the enemy tells you where he is strong” (Card 263). When Stilson begins to bully Ender, he evaluates the escalating situation where “anything [he says] will make it worse. So [he] will say nothing” (7). Stilson refuses to stop, and even though his entourage releases their grip, Ender takes them by surprise and “[kicks] out high and hard, catching Stilson square in the breastbone. He [drops]” (7). Ender realises he has to “win this now, and for all time, or [he] will fight it every day and it will get worse and worse” (7). Ender is able to evaluate that by taking his opponents by surprise, their strengths are insignificant. To win this, Ender “[walks] to Stilson’s supine body and [kicks] him again, viciously, in the ribs…Ender [walks] around him and [kicks] him again, in the crotch” (7). By shocking his opponents, Ender reduces the possibility of future retaliation by urging them to “remember what [he does] to people who try to hurt [him]” (7). In contrast to Christopher, Ender not only recognizes, but also uses emotions to his advantage. In combat, Ender must completely understand his opponent in order to win; he predicts the emotional responses of others and plans accordingly. The reader notices that Christopher struggles to comprehend the subjects of his investigation, which subsequently suffers. While the consequences of losing are significantly more serious for Ender, Christopher would not be able to accomplish the same emotional understanding even under the pressure of Battle School.

In the highly competitive and dangerous environment at Battle School, Ender’s desire for the support of friends and family is readily apparent while he faces bullying and isolation. Ender’s relationship with his sister, Valentine, remains important to him even in Battle School. Valentine acts as Ender’s protection at home, where if his brother, Peter, bullies him, she diffuses the situation and defends Ender. Although Peter bullies Ender relentlessly, Ender still desires love and acceptance from Peter. He believes that once the monitor is gone, “Peter won’t hate [him] anymore” since that would mean Ender “[did not] make it either” and is “just be a normal kid now, like him” (2). Ender clearly desires acceptance from his brother and others, even at the cost of Battle School. When Ender enters Battle School, he understands his family is not present, but he still “[feels] his family around him, as they always [have] been” (43). But, not even Valentine can defend or support him there, and “the fear [stays], all through dinner as no one [sits] by him in the mess hall. The other boys [are] talking about things…Ender [can] only watch in isolation” (41). As Bernard assembles a group of bullies, Ender begins to recognize that isolation in Battle School not only equates with loneliness, but vulnerability as well. Ender’s inability to fit in on Earth and Battle School puts him in numerous vulnerable positions. His fight with Stilson bears a resemblance to his one-on-eight fight with Bonzo and his friends where “[Bonzo] meant to kill [Ender]” could have ended differently if Ender had more support (Card 212). Maybe the fight would not have happened at all or more people would have been present to break it up. Dink stands by and watches the event unfold, but does not feel comfortable enough with Ender to actually stop the fight. Regardless, Ender’s forced isolation results in Bonzo’s physical injury and Ender’s emotional damage. At least on Earth, Ender has the support of Valentine. At Battle School, Graff prevents Ender’s relationships with his peers resulting in complete isolation. Like Christopher, Ender does not feel like he belongs anywhere; he views Earth “as a planet, like any other, not particularly his own” (Card 30). Christopher and Ender do not have a specific place to call home where they feel they belong.

While Ender desires the acceptance of his friends, family and Battle School associates, Christopher willingly places himself in isolation in order to feel calm and safe. By placing himself in isolation, Christopher avoids the stress of social interaction. He sometimes goes “into the airing cupboard in the bathroom and [slides] in beside the boiler and [pulls] the door behind [him] and [sits] there and [thinks] for hours and it makes [him] feel very calm” (Haddon 50). The reader is offered insight “not only into what makes Christopher tick, but also what makes him afraid, what comforts him and what gives him hope” (Dosani 33). He finds it easier to remain alone where he can “walk up and down the street and pretend that [he is] the only person in the world” (Haddon 2). The notion of being the only person in the world is a recurring idea for Christopher where no one judges him or considers him different. He desires a world where “nearly everyone on earth is dead, because they have caught a virus. But [it is] not like a normal virus…people catch it because of the meaning of something an infected person says and the meaning of what they do with their faces when they say it” (Haddon 198). This type of virus would leave Christopher and others like Christopher immune, then the remaining population would be “people who [do not] look at other people’s faces and who [do not] know what these pictures [of faces] mean and these people are all special people like [Christopher]” (Haddon 198-9). While Christopher clearly desires isolation, this also shows a kinship with others like him and his resentment of his social disorder. In his dream world, he “can go anywhere in the world and [know] that no one is going to talk to [him] or touch [him] or ask [him] a question” (Haddon 199). Christopher can do whatever he wants because no one is alive to stop him. This concerning and morbid perspective on society is due to Christopher’s desire to escape the judgement he faces from his peers. This feeling is common among those with Asperger’s syndrome, where “someone speaks to [him], but [he cannot] listen, unless [he avoids] eye contact. If [he looks] at them, [he cannot] ‘read’ their face. [He cannot] control [his] own, so [he looks] bored when [he is] interested” (McClure 1247). The stress of social interaction forces Christopher to resort to coping strategies, which soothe his anxiety.

While Ender and Christopher differ in many ways, they both excel with and rely on mathematics and numbers in times of anxiety and isolation. Mathematics represents logic and order. When Ender finds himself in times of stress, counting soothes his anxiety. When Peter torments him, “Ender [does] what he always [does]…He [begins] to count doubles” (Card 44). The pattern of numbers removes his focus from the current stressor and places it on an attainable goal, counting doubles. Numbers have a cathartic effect for Ender, providing with a sense of control in an uncontrollable environment. From a young age, Ender focuses on mathematics where “Valentine had taught him arithmetic when he was three” (Card 5). His ability to critically analyze situations results from his focus on difficult math problems from such a young age. He is able to see various angles from which he can solve the problem. For both Christopher and Ender, their mathematical and analytical abilities relate to success in society. Christopher equates his intelligence and mathematical strengths with the ability to “get a job and earn lots of money”, then he “will be able to pay someone who can look after [him] and cook [his] meals and wash [his] clothes” (Haddon 45). Christopher’s perception of success includes paying others to support him rather than struggling to maintain emotional relationships. He also poses that he could “get a lady to marry [him] and be [his] wife and she can look after [him] so [he] can have company and not be on [his] own” (Haddon 45). Rather than marry for love as most attempt to do, Christopher views marriage as a business transaction; if he provides her with A, she must provide him with B. He understands he cannot be alone, but simultaneously lacks the ability to sustain emotional relationships. In contrast to Christopher whose superior math abilities result from the disorder which isolates him, Ender’s isolation becomes the means of preserving his creativity since “isolation is––the optimum environment for creativity” (Card 149). Graff struggles with the balance between Ender’s creative and analytical abilities, deciding to “isolate him enough that he remains creative…At the same time…make sure he keeps a strong ability to lead” (Card 27).

Mathematics and numbers represent a source of sensibility and reliability unlike human interaction, which is unpredictable and requires the intuition that Christopher does not possess. Numbers are analytical rather than creative; they remain unchanged by emotion or opinion; one can always assume that two comes after one, unlike social interaction where Christopher cannot assume all of the possible meanings of a peer’s words. His obsession with prime numbers carries through “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time” as Haddon only uses prime numbers for the chapters. Christopher notes that “prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away…prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them” (Haddon 12). While numbers remain consistent, Christopher also notes patterns, which he does not comprehend. This is his comparison between numbers and social interaction, where there are obvious patterns present, but Christopher cannot decipher them. Prime numbers are not only a symbol for Christopher’s minimal understanding of society, but also him as an individual. Wolfram MathWorld defines a prime number as “a positive integer having exactly one positive divisor other than [one], meaning it is a number that cannot be factored.” Mathematics recognizes prime numbers as different from composite numbers; if Christopher identifies with prime number, he recognizes his difference and separation from his peers. Furthermore, significant debate remains over the number one and whether it is prime or not. Wolfram MathWorld defines the number one as “a special case which is considered neither prime nor composite”; one remains in isolation as the only number of its kind, it cannot identify with prime or composite numbers. While Christopher desires this number one position, seeking isolation is space as an astronaut, he currently represents a prime number amongst composites, where he notes the existence of other primes like himself, but they do not interact. In contrast to Ender, Christopher does not have the option of going to space, even though he wishes to be an astronaut where he would be alone. Even though he “would have to talk to other people” he “would do that through a radio linkup and a TV monitor, so they [would not] be like real people who are strangers, but it would be like playing a computer game” (Haddon 51). Ender understands that computer games can be more realistic than one would expect. While Ender is not an astronaut, Graff chooses him to leave his family and attend Battle School in space, where he practices for battle with computer games and also represents a prime among composites. Graff relentlessly struggles between maintaining Ender’s leadership qualities and creativity. His leadership requires interaction with peers, while “Graff [has] deliberately set him up to be separate from the others boys, made it impossible for him to be close to them…It [makes] him a better soldier than he would ever [be] otherwise. It also [makes] him lonely, afraid, angry, untrusting” (Card 167-8). Ender clearly has no option in the matter, even if he attempts to make friends; Graff stops him at every turn. His helplessness in this situation reminds the reader of his adolescence.

Whether by choice or by force, the isolation of both Christopher and Ender has a significant impact on their individual development. While Christopher does not understand social interactions, the reader can sense his desire to understand and have “company and not be on [his] own” (Haddon 45). He inadvertently expresses dislike for his Asperger’s syndrome, which forces his isolation. While he knows his limits with social interaction, he does attempt to further his knowledge and ask others what they mean. Asperger’s syndrome has definitely hindered Christopher’s ability to flourish as a child. Mark Haddon allows the reader to enter the mind of a child with Asperger’s syndrome and we can sense the frustration. The scattered thoughts and images throughout the novel make it difficult to follow, but that is entirely the point. On the other hand, Ender Wiggin strives for friendships, especially while attending Battle School, but Graff prevents these bonds from forming. While Ender flourishes as a solider, his psyche suffers significantly. He not only misses his sister, Valentine, but also bounces back and forth between leadership roles and isolation in Battle School. Friendships and bonds typically form at school, but Ender does not have the same experience as most children due to his gifted status. Both of these children lead far from average lives as Christopher struggles with Asperger’s syndrome and Ender remains a child prodigy. While adolescence marks a time for social interaction, it also marks a time for self-discovery.

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Empathy for the Buggers: The Change in Ender Wiggins’ Morality

February 15, 2019 by Essay Writer

Orson Scott Card’s novel Ender’s Game features an intense change in the protagonist’s morality and motivation. Prior to interacting with the alien race, the Buggers, Ender has a very logical, and strategic approach to his problems. He chooses to see the utilitarian picture, rather than focus on the details or the potential pain his victims may be in. However, this mindset changes once he begins to interact with the race he is fighting against and eventually destroys. The buggers begin to infest his dreams, causing him to learn from them and begin to be able to communicate with them. This causes him to have a volatile reaction when he unknowingly commits genocide, as he no longer has the solely utilitarian and unemotional mindset. Instead, Ender has become empathetic and connected to the Buggers which allows him to communicate with the Buggers at the end and choose to help them restart their civilization.

Even at a young age Ender displays a strategic-type mindset—one where he chooses to focus on the future and self-preservation. He enlists this approach during his first attack once his monitor is removed. Although he severely injures his attacker, he claims his reasoning for doing so was not out of malice, but rather a method to ensure he is never attacked again, “Knocking him down won the first fight. I wanted to win all the next ones, too, right then, so they’d leave me alone” (Card 23). Although he shows some remorse and empathy when he compares himself to his violent older brother Peter, this does not stop Ender from repeating the same mindset in similar situations. Later when Bonzo attacks him, Ender ends up killing him. Although he claims the death was unintended, Ender expresses before the fight that he knows what he must do, “If I’m to walk away from here, I have to win quickly, and permanently” (Card 284). Even though Ender reacts to the death by claiming he is done with war, this act was not enough to end his mindset as he is manipulated back into training by being told that his help could end all the wars to come. This shows that despite severely hurting others, Ender’s mind is focused on the big picture.

This big picture thinking is reflective of how a general views strategy—Ender treats every fight as if it is a battle in a larger war. Ender believes that to end a war, the battles must be fully destructive so that the enemy will not and cannot return. Ender displays this type of thinking during his war games and even his social interactions. When he first arrives at the training academy, he instantly begins to evaluate his social standing and start to make strategic choices as to assert himself. When his peers try to give him the worst bed area, he thanks them instead—learning how to win each social battle so he can win the war. Even in the war games, Ender focuses on ways to completely obliterate each team he fights in the most efficient way possible. This shows that his militaristic and logical way of thinking has seeped even beyond self-preservation—it consumes every thought and action, showing how his morals are based mostly on what can result in the most efficiency and most personal benefit.

Ender’s mindset stays predominantly strategic and unempathetic throughout the book, however, he does start to develop more empathy and start to drift away from his established way of thinking once the Buggers start to communicate with him. As the Buggers start to learn more about Ender, Ender starts to understand them more and starts to consider if killing them would be wrong. He begins to wonder whether the Buggers can actually communicate, and if they had realized humanity was an intelligent race which is why they hadn’t attacked again. This type of trying to understand his enemy, displays that Ender begins to develop more empathy and less of a “what is best for the majority” mindset. This type of change continues until the genocide of the Buggers.

When Ender unknowingly destroys the Buggers, he is distraught and completely enraged for he understands his enemy and has developed a greater sense that he shouldn’t begin harming people unless absolutely necessary. Due to his morality shift Ender is furious when he discovers that his training simulations were all real and he actually killed all of the Buggers, “I didn’t want to kill them all. I didn’t want to kill anybody! I’m not a killer! You didn’t want me, you bastards, you wanted Peter, but you made me do it (Cord 456). Following his breakdown, Ender goes into a deep sleep, unable to cope with the knowledge that he had destroyed an entire race who could communicate and were not going to attack humanity again. Once Ender comes to terms with what he has done, he chooses to continue in a life far from war or anything similar, showing that killing the Buggers truly affected him and changed his perception of life and the people around him.

When Ender finally stumbles upon the last remaining hope for the Buggers’ race—the last Queen egg—he has no debate as to whether or not he will help them restore what they had lost. His first question is, “How can you live again”, showing his eagerness to remedy his crime against the Buggers—something he never would have done prior to encountering them earlier as restoring the Buggers could result in vengeful destruction of the human race. Instead, Ender embarks on a mission to help others see and understand the Buggers as he does, so that he can peacefully restore the alien race. He writes “Speaker for the Dead”, an account of the Buggers’ lives, mistakes, and their side of the Bugger Wars. By doing so, Ender displays his complete moral change as he no longer focuses only on his own preservation and the utilitarian approach. Following his encounters with the Buggers, Ender develops a greater sense of empathy and understanding—making him detest war and try to fix his past actions.

Ender’s Game details the moral journey of its titular character, showing how a young boy can grow up with a strategic mindset perfect for war, yet lacking in personal empathy and understanding that hurting others can take serious tolls. Only by encountering the Buggers, first by dream-communication where he starts to understand them and their motivations does Ender’s mindset begin to shift. Eventually, Ender’s approach to the world is completely altered when he unknowingly destroys the entire Bugger race and he starts to realize the consequences of focusing on logical reasoning and future self-preservation. Finally, when Ender finds the new queen, his new mindset is set—being empathetic and ensuring the survival of everyone is now his new focus. This complete turnaround shows the growth and development of Ender as he navigates the world of war and its aftermath.

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