Bird’s Wings

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade September 2001

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To vanquish our ability to communicate is like taking away a bird's wings. It cuts out the very center of our lives. We use language everyday to exchange thoughts and ideas and if it were taken away we, as Humans, would fall apart just like a bird would fall without its wings. In Orson Scott Card's novel, Ender's Game the lack of communication causes many problems. Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, a child with a phenomenal mind, is put in many violent situations that are the result of miscommunications. It doesn't matter whether they are between Stilson and Bonzo, two of Ender's peers in Battle School or a whole species of Buggers, Ender gets into fights that could have been avoided. Nevertheless, the lack of communication that took place in Ender's Game led to intense quarrels and, eventually, even a war.

Obviously, Stilson and Ender have a very aggressive relationship and the lack of communication in it leads to a violent situation.

Ender has never had to deal with Stilson's mockery in the past years of his life because up until he was six, he had the protection of his monitor. Nevertheless, as soon as the monitor was out, Stilson and his friends began making fun of Ender. "Anything I say will make it worse, so I will say nothing" (Card, 6), was what he was thinking during that time. This event is a great example of how the two of them could not talk to each other and, therefore fought. Another reason that prohibited them to converse was the fact that Stilson hated "Thirds". The families were meant only to have two children and if a third was born, it was considered wrong. As a result, the child was rebuked by society. Consequently, Stilson would not disclose in any conversations with them. Insulting and taunting him is a primary example of Stilson's hatred. He would even scream such things as " Hey third, hey turd" (Card, 6) to upset Ender. Unfortunately, their lack of communication increased and Ender was suppressing his anger until he couldn't tolerate it anymore and beat up Stilson. Unfortunately, this outrageous circumstance occurred because of their inability to articulate their thoughts.

Secondly, Bonzo's attitude towards Ender made communication between them difficult. The result of their growing hatred and unchanged attitudes was a tragic fight. At the beginning of the novel, when Ender's assignment is to Bonzo's army the hatred between them began. Almost as soon as he walks in, Bonzo calls him a "useless, untrained, hopeless specimen of underdevelopment."(Card, 76). This makes the start of their relationship very rocky and because Ender is afraid of him, they are unable to talk. In the end, this miscommunication will lead to a harmful situation. Another example of how they are unable to converse is seen when Bonzo is trying to kill Ender. In this situation, no matter what Ender could say or do would not change how Bonzo feels about him. Since they never got off on the right foot, even when Ender did try to communicate, it was too late. He tried to stop Bonzo from fighting with him, but it did not work because of their deep misunderstanding of each other. Dink, a fellow commander, said to Ender that, "Nobody hated like Bonzo" (Card, 212). It was true, once Bonzo was not in control that he could not communicate, and that is what lead to the miscommunication between them.

Finally, the foremost example of miscommunication in the book, it is between Ender, the Human world and the Buggers. The difference in language was what lead to war between the Buggers and the Humans. If only they could have talked, they might have found a way to co-exist. When Ender was talking to Graff in his final stages of training, he said a very important thing, "So this whole war is because we can't talk to each other"(Card, 289). Graff was right. The reason all these kids were being trained is because Humans could not think of a way to communicate to the Bugger species. Most likely, the best example actually shows how, as soon as Ender was able to communicate with the Buggers, they got along. During the last chapter, Speaker for the Dead, Ender came across a place that the Buggers built for him. In this place, he found the cocoon of a queen. When he closed his eyes, he could communicate with her. The queen said, " We did not mean to murder"¦. we thought we were the only thinking beings in the universe"¦. how were we to know? We could live with you in peace. Believe us" (Card, 321). If only the Humans and Ender would have been able to know all this before, there would have not needed to be a war. They were in the same position that Humans were. All this unnecessary fighting occurred simply because of the lack of communication between the two species. Undoubtedly, it can be seen that as soon as communication comes into a violent situation, it can be solved.

Evidently, miscommunication led to fights and wars throughout Ender's Game. In the novel, Ender had to deal with three situations in which there had been very limited communication and because of that, they all ended badly. Now, imagine if he could have talked to Stilson or Bonzo and told them his story. Maybe it would have changed the outcome that always led to fighting. Even more importantly, Ender ended up talking to the queen of the Buggers. If only they communicated before, there would never have been a war. If only we as people could communicate better, war would never be such a large problem. For example, the nations in our own society brawl over borderlines between their countries. We have seen wars erupt numerous times in the Middle East and the Balkans over sparsely settled areas. If only those governments could talk and realize the harsh consequences of war. It is strange to think that words have so much power, and all we have to do is use them. Our ability to communicate is so important, just like a birds wings are important. Let us use language to deliver our ideas and let birds uses their wings to fly.