The themes of Ender's Game are related to its social concerns: the danger of military control, the need for ethical training, and the danger of computers used without regard for humane considerations. The military in Ender's Game sees its mission as literally saving Earth from an insectoid alien race called the "buggers." Military strategists create hysteria, resulting in a mostly united Earth as previously antagonistic countries ally themselves to prepare to fight the perceived threat. Thus the military, an alliance of the super powers and their minions, gains control over the Earth while maintaining the facade of civil government. Even though the upper echelon knows that the previous bugger expedition was exploratory rather than aggressive and that the buggers are no longer a threat to Earth, they nonetheless plan the utter annihilation of the race. In doing so they ensure their continued power. Even after the buggers are wiped out, the military plans to remain in power as the heroic saviors of the planet, but the military leadership has no sense of ethics; they want to win and hold on to their power at all costs.
Ender and his siblings are perfect tools of such men. Because of their parents' decision to foreswear their religion, the Wiggins children are deprived of religious and ethical training. Because of their inexperience and naivete, Ender and Valentine believe the military leaders and do as they are told without question. From the...
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Alienation and Loneliness
From the beginning of the story, Ender feels alienated from almost everyone around him. First, he is a "Third"—an extra child that under ordinary circumstances would not be allowed in school. In addition, the International Fleet has branded him as different by implanting a device that monitors his every move. Other children, including Ender's brother Peter, understand that the gifted Ender is being considered for selection to the Battle School. This creates jealousy, making him a target for bullies. They delight in tormenting Ender, especially when the monitor is removed and they think that Ender is a failure. Not only does Ender have to endure ridicule at school, he also faces it at home from Peter. Although his sister Valentine comforts him and commiserates with him, she does not receive the same treatment from their brother as Ender does.
Ender's solitude is crucial to his development as a military leader. "His isolation can't be broken," one of the school supervisors says. "He can never come to believe that anybody will ever help him out, ever. If he once thinks there's an easy way out, he's wrecked." As a result, the International Fleet deliberately isolates Ender at the Battle School. Even before Ender's arrival, Colonel Graff deliberately praises him so that the other boys on the transport will resent him. As soon as Ender begins to make friends within one group, he is transferred to another. All the other...
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