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This is perhaps the last time in the novel that Ender seems both young and childlike. It is one of the last scenes of him looking toward adults as people who know more than him or can "protect" him. Ironically, even as he admits to possibly missing his parents/family, and questions whether his decision is the correct one, it is clear that he has already moved on in his head. It is clear his mind was made up before he was even offered a spot on the launch.
I think we all feel sympathy for Ender at the end of this chapter. He is a naturally good and sensitive boy who is forced to commit a horrific act in order to protect himself. He didn't want to harm Stilson, but he recognises that he has to make an example of him to prevent any further incidents of bullying. This event also demonstrates his ferocious intelligence and his grasp on human psychology.
Ender has lived his life under the shadow of being "third". He only exists because the government thought it was worth trying to get a mix of both Peter and Valentine in one child. Even though we're told multiple times how young he is, because of his mature thinking and rational behavior, it's easy to forget that Ender is only 6 years old.
At the beginning of Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game,” Andrew Ender Wiggins is a sympathetic figure. He has been singled out as being different and has worn the sensor implanted in him for longer than most. At the age of six he is finally without the sensor. He is bullied by a boy named Stilson and his fellow bullies. Andrew, small for his age at six years-old, has to beat Stilson so that he can keep others from bullying him. Ender is poked, prodded and tested by the government. He only wants to be loved by his family and accepted by friends, but Ender is a “third” and that alone makes him different. I feel sorry for Andrew. He is intelligent, strong willed, but still compassionate. He is torn between duty and desire for a normal childhood. I remember when I first read this novel many years ago and I cried over Ender’s situation. No six year-old should have to deal with all the emotional turmoil that Ender had to deal with.
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