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Ironically, the significant quote at the beginning of the book comes from the unnamed government official: “We promise gingerbread, but we eat the little bastards alive.” This establishes the fairy-tale parallel: Ender and Valentine, abandoned by their parents, must make their way together in the “forest”; they count on each other’s cleverness and loyalty to get out of the witch’s clutches. Nearer to the end of the book, in the Valentine” chapter (): “You’re two faces of the same coin. And I am the metal in between.” Here Ender is referring to Valentine and Peter’s elaborate Internet game of false identity, but at the same time Card is solidifying the relationships among the siblings. The book is in some ways two genres: the training and the battle with the Buggers makes up the main plot, but the relationships in the Wiggins family is psychologically more complicated. The early quote that compares the siblings with Hansel and Gretel does not square perfectly with the family analogy, unless you see Peter as a manifestation of the latent cruelty in the others.
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