Enders Game

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade November 2001

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Ender's Game by Card, Orson Scott Publisher: Tor Books ISBN: 0812550706 Ender's Game, first in a series of five books, begins on a futuristic Earth, the home of Peter, Valentine and Ender; three gifted siblings born a generation after an intergalactic battle against the insect-like aliens, "Buggers".

As we're taken back and forth between Ender's childhood and an ambiguous adult conversation, we learn of the existence a military force that controls its passive and obedient citizens. Government sanctions encourage only two children per family. Each newborn receives an implant, a "monitor" allowing military officials to view life through the eyes of the child and find candidates for their orbiting battle school.

Ender's older siblings, Peter and Valentine, were both rejected by the government; Peter for being too violent, and Valentine for being too caring. Their parents were instructed to bear a third child, Ender, in hopes that he would be a perfect mix of his older siblings.

Sure enough, Ender was chosen, and was manipulated into leaving his parents at the age of six to go train for battle.

The book deals with moral issues, such as whether it's right to take innocent children and turn them into fighting machines, simply for the betterment of humankind. Although Ender's Game is centered upon a futuristic space war, it shows a similarity to wars in the past. The government is able to convince the population that fighting or dying for one's country (or planet) is noble, heroic and glamorous; but, we learn through Ender's experiences that war is anything but.

As author Orson Scott Card commented in a November 1, 1998 interview for SCIFI.COM, Ender's Game is, "just an exaggeration of how things really are. We send our children out to fight our wars for us. The lieutenants and captains commanding draftees...