What are some techniques that are used in Ender's Game to help you understand Ender's struggle and awareness of his situation in life?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It is hard not to read this story and feel moved by Ender's loneliness and solitude and angered by what is being done to him. Clearly, Ender's biggest and most central conflict is his internal struggle between his normal boyhood desires to be loved and for friendship, and the way that he is forced externally to pretend he is hard and ruthless. One of the key ways that this internal conflict is explored is through the way in which the point of view explores Ender's internal thoughts and feelings, which are often contrasted to his exterior actions and appearance. Consider, for example, what we are told in Chapter 7, when Ender realises it is his birthday:

He wanted to stop at Petra's bunk and tell her about his home, about what his birthdays were usually like, just tell her it was his birthday so she'd say something about it being a happy one. But nobody told birthdays. It was childish. It was what landsiders did. Cakes and silly customs.

Note the way in which we see a very normal picture of a seven year old boy who is eager to share his birthday with a friend who can love him and make him feel special. However, this desire is immediately undercut by the impossibility of doing such a thing and the need to maintain a facade of indifference even when internally, Ender desires nothing more than to be hugged and loved for the boy that he is.

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