Aspects of The Hero

Aidan McCorkle

© Copyright 2018 by
Aidan McCorkle

Photo of Ender.

Note: the hero is a small, intelligent boy tricked into committing genocide.

Often times, a pressing situation will reveal certain parts of a person's character that would be otherwise unnoticed. These types of situations vary from small person conflicts to total war, but in the case of the beloved hero Ender Wiggin, his pressing situations were games. The games of which Ender participated in reveal his brutality and intelligence.

The game Ender periodically played on his desk, the mind game, does an excellent job at revealing his brutality. The part of the game where the giant was offering ender two drinks, one of which was poison, frustrated Ender since he always seemed to choose the poison drink to the degree that he kills the Giant in a rather gruesome way: “Ender’s character burrowed into the eye, climbed right in, burrowed in and in” (Card pg. 64-65). Before the killing of the giant, Ender had tried countless times to pick the correct, non-poisonous drink and proceed to the part of the game referred to as fairyland. While Ender did express some patience, his outrage towards the game overcame that patience and caused him to brutally murder the giant that tormented him. In the same game, Ender is confronted with a group of children that morph into a pack of wolves. After trying twice to either avoid the wolf children or stun them, and being killed both times, he finally decides to drown them in the nearby brook: “Ender dragged the body to the brook and pulled it in. Each time the body sizzled as though the water were acid... The children were easily dispatched” (Card pg. 72). This situation is relatively similar to that of the giant's drink: however, Ender succumbed to violence much quicker in this instance. After only two tries of interacting with the children, Ender decides the only way to get past them, is to kill them all, and he decided this seemingly without hesitation. Whether it was a malicious giant or strange wolf children, the mind game clearly demonstrates Enders brutality.

Perhaps the most important game in the entire novel, the one that takes place inside the battle room, reveals his intelligence to a remarkable degree. When Ender is in a battle where it seems everything is stacked against him and his army, he still manages to win. In the battle with Salamander Army, Salamander Army deployed minutes before Dragon Army even arrived to the battle room, so they had positioned themselves around Enders Gate thinking that anyone who attempted to leave would be immediately flashed. Even though Ender was placed in a game that should be impossible to win, he did so anyway: “Now the boys understood. Tom was a shield, an armoured spacecraft, and Bean was hiding inside. He was certainly not invulnerable, but he would have time” (Card pg. 193). By positioning the soldiers in such a unique way, Ender was able to win battle, and he would have not been able to win the battle if it were not for his intellect that allowed him to formulate a plan to win. Another seemingly impossible battle was Ender’s final battle against two armies at once, and yet even then Ender was still able to win. His plan to do so was undoubtedly brilliant: “Let’s see how they react to a formation” (Card pg. 216). Ender had never, before then, used a formation to win a battle. Because of this, Ender knew that the last thing the enemy commanders would expect, was a formation. Using the time gained from a mixture of surprise and shock in the opposing armies, Ender was able to execute a secondary plan to launch five of his soldiers to the enemy gate and win. It was definitely not luck that was the cause of his victory, he was outnumbered two to one, and any other commander would have surely been obliterated; it was his mind. The battle room and the battles that take place there expose enders intelligence because of the incredible strategy he uses to win.

The mind game and the battle room reveal Enders intelligence and brutality by testing his ability to form a strategy and whittling down his patience.

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