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Ender's Character

#25: April - June 2006 (Fiction)
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Mr. P

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Ender's Character

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So what are we to make of Ender Wiggin? He is a genius obviously. He is a child. He is easily manipulated by those around him in almost every respect. He is an unsurpassed tactician, except where it counts...and that is as it applies to his own self interest and will.Peter controled him through fear, Valentine through love. The military controlled him by pride, challenging him by cheating and lying until Ender 'showed them up' by beating them (which as we see is actually beating himself) at the games (which turn out to be the biggest lie). Dink (was that the character) alluded to all of this midway through the book when he tells ender that it is not the buggers and there is no war. It is the adults. They lie.So what are we to make of Ender? Should we honor him like they do on earth after he kills a civilization? Should we despise him for being a dupe? Should we pity him for being a dupe? Should we respect him fro realizing he was controled his whole life and for understanding at the end that he could rectify everything by now becoming a champion and future hope for the buggers?Just a few thoughts.Mr. P. 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
the hive queen

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I think Ender was a born leader -- more so than the other battle school kids. He was influenced by those around him (let's not forget how young he was), but he usually found a way to come out on top, respected by most of his peers. The devotion he earned was more important than his flaws, making him stand out against his runners-up (Petra and Bean, specifically). I forgive him for most of his flaws because of his age. "Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody is watching." -- Keller Williams
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Yes. He was young...but he was duped and controlled. I wonder ho Ender would have performed if he thought it was all real. As it is in the story..he always thinks he is playing.Was Ender just a tool, rather than a leader. Remember, these kids were bred to become potential leaders...so in this light, Ender seems to be more of a tool, and the adults are the actual leaders.Mr. P. 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 PiperEdited by: misterpessimistic  at: 4/29/06 4:11 pm
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Ender is definitely a tool. The leaders never tell Ender the truth right up until the end. But what are his other choices as a third? Walk away in shame? Shame of both Peter and his parents, shame of any one that knows he would purposefully walk away from the purpose for which he was bred for. Shame of any one knowing he was a third. Ender didn't even have a choice to quit, but I suspect he might have left the fight school if he knew what the leaders knew.
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Even Valentine manipulates and controls Ender, as we see her importance in keeping him focused on his training and talking him into not quitting.Funny...the strongest leader in the story is probably Peter...the character we are supposed to hate the most. HE orchestrated his own take over of world politics. Ender wanted to be everybody's friend, and it seems a good leader cannot do that.Maybe Ender is the ultimate humanitarian, as he carries around the egg sack of the dead queen looking to revive the life he destroyed. Maybe he was or will be a great moral leader, but was lead astray by those he trusted (Valentine, Rackham and Graff.Valentine would not even let Ender return to Earth, for fear that Peter would continue to use Ender. But even with this, we see that Ender really has no control over his own desires or fate.Mr. P. 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 PiperEdited by: misterpessimistic  at: 5/1/06 1:15 pm
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riverc0il
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Quote:Even Valentine manipulates and controls Ender, as we see her importance in keeping him focused on his training and talking him into not quitting.but she is manipulated into doing so by the battle school leaders...
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riverc0il
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Quote:Funny...the strongest leader in the story is probably Peter...the character we are supposed to hate the most. HE orchestrated his own take over of world politics. Ender wanted to be everybody's friend, and it seems a good leader cannot do that.i see this differently as well. ender might have wanted to be someone's friend, but his only friend is valentine. throughout the story, ender is isolated intentionally by the battle school leaders, but the actions of the leaders, and by the situations and resulting decisions ender finds himself making. i don't think ender wanted to be everybody's friend, his decisions certainly did not support this point of view, he was resigned to not having friends. this was the MO of the battle school leaders so that ender would not care about sending someone to their death.
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Quote:i don't think ender wanted to be everybody's friend, his decisions certainly did not support this point of viewI see your point RivercOil, but what I am saying is that Ender desired friendship, not that he expected or saw it as possible. This probably stems from his desire to have Peter love him (which Peter does...as we saw in the scene where he thought Ender was sleeping). Ender desires a sense of normal, as we define it, human companionship, which he also realizes he will never have.His interaction with Alai and {the girl in the battle school} and Mazer and Graff show his desire for friendship and not the militaristic chain of command which is all he has. He does have Valentine's love and friendship...but he wants more. I feel he has bonded more with the Buggers than anyone else in the story...and they are all dead now...because of him.Peter is the defining conflict in this story as far as Ender's own person is concerned, for Peter is his failings...his weakness...his inability...all reflected in a mirror of himself.Mr. P. 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
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riverc0il
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Yes, I definitely see Ender as wanting to have the normal relationships that he could not have. He realized certain actions he made would negatively effect the chances of those relationships, but often felt he didn't have much choice in pushing people away. I do not quite see Peter being a conflict, Peter seems like a non-issue to Ender. I do not recall Ender having extensive conflict except that he kept thinking that he was not like Peter, and he definitely was not. Every person Ender hurt was a conflict essentially forced upon him, possibly with the exception of the first conflict in which Ender decided to put a stop to being teased forever... perhaps ironically the defining moment that set the future stage as Ender would not have gone to battleschool if he couldn't fend for himself.
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Quote:Was Ender just a tool, rather than a leader. I think he can be both a tool and a leader. ***************The Gimp Parade
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