Free Study Guide for Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card-BookNotes|
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SYMBOLISM / MOTIFS / IMAGERY / SYMBOLS
As the first time Ender kills, or even fights for that matter, Stilson is a reoccurring figure in Enderís mind. To him, Stilson represents the lesson of fighting once, and taking it as far as it must go to make sure he does not need to fight again. Stilson also haunts Enderís dreams since, even though he was not told, a part of Ender knows that he killed Stilson. Therefore, he is also a symbol of the murders of which Ender was the unwilling committer.
The references made to historical figures, both by Colonel Graff and by the children themselves, symbolizes the extent of the childrenís power and capabilities. It also makes them seem less childlike, but rather with a degree of aloofness and superiority that is associated with those large figures in the past. Locke and Demosthenes, the pen names that Peter and Valentine take on, symbolize Peter and Valentine to a certain extent. Although they start off representing the childís opposite view, in taking on the identity, each comes to adopt the other perspective themselves. Peter becomes the one to put forth a compromise for peace, reflecting Lockeís reasonable views while Valentine understands Demosthenesí need to avoid those in power in order to prevent repercussions.
Enderís army, Dragon, is associated with fire, showing a connection between the Salamander and Phoenix armies, both of which he served in previously. The dragon is a symbol for Ender because of its complex nature; it can capture both Enderís intelligence and violence. Salamanders are known for their ability to regenerate limbs. This could metaphorically be applied in any number of ways. For instance, the army itself lost a toon leader when Ender was promoted into it, but Ender grows in his ability and proves himself valuable. Another way would be that Ender is cut off from his old group, as he was starting to fit into it, and now must grow as a soldier.
In general, the games symbolize reality. Ender must wear a bugger mask when he plays with Peter, foreshadowing how he will come to understand and sympathize with the buggers. At Battle School, the games consume the childrenís lives, so much so that they stop acting like children on Earth and assume the role of commanders. The fantasy game reveals much of the inner turmoil in Enderís life. Finally, the games he plays at Command School turn out to be real, so that the image he sees actually does mean the destruction of the buggers.
Title: Enderís Game
Author: Orson Scott Card
Date Published: 1985
Meaning of the Title: The title refers to the war with buggers, during which Ender is commanding the human fleet but thinks it is a simulation. Therefore, it is just a game to him but the adults know the whole time that it is for real.
Setting: North Carolina, Battle School (and the fantasy game), Command School on Eros, Enderís World
Genre: novel (science fiction)
Protagonist: Andrew ďEnderĒ Wiggin
Antagonist: Although the buggers are seen as the overall antagonist, Ender comes to see the adults as the real enemy. He also must deal with his brother Peter, and has concentrated fights with a few of the other boys-Stilson, Bernard, and Bonzo.
Point of View: third person, focused on either Ender or Valentine. Also, at the start of chapters, there is a third person perspective, but while listening to often unnamed adult characters converse.
Tense: This story is written in past tense.
Rising Action: events at Battle School, before Ender is transferred to Command School
Exposition: first three chapters in which the reader is introduced to the Wiggin children and Colonel Graff, Ender is presented in contrast to Peter, and Ender decides to go to Battle School
Climax: the battle with the buggers, Enderís use of Dr. Device on the bugger home planet, and his being told that the battles have been real all along
Outcome: Peter comes into power on Earth, Valentine and Ender go to the first colony on a previous bugger world, Ender finds the hive queen and promises to find her a place to live again, Ender and Valentine set out in search of a place
Major Themes: children (capable) versus adults (untrustworthy), the line between good and evil, games versus reality
Minor Themes: murder and redemption/ love and destruction/ love and hate, winning at all costs, being different, revenge/ deceit/ manipulation, taking on an identity, struggle for survival/ understanding, influence of memories on what a person is
malleable: likely to give in to pressure from others
maladroit: awkward, lacking skill
toon: a small military unit
hegemony: leadership over others
I.F. : International Fleet
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McCauley, Kelly. "TheBestNotes on Ender's Game".
. 11 May 2008