What are some characteristics of Ender's mother in Ender's Game?

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clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ender's mother is not given a lot of attention in this book.  At the beginning of the story she is revealed to be a typical mother who loves her children and accepts them for who they are.  At the breakfast table in chapter two she is pushing the kids to eat breakfast despite their relative attitudes not to: "I try to be concerned but it makes no difference to my genius children" (17).  Later in this chapter she cries and acts hesitant to give Ender over to Graff in his acceptance into Battle School.  She shows this very maternal emotion in the moment, but she agreed before Ender was born to give birth to him for this very reason.

Later, in chapter 3, we find out that Ender's mother and father were both very religious people.  His mother was Mormon and his father Catholic.  Both she and his father had to renounce their religions in order to comply with the governmental regulations on children.  They are both embarrassed to appear as non-compliant citizens (especially in having a 3rd child).  Yet, when it came to naming and baptizing the children, Ender's mother was upset, not because of the baptism itself, but because Ender's father wanted to baptize the children as Catholic. This shows that she still has ties to her religious roots.  

Ender's mother is both patriotic and compliant with the government, yet independent and strongly rooted in a sense of self that is deeper than the governmental restrictions brought about by inter-planetary crisis.  She is portrayed vaguely as an average woman who happened to give birth to genius children.  Yet, the reader has to suspect that there is more to her than is revealed, and likely she is a character of more depth than she is portrayed to be.