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Mandell, Zachary

Mrs. Davis
English 10 H-Red
October 27 2015
Love the Enemy: Empathy and Humanity in Enders Game, by Orson Scott Card
In Orson Scott Cards Enders Game, Card creates characterization when the
adults isolate Ender and he becomes frustrated and unable to feel confident in his
leadership abilities; ultimately, although Ender destroys the buggers, his empathetic side
compels him to atone for his actions, proving Cards assertion that learning to love the
enemy leads to a peaceful coexistence.
In preparation for the pending war, the Battle School constantly challenges Ender
to exceland lead in a solitary environment, precipitating a feeling of inadequacy. After a
short time as a launchie in Battle School, the adults transfer Ender to the Salamander
Army. Upon his arrival, Bonzo instructs Ender to stay out of the Salamander maneuvers
and battles, causing Ender to conclude So he was to be a nothing (111). Ender
encounters frustration due to his inability to display and enhance his skills, thus proving
his worth. The conflict Ender faces, though hindering his development, tests his fortitude
in a difficult scenario. After Enders rise in the ranks in Battle School, Ender speaks with
Alai. Ender realizes that the school has drastically affected his ability to maintain
friendships and laments, Ender felt as if part of himself had been taken away, an inward
prop that was holding up his courage and confidence (208-209). Card uses a metaphor to
elucidate the power of Alais support to Ender. Enders friendships have sustained his
ability to succeed in a hostile environment. Though Graffs isolating tactic pushes Ender
to become a better leader and create new strategies, Card asserts that humans
fundamentally require companionship in order to to succeed and remain stable. As the

commander of the Dragon Army, Ender encounters endless battles that exhaust his
physical and mental capacities. Almost at a breaking point, Ender talks to Bean and
implores, Theres a limit to how many clever new ideas I can come up with every day...I
need you to be clever, Bean (236). Card juxtaposes Ender and Bean by showing that
though differences exist between the characters, both exhibit tactical creativity. Ender
employs Bean to reduce the burden of leadership and responsibility, revealing that
humans cannot function in situations of immense pressure without the aid and support of
others. Ender returns to Earth and sees Valentine after long and arduous training in Battle
School. When Valentine hears of his despair and desire to quit, she advises, If you try
and lose then it isnt your fault. But if you dont try and we lose, then its all your fault.
You killed us all (282). Card foreshadows the destruction of a civilization, contingent on
Enders actions. Valentine explains that the best chance for human survival depends on
Ender resuming his commanding position and, regardless of the outcome, imparting his
best efforts to defeat the buggers.
Since Ender has come to love the buggers, he strives to make amends for his
inhumane destruction by endeavoring to rebuild and understand the bugger civilization.
After Ender completes what he thought was a simulation, he discovers that he has
actually annihilated the bugger race. With the totality of his actions in question, Ender
ponders the value placed on human and alien life and reflects, In battle I killed ten
billion buggers...who had not even launched a third attack against us, and no one thinks
to call it a crime (353). Card uses an understatement to illustrate the absurdity of humans
valuing two human lives over an entire race of non-aggressive buggers. Ender regrets his
actions and empathizes with all those he killed, both human and bugger. After destroying

the buggers, Ender speaks with Valentine about going to the first colony. Valentine
explains that moving to a new planet ensures Enders future safety; Ender agrees and
expresses, I stole their future from them; I can only begin to repay by seeing what I can
learn from their past (358). Ender eventually realizes that his wrongful destruction of the
buggers requires compensatory action. Enders need to atone for his actions develops the
theme of humanity by demonstrating that though not perfect, humans can learn from past
injustices and develop compassion, even toward ones enemies. As one of the first to
colonize the bugger planet, Ender works to learn from them. In his search, he discovers
the message the buggers have left for him and contemplates, He reached into the cavity
and took out the cocoon. It was astonishingly light to hold all the hope and future of a
great race within it (365). The cocoon symbolizes the rebirth of the bugger race. Ender
resolves to redress his genocide by searching for the right environment for a new bugger
civilization to re-emerge and thrive. After finding the cocoon, Ender pledges to help the
buggers re-establish their race. Ender vows Ill carry you...Ill go from world to world
until I find a time and a place where you can come awake in safety (366). Ender
promises to undo the destruction of the buggers and make the humans understand them.
Card develops the theme of humanity and how through love and understanding peaceful
coexistence can be achieved.