Questions by Chapter
What does the monitor do? Would Ender have taken the same action to defend himself in chapter 1 if he'd still had it?
The monitor allows observation from the inside, so to speak; Ender's observers (unnamed at this point) say that they see through his eyes and hear through his ears. Stilson also indicates that the lack of the monitor means that Ender has lost his protection. The dialogue that opens the chapter implies that the speakers know that the fight will result; the "surrounding with enemies" happens almost immediately.
Why does Ender think that he is "just like Peter"?
Ender thinks of his brother as violent, and more than that, cruel. Ender supposedly has his brother's capacity for violence and his sister's capacity for compassion, but clearly being like his brother bothers him more.
Why is Peter jealous of Ender?
Peter obviously wants to be the one chosen. This has important implications later in the story as Peter begins seeking power.
Why is Ender's being a Third considered negative? What does this tell you about society on Earth?
Earth only permits two children per family as a population control measure, indicating that the planet is overpopulated. This provides an impetus for Earth colonies, as a way of reducing population pressure and giving third, fourth, etc. children a future.
Why is Ender suited to be an officer?
Graff tells him that they're hoping he's a combination of Peter and Valentine, but it also has to do with how he beat Stilson. Ender says "Knocking him down won the first fight. I wanted to win all the next ones, too." This signifies that he plans for the future, the way an officer needs to.
Ender is not an ordinary six-year-old. What's different about him? Is everyone's Battle School experience like his?
By this point in the story, the very real ways in which Ender is different should be apparent to most readers; his unusual intelligence and ability to plan seem to belong to a much older person. Plus, of course, Graff is tailoring him for something specific. This question can be a jumping-off point to discussing what Card seems to be saying about childhood.
Why does Ender like Graff at first? Why does Graff single him out?
Unlike the "monitor lady" in chapter 1, Graff warns him about pain, which makes Ender more inclined to believe his friendliness. Graff singles him out because he has plans for Ender, obviously, but everyone else dislikes Ender as a result. Graff seems to be doing that deliberately as well, as part of his "surround him with enemies" plan.
Why is Ender so isolated? Is it all due to Graff? What is planned for him?
This is a somewhat subjective question, but from the early chapters we see that Ender is pretty good at isolating himself. Graff does encourage the tendency by making it very difficult for him to make friends, however.
Why does Ender think that the security system on his desk is deliberately easy to break?
Because Ender, a six-year-old, broke it. Of course, Ender is no ordinary six-year-old.
What are the buggers? What do you know about them at this point in the story?
Card is very coy about revealing information about the buggers. Readers familiar with British slang will probably giggle over the name. The implication is that they look like insects, and somebody punned on "bug". Graff indicates that the buggers are more than willing to wipe out the human race, but in these chapters we also learn that Graff doesn't always tell the truth...
Why does Ender keep trying to get past the Giant's Drink in his game?
It's never made explicitly clear why Ender is so determined to get past that point, although it could reflect his determination to get past other obstacles at the Battle School. His teachers remark on the game and his insistence on playing it. Most readers will have their own opinions on this one.
Why does Ender get transferred when he does?
He's gotten too stable and comfortable where he is, so his commanders move him on. (Arguably, he's also learned all he can in his current position.)
If Ender has never "just lived," why does he want to? How do you suppose he knows what that is?
His idea of "just living" comes from his game, where he sees people doing just that. In a way, the colony at the end of the novel could be interpreted as a realization of that idea, although Ender himself doesn't get to take permanent advantage of it. He does think to himself that he has no idea what it is, since he has never done it, but he has the idea that it doesn't involve killing or being killed.
How and why does Ender disobey Bonzo's orders in the battleroom? What important discovery does he make?
Ender realizes that by re-orienting his body, he makes a smaller target and one that isn't completely immobilized if he's shot. This becomes an important part of his strategy later in the story.
Read the conversation between Ender and Dink on pp. 120-121. What do you think of Dink's point of view? Do you think he's right?
Subjective. Dink believes that the buggers aren't a real threat, and it's all a plot so that those currently in power can remain in power.
What does the status of Russia as described on p. 136 say about when this book was written?
An opportunity for a little history, since in 1985 the USSR was still around and still a superpower, so it was credible to believe that it would remain so and possibly expand its borders.
The people of Russia are described more than once in the book as "helots". What does this word mean and why do the characters use it in reference to the Russians?
"Helot" essentially means serf or slave, indicative of how a lot of people outside of the Soviet Union thoughts of the Soviets. This question can follow on from the preceding one.
Why is the fantasy game so important to Ender?
By this point in the novel, the game has turned into a reflection of Ender's belief that he is as cruel as Peter, that he essentially is Peter. By now he's looking for a way to beat it that proves that he isn't. The tower room with the mirror becomes significant in another way toward the end of the book.
On pp. 165-66, read Ender's reaction to Val's letter. Do you think that Graff predicted this reaction?
Graff obviously wants to push Ender in a particular direction, and the letter succeeds at doing that. Whether Graff meant for Ender to deliberately decide that there was nothing he could trust but the game itself is debateable, and open to discussion.
The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.
Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.
The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"
I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper