Let's take a look at the novel's protagonist and antagonist, the former being "the good guy," and the latter being "the bad guy. Ender does the following:.
Ender's Shadow Summary & Study Guide
Peter does the following:. A quick look at their resumes would indicate Ender's crimes are worse than Peter's, but any intelligent, rational human being would consider Ender good and Peter evil. Bright Hub Education. Skip to content. Parents must gain permission to have more than two.
Conversations are taped. Gifted individuals are tagged for military use. There is no true freedom. He learns a great deal from her, being a truly fast learner. He also practices during the evenings with his launchie friends, learning together and teaching what he knows. Finally he disobeys Bonzo's order and takes action in a battle, doing very well. Ender's reputation has risen very high very quickly. But Ender is restless and hates his life. Back on Earth, Ender's siblings Valentine and Peter have moved to the countryside of North Carolina with their parents.
Peter's desire for world domination tempers his sadism somewhat, though he skins squirrels, and he decides to influence world politics by writing excellent commentary and opinion on what amounts to the Internet. He convinces Valentine to join him; he will be "Locke" the peacemaker, while she will be "Demosthenes" the warmonger, warning about the Russian plot to shift world power in their favor after the pending victory against the buggers. In the new world order, Peter will need to be seen as the peacemaker in order to gain respect and power.
Ender is wildly successful but tired of all the training and the constant struggle against his teachers, who seem to be the true enemies. He also fears that he is becoming ruthless like Peter. Graff persuades Valentine to assert that Ender is not like Peter after all, which she always used to tell him to comfort him.
This idea reaches Ender, and it helps him break free of the impasse in the fantasy game; he kisses a snake in the castle instead of killing it, and it turns into Valentine. Ender also continues his training. Ender is made commander of Dragon Army, which is newly formed and composed of many of the least able army recruits. Through his superior leadership and training skills, he works up Dragon Army into a clear victor time after time.
Ender's army is so good that it is given seven battles in one week and keeps winning. One boy, Bean , stands out and is something of a young version of Ender himself. Alai is in a different army and is no longer clearly Ender's friend. And when Ender's army beats Bonzo's, Bonzo becomes incensed.
Ender's friends warn him to be careful. Ender realizes that the teachers are going to continue stacking the odds against him as much as they can, so Ender rises to the challenge. He knows that the reason the teachers promoted the two of them way before their time is because "they need us, that's why. Because they need somebody to beat the buggers. That's the only thing they care about. Shortly afterward, when Ender is in the shower, Bonzo and seven older boys walk in. Ender persuades Bonzo into fighting him one on one by invoking Bonzo's honor, and then Ender beats Bonzo thoroughly Bonzo dies, like Stilson did, but nobody tells Ender.
The teachers know what is going on but stay out of the fight to ensure that Ender keeps relying on himself alone.
Soon Ender's army is made to fight two armies at once. Though he wins, Ender is furious at Major Anderson 's continued changing of the rules and parameters of the game. He decides not to participate in the game anymore. Ender is transferred to Command School, skipping both Tactical and Pre-Command Schools, but first, Ender is sent back to earth for "a short landside leave.
Meanwhile, Valentine and Peter, as Demosthenes and Locke, are beginning to have real influence in world politics. Graff takes Valentine to a lake house where Ender has been living, and she tells Ender about Peter's plan to essentially take over the world.
Ender tells Valentine that he hates himself, because in order to beat his opponent, he has to understand him, and in understanding his opponent, he eventually grows to love him, and that it is in that moment--when he loves his enemy--that he destroys him.
Valentine eventually convinces Ender to continue with his studies; the Earth and Valentine are worth fighting for. Still, he worries that because he never beat Peter, perhaps he cannot beat the buggers.
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Ultimately he wants love, not victory; he wants Peter "to love me. On Eros, Ender is tutored mainly by the teachers individually, together with one of the four "simulators" that act like the battleroom in preparing the Command students for the Third Invasion. After a year of practicing on the simulator, Ender wakes up one morning to an old man sitting in his room. It is the famed Mazer Rackham , who defeated the buggers in the Second Invasion. Mazer becomes his teacher and thus his enemy, because the only teacher worth having is one who acts as the enemy.
Mazer has surpassing wisdom and cunning. Mazer and Ender watch the videos from the First and Second Invasions and learn strategy. Mazer suggests that the buggers act unthinkingly on the orders of a queen bugger, so Ender and Mazer work from the assumption that they can beat the buggers through the individual initiative of excellent commanders acting on their own volition in battle. Ender learns that the Third Invasion is to be an invasion by humans of the bugger worlds and that starships are close to their bugger destinations.
One new weapon they possess is a device called the Little Doctor, which can split apart molecules and cause a chain reaction so that anything in its expanding radius explodes as well. Ender is joined in the simulator by his old toon leaders, plus Alai, Shen, Carn Carby , and "all the best students that Ender had fought with or fought against, everyone that Ender had trusted in Battle School," who all become squadron leaders in the training.
He directs them in their battle simulations as the supreme military commander of the force. After three weeks of practice with his squadron leaders, Mazer tells Ender that he has gone beyond the capability of computer simulations, so Mazer himself will program the scenarios. Early the next morning, Mazer wakes Ender and his battles begin. They last for at least several months, and Ender's squadron leaders are worked beyond their limits.
Petra falters during a battle, and even Ender passes out one day. Ender has progressively worse nightmares, and the battles themselves get harder and harder, so while Ender still wins all of them, he loses more and more ships.
Finally, dozens of people join Ender to watch a battle, and Mazer tells him that this battle will be his final test at Command School. When the simulation comes up on Ender's screen, the bugger ships outnumber his own fleet a thousand to one, and they surround a planet entirely. Mazer tells Ender that the battle is a simulation of the future battle at the buggers' homeworld, where all of their queens live. Ender sees the situation as hopeless, one more impossible task to test his limits. Bean says, "Remember, the enemy's gate is down," something that Ender taught his army during every practice at Battle School.
This comment reminds Ender to follow his usual strategy of breaking the normal rules of warfare, so he tells his squadron leaders to dive straight in toward the planet, avoiding the weapons of the enemy ships. Once they get close enough, they fire the Little Doctor at the planet's surface.
None of the fighter ships in the area survive when the planet explodes, but the chain reaction takes out all of the bugger ships and bugger queens. Everyone around Ender starts cheering, weeping, praying, and thanking him--in fact, it was no simulation but the Third Invasion itself.