Sosnowski 1 Spencer Sosnowski Mrs.

Bach AP English IV 22 January 2013 Ender’s Game: It’s Not a Game Anymore One of the most important themes in Ender’s Game is violence. The book explores, among other things, the violent nature of humans. The many acts of violence by characters on themselves and each other, and the narrative acts caused by the author, are all tied together by the intimacy of violence. The violence begins almost immediately. Ender is bullied for his status as a “Third”, a special case, a government-approved third-born child in a world where most families are only permitted to have two. One of the bullies, Stilson, while Ender is held immobile by several other bullies, taunts Ender: “We’re people, not Thirds, turd face”(Card 7). Ender is released by the bullies because they believe they have subdued him. Ender lashes out, kicking Stilson in the chest, knocking him to the ground. Instead of leaving it at that, Ender continues beating Stilson. All the acts in this scene are parts of a conversation between Ender and the bullies. The bullies’ initial acts of pushing and shoving, on the surface, are just that, but they are really representative of society’s tendency to shun those who aren’t “normal”. Ender’s reaction, involving violence of a much higher degree than the bullies’, is more than just a reaction. It is his message to the bullies, much stronger than words, that ensures they will not bully him anymore. Furthermore, it is Orson Scott Card’s way of subtly hinting at racial, gender, and other social inequalities in our world.

culminating in the destruction of an entire alien race. They share a bond that is unique. Graff sends Ender mixed signals: he seems to have taken a liking to Ender but allows this to cause the boys to harm Ender.Sosnowski 2 As Ender sits on the spaceship that is taking him to Battle School. clearly prefers Ender to the other recruits. Graff only does this because he believes in Ender. This is the beginning of many instances in the book where authority figures in Ender’s life mislead him. only eleven years old. Even though Ender has just met Graff. is not so. and he knows that if Ender is kept ostracized from his peers while at the school. Ender. Graff purposefully makes this clear to all the recruits. the principal of the Battle School. The book follows a general trend of becoming more and more violent. while potentially excusable as the reasonable response of a boy accustomed to Earth’s gravity. Ender grabs the boy’s arm. Ender “had meant to hurt [the boy]. and it would be significantly diminished if this scene had just been Ender and Graff talking to each other about how they feel about things. Here. he will prove to be the best commander Earth has ever had. and had pulled with all his strength”(Card 33). because of the zero gravity. just magnified by the lack of gravity. has been unknowingly enlisted as the commander of humanity’s space fleet. knowing full well that it will cause the other boys to dislike. The adults in his life have him believe that he is . or send him mixed signals like Graff. another violent encounter manifests itself. Colonel Graff. Ender bears it as long as he can. The boys begin hitting Ender in the head from behind. breaking his arm. getting harder each time. even recognizing a pattern in the seemingly irregular blows. lie to him. which. the conversation is more between Ender and Graff than it is between Ender and the boys hitting him. As a boy goes to hit Ender again. even hate Ender. not violence for its own sake. Ender’s retaliation. Graff is the cause of the violent scene that happens on the ship. causes the boy to flip over the seat and soar across the ship. yet it is for superior reasons. this scene brings a certain level of intimacy to their relationship.

a connection exists between readers. alluding to such genocides as the Holocaust. We have all witnessed. Ender innovatively prevails against the enemy fleet. Therefore.Sosnowski 3 running training simulation after training simulation. He uses a superweapon to take out the enemy planet. an entire species. or been the victims of violence. when in reality he is commanding actual ships and people. and the author that would not exist without the intimacy of violence. which outnumbers his fleet a hundred to one. This act of violence represents all the horrible things humanity is capable of. Card relates this story set far into the future to people now through violence such as this. but when he learns the truth. . which engulfs the entire enemy fleet with it. he has to come to terms with the knowledge that he has destroyed an entire race. or been a part of. the characters in the story. He believes it is only a simulation. In what appears to be his “final examination”.

Orson Scott. Ender’s Game. 2003. How to Read Literature Like a Professor. Print. New York: Starscape. Card. Thomas C. New York: Harper. 2002. . Print.Sosnowski 4 Works Cited Foster.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful