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Ender Wiggin: Brilliant, Yet Forlorn

In: English and Literature

Submitted By amreyes97
Words 704
Pages 3
What would it feel like to save the world at only eleven years old? Orson Scott Card’s novel Ender’s Game tells the story of an imperiled mankind after two wars with the buggers, an alien species. In preparation for an anticipated third invasion, Earth’s children, including Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, are trained to become future commanders for the third invasion. At the school, Ender's tactical smarts are revealed, which eventually lead him to become commander of the International Fleet. He ends the war by annihilating the entire bugger species. Throughout the novel, it becomes clear that Ender is a very complex character; he is a genius, but extremely lonely. Ender is a very intelligent child. He is six years old at the beginning of the novel, yet he can talk, write, and think like an accomplished Quantum Physicist. Although he is still a child, it is clear from the novel that good things do come in small packages; his small size is merely a container for brilliance. Ender is a tremendous leader. He is aware of exactly how to instill confidence, competence, and unity in people he works with. Before being promoted commander of the Dragon Army, Ender is a soldier in the Salamander Army, commanded by Bonzo Madrid, a rude and terrible leader with Spanish pride. Bonzo’s methods of leadership include instilling fear into his soldiers. Being under Bonzo’s command shows Ender what true leadership is, and helps him in the long run when he becomes commander of the Dragon Army. He leads his soldiers with respect, and does not develop any personal relationships with them. Throughout his residency as a commander in Battle School, he is met with impossible, unheard of challenges and battles, yet he and his soldiers get through and win every one under his leadership. The website shmoop.com says that although Ender always looks like the underdog, “in every situatuon, [the reader is] reminded that Ender is smarter than his opponents and even a better fighter” (Shmoop Editorial Team). He is an incredibly quick learner and has a perfectly developed temperament. Ender’s superiority not only in intelligence but also in moral perception helps define who he is and makes his character.
Ender has never really had many friends or people that like him very much in general. He is the third child in a future where most people think that two children should be the maximum. However, the government thinks that Peter, Ender’s brother and Valentine, Ender’s sister are so promising that they decided to give his parents permission to have a third child. Ender being a third results in the other kids in school calling him “Third” and picking on him. Ender is very smart and very small, so he becomes an easy target for the bullies at school. Ender also wears his monitor much longer than other children. The day it is removed, Stilson, a bully, begins a fight with him, because he knows the monitor cannot protect Ender. Additionally, while Valentine loves him and tries to protect him, Peter seems like a psychopathic monster filled with hate towards Ender, which scares him for two reasons: one, Peter is dangerous, and two, Ender thinks he could become crazy, like Peter. At battle school, he becomes a target partly because of his skill, and partly because of Colonel Graff. Graff truly believes the best of Ender, and says that “He’s clean. Right to [his] heart, he’s good” (36). This results in the other battle school students to become jealous of Ender, and none of them want to be his friend. However, being lonely is not all that bad for Ender. Being alone a lot of the time helps him become stronger, and makes him a better person.
It is evident that Ender Wiggin is a genius. His style of leadership works well, and he was smart and tactile enough to command the International Fleet’s army against the buggers in the final battle, ending the war with the buggers forever. But, he is also very lonely. He has always been set a step above from his peers, so no one really wants to get close to him except for his sister, Valentine. These traits shape Ender Wiggin’s character.

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