- Card, Orson. Ender’s Game. New York: Tom Doherty Associates Book, 1991.
- 370 pages
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.