List the conflicts in Ender's Game.

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There are a lot of internal and external conflicts present throughout this book.  I'll try to list as many as I can. 

  • Ender's conflict with Bonzo.  This one ends with physical violence and Bonzo's death. 
  • Ender's conflict with Stilson.  Like the previous conflict, Ender kills his opponent.  
  • Ender's conflict with the commanding "officer" of each army that he is a part of in the battle room.  When Ender first gets to Battle School, no army or commander wants anything to do with Ender. 
  • Ender's conflict with the other commanding officers once he himself gets control of Dragon Army.  Even as a fellow commander, Ender doesn't immediately gain the respect of the other commanders.  Ender also struggles to gain the respect of the soldiers assigned to his army. 
  • Ender's real conflict and battle against the buggers at the end of the book. 
  • Ender's conflict with Graff and other Battle School adults.  Ender knows that he's being manipulated.  
  • Ender struggles with being a "third."  
  • Ender struggles to remain good while knowing that he must at times be violent and cold like Peter. 
  • Valentine and Peter struggle against each other regarding their plan to influence politics on Earth.  
  • Valentine and Peter have a fake struggle against each other as Demosthenes and Locke. 
  • Every time Ender steps into the battle room, he is in conflict against another army.  
  • Ender struggles with depression as a result of feeling extremely isolated throughout various parts of the book.  
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In literature there are generally considered to be two main types of conflict: external and internal conflicts. External conflicts are issues that happen between the main character and outside forces; internal conflicts occur within the character. While this book certainly contains a lot of action, it is the internal conflict that gives it staying power. Here are a few conflicts of each type.

External Conflicts

  • Ender's efforts to remain safe from bullies. This includes Bonzo, Peter, and other characters.
  • The human race and its war with the Formics. This is the war that becomes the central external conflict of the novel.
  • Ender's struggle to make friends despite his commanders' attempts to isolate him.
  • Ender's struggle to win battles and progress through battle school.

Internal Conflicts

  • Ender's fight to remain a child and hold onto his innocence after all the violence and conflict he endures.
  • Ender's struggle to remain a good and caring person while also defending himself. He worries that all the fighting will force him into becoming more like Peter.
  • Ender's struggle to forgive himself for what he is forced to do to the Bugger species.
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What are Ender's conflicts in Ender's Game?

I think it is pretty clear from the very beginning of the story that Ender, through the course of this excellent scientific fiction novel, experiences any number of conflicts that seriously threaten him. First of all, a great place to start is considering how the series of external conflicts that he faces are all stage-managed to a certain extent, or observed. Note what the observers who watch him say at the beginning...

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of the second chapter, after Ender has just beaten up the gang leader effectively:

"I went back through some of the tapes. I can't help it. i like the kid. I think we're going to screw him up."

"Of course we are. It's our job. We're the wicked witch. We promise gingerbread, but we eat the little bastards alive."

We cannot escape the disturbing conclusion that Ender is being formed by the violence that these observers either deliberately unleash upon him or sit passively by and watch him suffer. It is only through these experiences that Ender can gain the necessary skills and qualities necessary to save mankind, it is suggested.

Of course, Ender arguably experiences internal conflict as well, coming from the immense pressure he faces when he begins his "education" and starts playing the "Game." Ender's whole life is one massive exercise in conflict, which results in an individual who has been, in the words of the observers, "screwed up" or "eaten alive."

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