Ender's Game Topics for Further Study
by Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game book cover
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Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

In her review of Ender's Game in Fantasy Review, Elaine Radford criticizes Card, claiming that he fashioned Ender's character after Adolf Hitler's persona. Card refutes Radford's analysis in a response published in the same issue of the magazine. Read both articles. Then write an essay agreeing with either Radford or Card. Your defense should provide solid evidence from the reviews and from the novel itself.

Research project: Read the book The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler by Robert G. L. Waite, to which Elaine Radford refers in her review of Ender's Game in Fantasy Review. Locate information related to the psychology of mass murderers. How does Ender Wiggin compare to Hitler and other mass murderers identified in history? Include a chart or other visual presentation describing the results of your research.

You are a news broadcaster living in the time after Ender's victorious battle (assuming that news broadcasters would exist). Choose a partner to play Ender and role play an interview with him. Prior to the interview, prepare your questions and let your partner know the kinds of questions you will ask without giving him or her the specific details. Your partner should also prepare for the interview so that he or she can play a credible Ender. Videotape your interview and share it with the class.

Ender's Game creates an image of gifted children as being social outcasts. Research the term "gifted" and write a paper that answers the following questions. Who are gifted children? What are their characteristics? Are gifted children outcasts? Why or why not? What are gifted children like as adults? Does the Ender character give a true picture of a gifted child? Why or why not? Give examples from your novel and from your research.

What does a "bugger" look like? Consider the description in the novel, as well as research on insect anatomy. Draw or create a model of your vision of a bugger.

Are you familiar with a video game that seems to compare to the "game" Ender was playing when he destroyed the buggers? Do one of the following: (1) write a comparison of Ender's game and the game with which you are familiar, or (2) demonstrate the game and draw the comparison through your demonstration.