For those of you who don’t have time to read the actual book, I made this summary with analysis. It’s chapter by chapter!
Ender’s Game Summary and Analysis
The book starts out with a conversation between two unknown men that are talking about a boy and his brother and sister. They mention “buggers” which they think are a threat to humanity. Though they have some doubts about him that made his sister and brother ineligible for their program, they decide that he is their best shot at saving the world.
Next, the story continues by describing the six-year-old boy Andrew (who calls himself Ender), and the removal of his “monitor” (a device used by the officials to monitor his thoughts and moves). We learn from his thoughts that he had his monitor an entire year longer than his brother Peter, which makes Peter hate him. We also learn that he is a “third” (third child), which is apparently unusual at that time. The government had to give special permission to his parents to give birth to him. He is the boy that the two unknown men were discussing earlier in the chapter. During the painful removal of his monitor, he is drugged. Afterwards, he is sent back to class, where a bully named Stilson teases him about losing his monitor. After class, Stilson and his gang of boys corner Ender, and tried to beat him up. Ender realizes that if the situation continued, it wouldn’t be good for him. So, he teases Stilson’s gang into letting go of his arms, and letting him fight Stilson alone. He then kicks out desperately, and puts Stilson on the ground. Then he realized that if he just walked away now, there would be future conflicts. So, knowing the rules of manly warfare, he defies them and kicks Stilson when he’s on the ground. Afterwards, he cries, and wishes that Stilson and his gang had just left him alone, so that he wouldn’t have to hurt him. Also, he thinks that he has become just like Peter, for hurting people.
Analysis of Chapter 1
The adults’ conversation at the start of the book shows that there is a great deal of manipulation of children by adults at the time. They talk about having to surround Ender with enemies all the time, and it is already happening at Ender’s school.
The second part of the chapter shows how isolated Ender is, partly because of being a third, and also because of the monitor. So, Ender has to fend for himself, which is the very trait that the adults wish to breed in him. Also, it shows that Ender does not enjoy hurting people, and does not hate people. After hurting Stilson, he cries, thinking that he has become just like his brother Peter, but that very act shows that he and his brother are very different, because he doesn’t enjoy hurting people, and doesn’t want to be like his brother. Unlike his brother, he only stands up to people when he has no choice.
Chapter 2 begins the same way as Chapter 1 did, with a conversation between the same two adults. They appear to approve of the way that Ender dealt with Stilson. However, they are worried about how Peter would react to Ender after he had his monitor removed.
When Ender gets home, his kind sister Valentine comforts him over the loss of his monitor. Even though Ender now also lost his monitor, his brother Peter is still angered by the fact that Ender had his for longer than he did. Then, Peter decides to play buggers and astronauts with Ender. When the game begins, Ender tries to see humans the way buggers did, and called Peter a “slimy.” During the game, Peter starts doing actual physical damage to Ender, and remarks that it would be so easy to kill Ender and make people think it was an accident. Even though Ender does not think Peter is serious he knows that it is possible. Valentine talks Peter out of it, but Peter says that he will kill Ender eventually. Then, Peter laughs about it all, claiming that it was just a game, and that he was joking with them. That night, while Ender is lying in bed at night, Peter comes to him. At first, Ender suspects that Peter will try to murder him, but actually, Peter apologizes to Ender for what happened that day, and told Ender that he loved him.
Analysis of Chapter 2
In this chapter, Ender’s fear of becoming like Peter finally takes on meaning. He does not wish to become Peter, who manipulates, and hurts people. Peter showed himself capable of killing his siblings without remorse. Throughout the book, Ender is always concerned that he is becoming just like Peter, and he cannot stand the thought of it. At the end of the chapter, Peter was either trying to manipulate Ender again, or he was truly apologizing for his behavior, which shows that there is still some good in him, just like there is the killer instinct in Ender. Either way, it shows a depth in Peter’s personality that makes him more realistic and complex. Even though Peter’s act wasn’t good (he shouldn’t have threatened Ender in the first place), he still managed to comfort Ender, no matter what his purpose was. He proves to be one of the most influential characters in Ender’s life, save for Valentine.
The chapter starts out, once more, with a conversation between two mysterious men. This time, it is about Ender’s sister Valentine, and how she might compromise their efforts to recruit Ender. In the conversation, the unknown person remarks that, if they were unable to convince Ender to come with a lie, then they would have to do so with the truth.
In the morning, Ender is preoccupied with thoughts of what might happen at school. During breakfast, an officer from the International Fleet comes, and after talking with Ender’s parents for a while, Ender is called to the door. The officer, who later introduced himself as Graff, questions Ender’s motive for kicking Stilson after he knocked him down. Ender explains that he had to, in order to prevent similar fights in the future, and as he explains, he starts to cry. Afterwards, Graff offers Ender a chance to enter Battle School. Graff explains that, while it wasn’t the way they usually did it, the removal of Ender’s monitor was the final test, and that Ender had passed.
Graff explains to Ender that it would be better for him if he came voluntarily, though it would be harder. He tells the truth about how Battle School will not be the happiest path for Ender, but humanity needs him. Also, he reminds Ender that he would have to leave his family, and above all, Valentine. Furthermore, Graff tells Ender that his parents will not miss him, at least, not later on, because he was both their pride and shame. Finally, Ender agrees to go with Graff. As he leaves, he hears Valentine’s anguished voice, begging him to come back.
Analysis of Chapter 3
Once more, the conversation between the two men shows the amount of manipulation in children’s lives. Also, it shows how badly humanity needs Ender.
When Graff questions Ender about his actions regarding Stilson, Ender cries and shows remorse and empathy, which are the very traits that separated him from Peter, and made him the better candidate. Ender does not realize exactly how much humanity needs him. Graff mentions Mazer Rackham, the savior of mankind in the last war, and how they now need another savior (who might be Ender). In Graff’s conversation with Ender, he also brings up the history of Ender’s parents, and how they came from noncompliant families (families that defied the law and had more than two children, including them) and were ashamed of their past. They had resolved not to have more than two children, so that they could become a normal family. When the International Fleet requested Ender, they felt both pride, for being allowed to have more children than normally allowed, and also ashamed, because it also made them different from other families, which they had hoped to avoid in the first place.
Finally, after the lengthy conversation between Graff and Ender, Ender decides to sacrifice the only joy he had in life, Valentine, and go with Graff, for the good of humanity. The last voice he hears is the voice of his sister, imploring him to come back to her.
This chapter begins with a conversation between the same two men, discussing Ender and what they were going to do with him once he reached Battle School. They decide that Ender has to be isolated, but able to work well with subordinates. Also, one man remarks that Ender was nicer than he looked, but they would soon purge that.
Ender and nineteen other boys are on the shuttle to Battle School. As they approach the shuttle, Ender realizes that Graff and the adults were watching, and analyzing their every move. When they enter the shuttle, Ender sees that the walls of the shuttle are carpeted like the floor, and realizes that in space, gravity has no meaning. During the flight, Graff begins deliberately changing orientations. Many other boys started feeling sick, but Ender finds it funny, and reorients Graff in his mind much faster than Graff was actually moving. However, Graff interrupts him, and asks him what he finds so funny. Ender tells the truth, and Graff asks the other kids if they thought it was funny too. When they answer no, Graff insults them, and tells them that Ender was the best in the launch, and the only one with brains. Afterwards, the boy in the seat behind Ender starts hitting him in the head. Ender realizes that the teachers were not going to come to his assistance, and decides to fend for himself. Thus, he times the movements of the boy behind him, and when he strikes again, Ender grabs his arm, pulling down and causing the boy to flip into null gravity. The boy smashed into a wall, breaking his arm. Once more, Ender feels sick and tries to convince himself that he was not Peter. Graff appears once again, and reminds the kids in Ender’s launch group that Ender was the only smart one, further isolating him. When they reach the school, Ender tells Graff he feels betrayed, and that he thought Graff was his friend. Graff told him that he wasn’t his friend, and that his job was simply to train soldiers. However, after Ender leaves, Graff remarks to Anderson (a teacher) that Ender was right, and that he is Ender’s friend.
Analysis of Chapter 4
Once again, the starting conversation shows the manipulation in Ender’s life, and also shows a growing urgency and need for Ender. It appears that Ender is different from the other kids, and is receiving special treatment. Also, whatever Ender is needed for, nice has nothing to do with it. He has to be isolated, in order to have him remain creative, and self-dependent, but he also learns how to make friends, and lead.
Despite being very nervous, Ender stays calm, and analyzes the details, noting information that may be important later on. He notices the adults watching them, and realizes that their every move would mean something. Once in the shuttle, he reorients himself quickly, and convinces himself that he was climbing down the floor. When Graff plays his orientation game, Ender, unlike other boys, found it amusing. When he is isolated by Graff, and attacked by the boy behind him, he stays calm, and reacts effectively. However, again, while protecting himself, he hurts someone else. Once more, he has to convince himself that he is not like Peter, and he wishes only that the other boy had left him alone so that he didn’t have to hurt him.
This conversation is between Graff, and another person. In the conversation, the person and Graff discuss Ender’s actions regarding Bernard. Finally, they decide that Ender is the one they need. Graff ends the conversation, saying that Ender can have friends, but not parents.
Once Ender and his fellow launch-mates (Launchies) reach Battle School, the other Launchies purposely reserve the worst bunk for Ender. Ender pretends that it was the bunk he wanted, thanking the other boys. Dap, who introduces himself as their mom, comes in, and tells the Launchies that it they had questions, he would answer them, but he wasn’t going to take care of all of their problems. At dinner, Ender meets an older boy called Mick, who gives him some advice, which Ender does not like. When Ender thinks of his family, he starts to cry, but manages not to by counting doubles. When he is finally unable to hold the numbers in his head any longer, his mind is already clear. That night, as Dap checks around the room, Ender is one of the few not crying, and with dry eyes. He then thanks Peter silently for teaching him how to hide his emotions, because he needed that now, more than ever. The second day, Dap introduced them to the game room. Ender is not interested in the games for the Launchies, and goes into the older boys’ area. There, he learns enough about a game to beat one of the older boys two out of three. Though afterwards, they shoo him away, and blame it on the machine, Ender soon sees older boys trying to use a few of Ender’s tricks in the game. Later on, the boy whose arm Ender broke (Bernard) starts forming a gang, which teases and harasses Ender and another Launchy called Shen. Ender does not fight back outright, but instead plays tricks on Bernard on his desk (computer). He sends two messages that embarrass Bernard, one using the name “God,” and the other with Bernard’s name. Bernard is furious, and starts shouting. Dap enters, and asks him why he was shouting. Bernard tells what happened to Dap, and Dap says that he knew who sent the message. Bernard starts shouting for him to tell him who it was, but Dap makes it clear that Bernard could not shout at him. Bernard’s control over Ender’s launch group is broken, and Ender’s isolation is ended.
Analysis of Chapter 5
In the starting conversation, Graff thinks that Ender must be self-dependant, and can never be coddled.
Graff was right on the shuttle to Battle School. Ender is different, and is mentally stronger. He excels in self-control, and also sees things others do not. While it makes him better than other students, it also makes him different, and disliked by others. Ender knew that if he let Bernard continue to gain control, it would end up like it ended up with Stilson. So, Ender cleverly breaks up Bernard’s group without violence, but rather with words. While others are open books, Ender hides his true emotions and thoughts, like Peter taught him how to. Because he does this, Ender is isolated to a certain degree. Thus, it is harder for him to share his feelings with other people, and harder for him to maintain his sense of empathy that keeps him and Peter different.
The Giant’s Drink
In the beginning of this chapter, Graff and another man (possibly the same person as in the previous chapter) are discussing Ender and the mind game, and how he kept playing the part called Giant’s Drink. Apparently, one boy called Pinual had killed himself, though Graff things that the two situations are unrelated. Also, Ender’s launch group is split up, and the other man wants Ender to fix the problem. Also, in the conversation, it is revealed that the man is in charge of the fleet, and in need of a commander, who is presumably Ender.
In the meantime, Ender and his fellow Launchies are in the Battle Room, moving in null gravity while wearing special suits. Ender, with some experimentation, finds out a way to control his movements, and demonstrates to Shen. However, it was Alai, and then Bernard who tried out what he figured out. Then, Ender and Alai decide to work together, and maneuver around the room. Afterwards, they figure out how the guns on their suits worked. Then, they decided to, with Bernard and Shen, attack the other boys with the guns, which more or less froze the suits where the beams hit. After practice was free time, and Ender decided to play the mind game. Even though he does not want to, he plays the Giant’s Drink game again, dieing a few times before becoming infuriated at the unfairness of the game. He then breaks the rules, and instead of choosing a drink (and inevitably dieing), he kicks the Giant in the chin, then digs into the Giant’s eye, killing it. When he landed, a bat came, and after offering it some of the Giant’s eye stuff, the bat welcomed him to Fairyland. Even though he knew he should explore, he signed off, and felt horrible, thinking that he was just like Peter again.
Analysis of Chapter 6
Again, it is proven that humanity’s need of Ender is urgent, as Graff is meeting with people high up in the I. F. command about Ender. The I. F. have a direct interest in Ender’s actions, despite Graff’s request to be allowed to teach Ender without interference.
Ender proves himself once again, by making friends with Alai, and mending the breach in their launch group. Furthermore, Ender managed to take the mind game past a dead end, though by breaking the rules. Ender is aware that it is just a game, but it has a large impact on him, and in order to survive, he must hurt others, which he hates. Many times, he has proved that the only way to win is to break the rules, and mostly that involves hurting others. The winning of the Giant’s Drink mirrors Ender’s fight with Stilson in that way. Against Stilson, the only way he could win thoroughly was by breaking the rules of manly warfare, consciously. Both time, he feels sick for the hurt he has done, and thinks that he is just like Peter, hating himself, and therefore proving that he is different.
This chapter starts out with a conversation between Graff and General Levy. They are discussing how Ender beat the part of the game that wasn’t supposed to be won. Ender has managed to deal with both his launch group, and also the mind game. Thus, Graff decides to put him in another situation. General Levy expresses his concern for Ender, and is chastised by Graff for being too compassionate.
Ender and Alai are at dinner, and Alai approaches Ender, requesting his help setting up a security system for his desk. Ender agrees, but when they return to their barracks, Alai finds a note on Ender’s bunk, stating that Ender had been transferred to Salamander Army, under the command of Bonzo Madrid, effective immediately. Alai hugs Ender, kisses him on the cheek, and says the word “Salaam” in his ear. Ender leaves, but instead of going to his new army, he plays the mind game again. Ender once again makes his way through the game until he reaches a door marked “The End of the World.” Ender moves through the door, and falls a long way, but is caught by clouds, and brought to a tower room with a snake and no escape routes. Even as Ender searches for a way to survive, the screen goes blank, and he is ordered to report to his new commander immediately.
When he reaches Salamander army barracks, he meets Bonzo (the commander), who dislikes him (Bonzo lost a toon leader to get him), and Petra (an outcast) who wants to be friends, and agrees to help him train. Bonzo orders Ender to do his homework while the army is training, and not to do anything during battle. Ender follows orders, but trains with Petra. Ender turns seven. As Bonzo would not allow him to practice with the army, he decided to practice with some of his old launch group. Bonzo orders Ender not to, but Ender manages to make Bonzo think he has no choice, since he cannot control free play. Also, Ender agreed to act defeated today if Bonzo authorized it the next day, and Bonzo hated him for doing so. Later on, after a few battles in which he did nothing (and emerged at the top of the soldier rankings), Salamander had a battle against Leopard, and after Leopard destroyed the Salamander army, Ender disobeyed orders and froze enough Leopards to tie the game. After the battle, Bonzo comes to him, telling him that he had been transferred to Rat army, then hits Ender.
Analysis of Chapter 7
In this chapter, Ender had just become comfortable with life in his launch group, and he actually had a friend (Alai) who fills up the void where Valentine had been for Ender. Graff then transferred Ender to Salamander army, where Ender had to learn to cope with bad commanders like Bonzo, and still find a way to work and improve. Ender has potential to be a very good soldier, or even a toon leader, but Bonzo hates him because he is small and inexperienced, and so refuses to train him. Nevertheless, Ender finds a way around the problem, and trains with Petra and his launch group. When Ender is ordered not to fire his weapon during battles, Ender chooses to disobey that order, for his army, even though he knew that Bonzo would hate him. When Bonzo strikes him, Bonzo destroyed his own discipline, all because of his sense of honor and pride.
This chapter starts out with a conversation between Graff and Anderson, and they are arguing because Graff requested that Anderson make unfair battle scenarios. Graff thinks that Ender has to learn how to face uneven odds, because in the war, he will always be outnumbered. However, Anderson is against this, because he thinks that the game’s fairness was important to the training, and cheated games would destroy the effectiveness of the entire purpose of Battle School. Anderson then threatens to contact the higher authorities, but Graff convinces him not to.
In the meantime, Ender arrives at Rat Army, where Rose the Nose is in charge, and he is assigned to Dink Meeker’s toon. Though Rose orders him not to use his desk, Dink tells Ender to ignore Rose. Dink is good, though he was still too insistent on holding onto gravity in the corridors, and Ender learns from him. Furthermore, Ender continues his practice sessions and teaches what he learns to his launch group, as well as anyone else that cared to come. At the next battle, Rose tells Ender to go for the enemy gate immediately, which Ender knew was suicide, but still did, freezing many enemies as he did so. Then, armies changed the way they started their battles, and practiced instant emerges. One day, after a practice session, Ender and Dink have a conversation. Dink says that they are not normal, and the school makes them crazy. Dink thinks that the bugger menace is a fake, and that it was only believed because of the war that would happen after its elimination. Ender does not believe this, but the conversation makes him wise; he now listens to what people actually mean rather than what they say. During one of Ender’s free time practices, older boys come and mock the Launchies, and surrounding them. Ender manages to get all of his Launchies safely to the gate, but he has to fight his way out, injuring four of the boys. Once again, he feels sick for the hurt that he has caused. That night, when Ender plays the mind game again and kills the snake in the tower, he finds a mirror. In it, he saw his brother Peter. Ender is struck by this image, because he knew that the game told truth, and yet he could not bear being like Peter. However, he soon realized that that was exactly what the teachers wanted in him, the killer instinct, and he resolves to be a good tool, as Graff said, of humanity, though he knows that he will hate himself.
Analysis of Chapter 8
This conversation between Graff and Anderson shows that Ender is the only hope for humanity, and even the Battle School can be manipulated to make Ender ready for war. Graff has one consistent argument, that anything is fine as long as humanity can survive.
Ender is now doing well once more, under the command of Dink, and learning new things, which he teaches to his Launchies. However, he is troubled by the fight in the battleroom, though he knows that it was not his fault (doesn’t that sound familiar). In the mind game, Ender thinks that the game might be right, and that he really was like Peter. The repeated situations and results Ender has been forced into make it impossible to deny some sort of comparison with his evil brother, and so, Ender has started to hate himself.
Locke and Demosthenes
This chapter starts with an argument between Graff and Major Imbu. Graff is angry that the computer put a picture of Peter in the mirror, and questions Major Imbu, who says that the game was in uncharted territory, and that the game might not even know itself, though the mind game can only take a picture when it thinks that it is for the child’s own good.
This time, the story resumes with Valentine, who is making little tepees that she burns on Ender’s birthday. The family has moved to Greensboro, and Peter has become seemingly normal, though he is still cruel and evil inside. Peter comes to her, telling her that he has figured out that Russia is preparing for land war. The Warsaw Pact, which formed all nations into one coalition against the buggers, was breaking up. Peter tells that now was the perfect time for them to take over the world by his plan. He explains that he must have power, one way or another, and he wants to control something meaningful, but he needs her help. They manage to get onto the nets and after some practice using other identities, they utilize the identities Demosthenes (Valentine) and Locke (Peter), and start inserting political ideas.
In the meantime, at Battle School, Ender (now nine years old and a toon leader in Phoenix army under Petra) is the top ranked soldier, but he hates his life. Ender is still stuck at the mirror with his brother’s face, and he feels despair. Graff goes down to Earth, and requests that Valentine write a letter to Ender, comforting him and telling him that he was not like Peter. Valentine writes the letter and when Ender reads it, he realizes that they must know about Peter in the mirror, and that this was another means of manipulation in an attempt to steer him past the dead end. Ender is angry that they took Valentine away from him, and goes back to the mind game, and this time, he kisses the snake that he had crushed under his feet, and it turned into his Valentine, who walked to the mirror with him. Peter does not appear, and the mirror opens, revealing a stairway that he and Valentine walk down. Ender is happy that Valentine will always be with him, and did not notice that every person of the cheering multitude bore Peter’s face.
Analysis of Chapter 9
This chapter is mainly about all three siblings rather than just Ender. Even as Ender acknowledges the Peter in the mirror, Valentine realizes that there is much of Peter in her as well. Peter proves himself capable of manipulating anyone, and though Valentine is going along with him, her motivations are different, and she tries to temper Peter’s actions. Valentine, like Peter, enjoys power when she has it, but does not need it like Peter does. In Valentine’s conversation with Graff, Graff tells the truth, and that they needed her help manipulating her brother, and helping him at the same time, even though he uses that to manipulate Valentine into writing the letter. Valentine’s letter destroys for Ender’s only memory that still meant anything to him, and angers him into moving him farther in the mind game than he had ever been (for that matter, he was already on uncharted territory). Graff’s manipulation pushes Ender past another dead end, but Ender now viewed the teachers as the enemy, for taking away Valentine. Either way, Ender is once more ready for battle, or more specifically, for command.
The conversation at the start of this chapter is between Graff and Anderson. Graff is having a slight moral dilemma about what they are doing to Ender, but Anderson reminds him that they are saving the world. In the conversation, it is revealed that Anderson had made the unfair battle scenarios, and Ender is about to be given an army.
The army Ender was given was made up mostly of untrained Launchies, and a few veterans. Furthermore, Ender was not allowed to trade any of his soldiers. When he first meets his army, he mixes things up a little, arranging bunking by seniority, the younger students in front, unlike other armies. Then, he takes them directly to the battleroom, where he tells them that the enemy gate is down, and to use legs as shields. For a reason Ender did not know, he began picking on a small boy called Bean, who was the smartest of them all. He later realizes that he did it because that’s what Graff did to him, and it made him better. After their first practice session, Bean confronts Ender, and asks to be made a toon leader, inciting a reply from Ender that if he proved himself as a soldier, he would be made toon leader. In the evening, when he goes to the battleroom, Anderson tells him that his informal evening practice sessions with soldiers from other armies and Launchies were over, because he was now a commander. Later in the evening, while in the game room, he meets Alai, and they both knew that things had changed between them. However, Ender is only angered by this, and by the fact that the teachers had used Valentine against him, and decided to defeat them for it.
Analysis of Chapter 10
At the beginning of this chapter, Graff and Anderson both show that they are willing to break kids for the sake of humanity, and that the excuse of saving the world is enough for anything for them.
In this chapter, Ender becomes a lot like Graff, though he does not know it. He is forced to give orders and maintain discipline because he was now a commander. He picks on the best boy in his army, Bean, isolating him, because that’s what Graff had done to Ender, and it had made him a better soldier. Ender sees a lot of Bean in himself, and unwittingly acts like Graff. Ender and Graff both think that the manipulation is necessary, but they also both know that they are the friend of that soldier. Furthermore, the way Ender treats his army is similar to how the adults treat the children.
Veni Vedi Veci
At the beginning of this chapter, Anderson and Graff are talking about the schedule they have for Ender and his army, and how it was beyond anything anyone else had to go through. Also, Graff says that he was losing his zeal for sacrificing kids for humanity. Nevertheless, Graff and Anderson decide to take Ender through it, because it is the only way that Ender can reach his full potential in time.
That morning, Ender was thinking about his army, and wondering whether his army was exceptional or what any good commander could accomplish. Also, he longed for battle, because he felt that his army was ready. Then, his wish was suddenly granted, for the better or for the worse remains to say, and the first battle slip was received. After the lights came on, Ender immediately went to his army’s barracks and told them about the battle to come, against Rabbit army. His army destroys the Rabbit army, because every toon leader had been trained to think by himself, and all toons, or even half-toons, could function by themselves efficiently. Though his army is exhilarated by the victory, he points out their mistakes, and sets them to work in practice again. The next day, there was another battle, which is an unheard of rate. This time, Ender’s army, with some slight difficulty, conquered Petra’s Phoenix army. At the end of the week the score was seven wins, and zero losses. Ender goes to the film room, and watches battles during the First and Second Invasions. In the videos, it is the buggers that teach Ender strategy.
Later on, Ender is summoned by Graff and Anderson, and they question him about his army. Ender challenges them to give him a battle against a good army, and he is given another battle that day, against Salamander army, which was already lying in wait at the battle room. Using another brilliant strategy, Ender defeats them easily, and speaks angrily to Anderson, expressing that he had thought that they would be up against a good army. Ender orders Bean to tell him how Salamander army could have won, which he does. Then, Ender unfreezes everyone in the room at the same time, ignoring ritual. Later on, he realizes that this would have brought Bonzo’s honor and hate for him to a boil.
That night, Ender summons Bean, and asks him if he knew the significance of the game. Bean answered correctly that it was to train soldiers for the bugger war, and Ender reveals that it is important to know that the game only exists for that, and didn’t have a meaning in itself. Then, Ender tells Bean that he needs help, and gives him a small squad of soldiers from each toon, that were to be a special unit that would try new things, new ideas.
Analysis of Chapter 11
In this chapter, Ender proves his brilliance as a commander, and his creativity. He manages to train an inexperienced army in a remarkably short period of time, to fight against seasoned armies, winning every time. During his conversation with Graff and Anderson, he reveals that the teachers are more his enemies than the other armies, and he is determined to beat the teachers. Ender, unlike many other people, does not hate people who hate him. Even though Bonzo’s hate for him was considerable, Ender never wanted revenge or to provoke him in any way. Nevertheless, he knows that he will have to deal with Bonzo’s hatred someday, and he hoped that that day would never come.
Ender’s conversation with Bean reveals that he has limits; he cannot be everywhere at once. Therefore, he was entrusting part of his job to Bean, who was supposed to come up with new ideas, strategies, and counter-strategies. Also, he makes it very clear that the future bugger war was all that mattered; the games don’t matter. He is already proving himself to be like a fleet commander, looking at the bigger picture while leaving details to subordinates.
The chapter starts out with a conversation between Colonel Graff and General Pace (chief of military police). They had learned from Dap that there was a conspiracy to harm Ender, and Pace wants Graff to take action, while Graff insists that Ender must handle this on his own in order to reach the peak of his abilities. Finally, Pace relents, but says that if Graff’s plans do not work, then Graff would be severely punished.
Ender is watching Bean and his squad practice with a deadline while the rest of Dragon army is training. After the training session, as Ender walks through the corridors with his army, he notices an unusual amount of boys from armies that hate him. He was concerned for his army, and even as he was thinking, Petra came up from behind and asked to talk with him. Ender noticed that if he stopped, his army would move ahead of him and leave him vulnerable, and thus tells Petra to catch up with him. Ender was unsure whether Petra was part of the plot too, and confronts her about it after she tells him to watch out. His army overhears, and his toon leaders insist on escorting him to his room. When he reaches his room, he sees that Dink had sent him a message telling him to never be alone, and feels reassured. After winning an yet another unfair battle the next day, Ender was tired, and fell asleep while the rest of his boys were showering, waking up just before lunchtime. When he finishes his shower, Bonzo, Bernard and six other boys surround him. Ender knows that Bonzo is the only one who posed the real threat, and actually wanted to kill him. Thus, Ender convinces Bonzo into fighting him alone. He then uses steam to make his soapy skin slippery. Dink rushes in to try to convince Bonzo not to fight but he is pushed outside by the other kids. When Bonzo jumped at Ender, Ender dodged the attack and lunged upward, jamming the top of his head into Bonzo’s face. Then, Ender realized the same thing he did while fighting Stilson, and decided to end future confrontations as well. He knocked Bonzo to the ground and kicked him in the crotch, but Bonzo was motionless. Dink then took Ender away, and Ender once more cried, wishing he did not have to hurt Bonzo. After awhile, Ender is given a battle the same night against two armies. Finally, Ender decided to beat the game by breaking the rules, and sending boys straight for the door. After the lights came on again, and Anderson came through the teacher door, Ender argued with Anderson, protesting the unfairness of the battle. He then decided to not play the game any more, and returned to his room. Graff and Anderson enter, giving Ender his graduation papers, which will take him to Command School. However, Graff and Ender first journey to Earth, where Ender spends some time on vacation. However, Earth had become alien to Ender and it no longer felt like home to Ender; Battle School had become Ender’s home.
The chapter ends with a conversation similar to the kind that begins each chapter, between Colonel Anderson (replacing Graff as administrator of Battle School), and Major Imbu. It is revealed that Ender killed Bonzo when they fought, and had also killed Stilson. Also, they discuss Graff’s actions, and how while his plan worked (Ender succeeded brilliantly) though a boy was killed. Finally, Anderson says that Ender would be ready just in time for the war, or maybe much too late.
Analysis of Chapter 12
Chapter 12 is the climax of the conflict between Bonzo and Ender, as well as the increasingly difficult battles that Ender and his army have to go through. In Ender’s fight against Bonzo, Ender acts similarly to the way he acted with Stilson, trying to end future conflicts as well, and ending up hurting someone else very badly (killing them without really knowing it). After the battle with Bonzo, possibly one of the worst events in his life, he is pushed into a battle where his army is worn out, and they have two armies with an absolutely stacked star arrangement against them. Graff was right, these events combined would either break Ender or make him peak. Ender uses a brilliant strategy and bends the rules to win. Even as he gave the order to go for the gate, he already knew that he wasn’t going to play the game any more. The teachers were the enemies, not the other armies, and the game was over. Ender keeps his compassion and empathy that separates him from Peter. Unlike others, he never seeks revenge or hates his enemies. He just wishes they would just not want to hurt him, so he wouldn’t have to destroy them.
The conversation that begins this chapter shows that the I. F. officials have found out the true identity of Demosthenes and Locke. However, they decide not to reveal this situation, because there was always the chance that they were correct.
Valentine, meanwhile, has come to enjoy being Demosthenes, and has shifted her point of view. Thus, Valentine has become, to a certain degree, Demosthenes. One day, Graff comes again, and takes her to Ender, who is on a short leave from school. Ender has been on earth for two months and does not want to of return to space, where there is nothing but games and battles. Ender tells Valentine that knows his enemies so well that he almost loves them, and then he destroys them, which destroys a part of him. Also in their conversation, Ender says that he does not wish to beat Peter, and that he just wanted Peter to love him, which Valentine cannot understand. Valentine manages to convince Ender to return to school for her sake, and leaves, knowing that Ender won’t forgive her soon for forcing him to go back.
On the voyage to Eros, where I.F. Command and Command School is, Graff reveals everything he knows about the buggers to Ender, including that buggers can communicate instantaneously, with thought, and that humans learned to do the same, using the ansible. Furthermore, Graff reveals that there isn’t a large defense fleet in the solar system and that all the human ships are the Third Invasion, the invasion of the bugger’s home worlds. Ender asks why they were fighting with the buggers, and Graff explains that it might just be a misunderstanding, but when humanity is at stake, and already invaded, there is no choice but to fight back, to ensure survival.
Analysis of Chapter 13
In this chapter, it is revealed that despite everything, Ender still loves Valentine with all his heart, and so she has a large influence on him. She manages to convince Ender to save mankind, for her sake at least. Another difference is brought out between Ender and Peter. That is, when Ender defeats his enemies, he can do that by understanding them better than anyone, to the point that he almost loved them like they loved themselves, but it is then painful for him to destroy them, while Peter crushes them without remorse or a sense of loss. Unlike his siblings, Ender would be content to live a normal life, and does not have ambition or need of power at all. However, he shows that there is nothing that he would not do for Valentine, including giving in to the destroyer side of him, essentially destroying himself. Once on the shuttle to Eros, Ender learns from Graff that by studying the buggers, humans have learned how to master communication at faster than light speed and that the buggers actually think that way. Thus, it is possible that buggers did not think of humans as intelligent beings. However, even though there was no guarantee that the buggers were going to attack again, they would have to destroy the buggers to ensure the safety of humanity.
This conversation is between Admiral Chamrajnagar and Graff, and Chamrajnagar starts out by questioning the three month vacation that Graff let Ender take, but Graff said that it was necessary for Ender.
Once at Command School, Ender spends his time alone or with Graff, occasionally taking classes but mostly working with the simulator, which was to Command School what the Battle Room was the Battle School. In this game Ender works his way up from commanding a single fighter to an entire fleet. After a year Ender finds it easy, and he says so to Graff.
The next day, Ender finds an old man in his room, and that his door was locked. When Ender does exercises to pass the time, the old man attacks him. After defeating Ender, the man introduces himself as Mazer Rackham, his new teacher and enemy. Together they watch tapes of the First and Second Invasions. Mazer explains that during his famous battle, he destroyed the queen ship, and that the buggers were like bugs, and are like arms and legs of a central intelligence (the queen). Therefore, once the queen was killed, all of the buggers that were a part of her shut down, and went stupid. Humans, on the other hand, all think for themselves, and that is both their advantage and disadvantage against the buggers. Ender is then moved into a new simulator where there are no controls, but rather, headphones, for him to command his best friends and opponents from Battle School, who would be his squadron leaders. Mazer tells Ender that he is preparing increasingly difficult simulations of a real invasion. Ender spends most of his time practicing with his squad leaders and battles are fought every couple of days. After every battle, he and Mazer go over them to see what he could have done differently, and better. Soon, Ender gets into a routine; he fights when awake and then has strange nightmares when he sleeps. Then one day Mazer tells him that the battle will be the final test. When the battle starts, the screen shows Ender to be vastly outnumbered. Ender, feeling the same despair as during his last battle at Battle School, and decides that winning is all that matters, going straight for the enemy planet. After destroying the planet, Rackham tells him that he has actually been the fleet commander of the Third Invasion and that he just destroyed the buggers completely. Ender is angry and sad, because he disliked hurting people, and yet he had just committed genocide.
Afterwards, he slept as the Warsaw Pact broke apart, and armies clashed. When he woke up, he found his friends around him, and they break the news to him that the Locke Proposal had been accepted, and briefed him on everything else that he missed.
Analysis of Chapter 14
In the chapter, Ender trains hard, and drives him squadron leaders hard, though it is himself that he drives the hardest. Even though all he knew was that it was all games, he still worked hard, because winning was everything at this point, and Mazer drilled that into him.
After the final battle at the bugger home planet, Ender feels only remorse, because he is not like Peter, a ruthless killer, but rather feels the buggers’ pain. He is angry at Mazer and Graff, and feels betrayed, because though he knew of their manipulation, he did not suspect that they would do it to this point, where he had no idea that he was killing, or sending pilots to their deaths. Graff and Mazer manipulated him exactly because of that. If Ender had known that it wasn’t a game, then he never would have fought those battles, and never would have ensured the safety of mankind. In Command School, the games have taken on meaning, and how it is played also has a meaning. In this chapter, games become reality, and reality becomes a game.
Speaker for the Dead
At the beginning of this chapter, Graff and Anderson are no longer so formal and urgent, and finally sound somewhat normal. Graff is being made Minister of Colonization, while Anderson was taking up a job as a commissioner of a football league. They are at the lake that Ender went to vacation at, and it is revealed that Graff survived the court-martial, where the prosecution tried to pin Graff for allowing the murder of Bonzo and Stilson.
Ender watches the trials, and finds it ironic that while the murder of two boys sparked such a large trial, the killing of the entire bugger race was hardly mentioned. On Eros, people didn’t really found him useful, but he found a way of expressing his ideas through others. Valentine comes to Ender, and reveals that Peter (Locke) was now ruling the whole world, and that she (Demosthenes) forced Peter not to have Ender come back, because if Ender did, then he would always be manipulated by Peter. Valentine asks Ender to go with her to a former bugger world, where colonization was about to start. There, Ender finds a bugger queen, which manages to convey to him through images that the war was a misunderstanding, but they understood that Ender never meant to hurt them, and they forgave him. However, the bugger queen wanted Ender to find a world where the bugger race could be brought back into existence, and Ender agrees, writing a book signed Speaker for the Dead, in which he explains the entire bugger history, which the bugger queen conveyed to him. Then, he convinces Valentine to go with him, traveling to many new worlds, seeking for the world where buggers could rebuild.
Analysis of Chapter 15
In this final chapter, Valentine reveals to Ender that people are always manipulated, but Ender is now presented with a choice to be manipulated into doing something he wanted to do, which was freedom. When Ender finds the bugger queen, she knows of his compassion, and the fact that he did not hate them, and manipulated him into helping her find a world where buggers could be brought back into existence. Even though Ender is still being manipulated, this is what he wanted to do all along, to atone for his sins. She showed him that the buggers would have been content to leave humanity alone, but the humans did not understand and came back to destroy them. The buggers had been in Ender’s thoughts, so they knew more about him than anyone else. They knew that Ender wanted to help them.
It ends up that Ender was right when he told Valentine that when he understood his enemy enough to defeat him, at that very moment before he destroyed them, he loved them like they loved themselves. It is both his empathy that allows him to destroy the bugger race, and also to help rebuild it. Now, with the bugger queen, Ender is truly free, and able to make up for what he did while under others’ manipulation, fighting that meaningless war that occurred just because of a misunderstanding.