Like most science fiction characters, Ender, Valentine, Peter, and the various military men who make up the cast of Ender's Game are types rather than fully drawn characters. Ender and Valentine are "innocents," innately good human beings who are victimized because of their goodness. At the end of the bugger war, Graff, Ender's military "keeper," explains that they needed someone of Ender's type: "We had to have a commander with so much empathy that he would think like the buggers, understand them and anticipate them. So much compassion that he could win the love of his underlings and work with them like a perfect machine." He says that had Ender been the type who liked and understood war, it would never have worked. The former commander, Mazer Rackham adds, "It had to be a child." And Ender is a child, like all the other exploited children at the Battle School. They are "taught" by playing games, violent and dangerous games, but games nonetheless. Like all children, they want to win, and their military handlers encourage this childishly amoral desire. Ender wins the Bugger War by winning what he supposes are video games. When the reality of what he has done is explained to him, it nearly overcomes him. He withdraws to a darkened room and a drug-induced sleep, as do the other exploited child-commanders who served under him during the "games." Ultimately, Ender metamorphoses into another type, the penitent, as he roams the galaxy as a "speaker for the dead" atoning for his innocent genocide.
Valentine, too, is an...
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