Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card, is the story of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, a third born child in a prejudiced, futuristic world, as he is recruited to train at battle school to fight the “buggers”, an alien species that previously tried to wipe out the human race. Little does he know that Colonel Graff, the commander of battle school, is the puppet master of a scheme to brutally train Ender to lead the human armies to wipe out the buggers; which he unknowingly does.
To avoid political repercussions and the greedy hands of his older brother, Peter, Ender and his sister, Valentine, move to lead and populate the new colonies; this is where Ender finds the last bugger queen pupa and works to make it his personal quest to find a place for the species to repopulate and live in peace. The theme of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game is that sometimes you have to sacrifice the few for the sake of many. CHARACTERS AND POINT OF VIEW: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is the backdrop to many in-depth characters that are essential to the plot.
The story is written in the third person omniscient point of view but the reader really only hears the thoughts of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, the child protagonist of the story. Ender is a round and dynamic character because throughout the story, you watch him grow up fighting prejudices and overcoming challenges that have been placed in his way by the secondary antagonist, Colonel Graff. The reader empathizes with Ender and feels his pain as he is given so many challenges that he almost breaks.
The secondary antagonist is Colonel Graff, a flat but dynamic character who acts as a puppet master, controlling, isolating, testing, challenging, and ultimately molding Ender into a commander that can save the human race from the main antagonist, the Buggers. Graff is a dynamic character because at first he seems to only care about getting another kid through to see if they are the leader they need but later decides that he actually likes and cares for Ender. The reader feels a bittersweet empathy for Graff because of his disgustingly cruel acts upon Ender that will eventually lead to the saving of the human race.
The main antagonist are a group of aliens that humans call “buggers” which is a flat, but dynamic race of alien which previously tried to wipe out the human race and have kept the humans in fear for over 70 years. This group is dynamic because when we are first introduced them, they are trying to kill the humans but later try to befriend Ender when they realize that he understands them and they leave their only chance for survival in his hands. Another key character is Ender’s brother Peter. Peter is the cruel older brother of Ender but is also the fuel to why Ender is tough on himself. Peter is a round, static character.
He is a round character because we know all about him and his actions that make him who he is. The reader dislikes Peter because he is somewhat of an enemy to the main character and does not care for others. The final character is Ender’s loving sister, Valentine. Valentine is the older sibling of Ender and is his encouragement throughout the story. She is a round yet static character. While we know her very well and her true intentions, she never changes her stance on things or who she is. The reader likes Valentine because she is trying to encourage Ender and love him. LITERARY DEVICES:
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card uses several literary elements throughout the book to help us understand what is happening. Symbolism, when on object or character is used to represent something else, is used throughout the book. One example is when Ender is back on Earth and is talking with Valentine about how much Ender despises himself. Ender says, “In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment do I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves.
And then, in that very moment when I love them-“. (238) This is a symbol because in this novel there is a frequent amount of love-hate relationships. Another literary device is foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is when something is said or done that hints at what is to come. Each chapter usually begins with a conversation between Colonel Graff and Anderson. The discussions that take place usually hint at things to come in the story. In the beginning of chapter three, Graff is having a conversation with Anderson and says, “Persuade him that he wants to come with us more than he wants to stay with her” (16).
This is an example of foreshadowing because it hints to us that Graff will eventually convince Ender to come with him. The final literary device is irony. Irony is when what is said or done is opposite of what is expected. Ender’s Game shows dramatic irony when it tells us the conversation between Graff and Anderson in Chapter eight. Graff says, “…. Think of every impossible, unfair star arrangement you can. Think of other ways to bend the rules. Late notification. Unequal forces. Then run the simulations and see which ones are hardest, which easiest. We want to bring him along”.
(97) This is dramatic irony because we know that these bad things will happen to Ender but Ender himself will not know. HOW READERS MAY RESPOND TO THIS WORK: The novel Ender’s Game is a complex, intricate story designed for teenage and adult readers who like sci-fi stories. This group of people would like this book because they could understand and empathized with the characters. The ending leaves the reader filled with confusing emotions. It leaves you feeling happy for Ender finally finding peace with himself but you still feel sad because you realize that while that is making him happy, he will never find true happiness with himself.