Ansh’s Long Writes 2018-2019
Possible Thesis Statements: Providing compassion helps better understand the enemy, therefore
One needs to be both ruthless and compassionate in order to win.
“Ender’s Game” a novel written by Orson Scott Card portrays a world in which a different race known as “Buggers” are the sworn enemy to humans. “Buggers” are essentially a high intelligence race of insects which have been involved in a war with humans before. Set in 3002, when Ender is born a high tech “monitor” is implemented into his neck. The government uses the monitors to track children’s level around the world to prepare for the next bugger attack. Ender has two siblings and in this world it is strict taboo to have a third child; as a result, Ender is constantly bullied, especially by his elder brother Peter. Peter is depicted as a harsh figure in Ender’s life, one he has struggle dealing with alone. Valentine aids Ender against Peter and is the most important figure in Ender’s life. When Ender is six, Colonel Graff appears at his doorstep and poses the question: Do you want to go to battle school, risk your childhood for the betterment of the world, isolate yourself from your family? Ender accepts. Ender then prepares himself for the launch into space, where this battle school is held. Upon arrival another child on the rocket assaults Ender with hard blows to the head and he is forced to react in a harsh way breaking the child’s left arm. This is just the beginning of Ender’s many choices at battle school both negative and positive. Throughout Ender’s battle school education, Colonel Graff imposes harsh treatment explicitly to Ender. Ender gets transferred into an army when he is obviously unready and is treated poorly by the leader. Showing his incredible skills, he then disobeys the orders from the leader and rescues the army from a near defeat. He is quickly traded to a different army and continues training with a much more compassionate leader. Meanwhile on Earth, Peter and Valentine are slowly gaining publicity and “taking over the world” simply by posting political opinions online. Once again Graff throws Ender a challenge he is unprepared for, Ender receives his own army for the battles and is put in charge. This army goes onto win constantly and Ender proceeds to beat up his old commander at his first army. It is later learned that Ender actually killed the commander without intentionally doing so. Ender is taken to commando school where he meets the hero of the previous bugger invasion. In what is believed to be a simulation, Ender eliminates the entire Bugger race but he quickly realizes it was reality. He returns to Earth and Valentine persuades him to visit a distinct colony, there he realizes the Buggers left him a message; stating that it was alright he destroyed their entire race and presented him with the ability to start it again. Ender shows his compassion and uses the Bugger cocoon provided to him to restart the race and fix his wrong. In the story, the author presents the idea that one needs to be both ruthless and compassionate in order to triumph.
In the story, two very crucial figures in Ender’s life are Peter and Valentine. Peter is shown as a ruthless character who doesn’t care about others feelings or emotions. Valentine is portrayed as a compassionate person who is roughly the opposite of Peter. “He (Peter) was the best we had seen in a long time. We asked your parents to choose a daughter next, hoping that Valentine would be Peter, but milder. She was too mild. And so we requisitioned you. To be half Peter and half Valentine” (Pg. 19) Through this speech spoken by Colonel Graff, the author continues to describe Ender as half passionate, half ruthless. Through the entirety of the story, Ender shows his complete ruthlessness when defending himself. “Just as the next blow was coming, Ender reached up with both hands, snatched the boy by the wrist and pulled down on the arm.” (pg. 26) As Ender is picked on multiple times, he is forced to defend himself and be ruthfull. Ender also shows his compassion when dealing with his first commander. “It isn’t my fault you gave me that order in front of everybody,” Ender said. “But if you want, I’ll pretend you won this argument. Then tomorrow you can tell me you changed your mind.” (pg. 69) Bonzo is constantly giving Ender a hard time but he takes the compassionate and non violent approach and it pays off. Ender confirms winning the argument