Orson Scott Card is an award
winning science fiction author
who grew up in Utah and
attended Brigham Young
University. There he studied
drama, which contributed to his
writing of plays. Card had his
own theatre company, which was
a success for a number of years.
He learned to speak Portuguese
as a result of his missionary
years in Brazil. Now he lives in
Greensboro, North Carolina, with
his wife and children.
• Sibling rivalry
• Psychotic-• adjective--having or relating to a very serious mental illness
that makes you act strangely or believe things that are not
• sociopath– noun-- someone who behaves in a dangerous or
violent way towards other people and does not feel guilty
about such behavior
• Mormon—The Church of Latter Day Saints
• Conservative/Family Values/Old-Fashioned Morals
• Homophobe--a person who hates or is afraid of homosexuals
• Sexist—prejudice against and unfair treatment of someone
because of their gender
• Formic Wars
Genre: Science Fiction
• Science fiction is real future scene fiction
which is imaginary but plausible. It offers the
reader an objective point of view on the
human condition. It depends upon the
reader’s “suspension of disbelief” during the
work. It should combine new technology with
familiar ties to today’s world, but it presents
them in a new, innovative way.
Ender's Game is a science fiction novel that tells the
story of Andrew Wiggin (nicknamed Ender by his
sister, Valentine.) The story takes place on Earth in
the future. Earth has been attacked twice by an alien
species called Buggers, nearly destroying the human
race. Mankind begins training young geniuses to
become soldiers and commanders to fight in Earth's
defense if the Buggers should ever attack again.
Ender is extremely intelligent, and at the age of six
years old, he goes to Battle School to be trained.
Ender quickly rises to the top in Battle School and
begins training in order to command Earth's fleet.
He is a child who is way above the level of all the other
children in his school. He finds school extremely boring
because he is never challenged (something a LOT of gifted
and talented children identify with.) Ender is constantly made
fun of because he is a "Third". In the future, families are only
allowed to have two children unless they are given
permission from the government to have more. The I.F. is
looking for the one who has all the right characteristics to
lead Earth's fleet. Ender's older siblings Peter, and
Valentine, who are just as intelligent as Ender but were
rejected for other reasons, are the only reason Ender was
allowed to exist. The characters in the book are so
believable, and you really care about them. The book is also
very good science fiction and has a lot of thought provoking
ideas such as the "Ansible" which carries messages across
the universe instantly.
Ender's Game won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards.
The Third Formic War
The Buggers have attacked us
And now we have to find the
to defeat them.
A little boy named
How are lies more dependable than the truth?
• Discuss government control of family planning decisions.
• Compare and contrast the three children in this chapter to
children of today.
• Discuss Ender’s actions in the fight with Stilson.
• Discuss the relationship between Ender and Peter.
• What are the “grabbers” that make you want to keep reading?
• What makes the characters interesting?
Chapter 2: Peter
• In a book with the main
character’s name in the title, why is
the second chapter about his
• What is the significance of “the
government” speaking at the start
of every chapter?
• Discuss Valentine’s role between
Ender and Peter?
• Predict Valentine’s future role?
• Discuss Ender’s ability to be
empathetic towards the Buggers.
Ender’s parents could choose the sex of their
second child. What are the implications of genetic
• Discuss the relationship between Ender, his
family, and the government.
• Discuss the role of “duty” in people’s lives.
Discuss the idea of heroes.
• Who is a hero?
• What do we expect from our heroes?
• Why do people hate those who excel and receive praise?
• Discuss “survival of the fittest”.
Chapter 5: Games
• Why can Ender have friends but not parents?
• Why does Ender have to be isolated?
• Why do people bully? Why do others follow bullies?
• Does the story seem realistic? Do the characters seem realistic?
Why or why not?
• Why does Ender take on the older boys on the computer games?
• Why is unacceptable to be defeated by someone “lower” than you?
• Why is younger considered lower?
Chapter 6: The Giant’s Drink
• What do today’s video games teach children? What is harmful? What is
• What is the point of having to choose between your own death, and killing
• What do we learn about Ender from the last paragraph of this chapter?
Chapter 6; The Giant's Drink
1. This chapter introduces the virtual reality game
the kids play on their desks, The voices call it the
Mind Game. We learn that failure in the game can
have serious consequences in the real world.
What has happened in some cases?
2. This chapter also introduces the battleroom, where
much of the action in the seven chapters will take
place. What makes Ender especially able to function
in this zero gravity environment? What are the
important things he and Alai learn during this first
session? How do the suits and the guns work?
3. What are the signs that it is Alai, not Bernard, who
is the leader of this launchy group?
4. One of the voices at the beginning said, "That launch is sick, and he (meaning Ender) is
the source of the disease." What are the signs of this sickness? How is it cured? What
role does Alai play in this?
5. What seems to be the purpose of the Giant's Game? What do the rules appear to be?
How does Ender finally get past this part of the mind game? What do you suppose the
"lesson" might be?
Define the terms xenophobia and genocide.
What would xenocide be?
What is the significance of each word in the context of this novel?
Chapter 7: Salamander
1. Who does Ender meet in this
chapter? Briefly describe any
characters that seem important to
you and you would expect to see
2. What are the key events in this
chapter? By now you will have noticed
Card's device of breaking a large
chapter up into bite-sized scenes, the
breaks being indicated by a line.
3. Speaking with Petra, Ender silently
identifies adults as enemies. Is this a
logical conclusion for him to have
4. In hitting Ender, Bonzo actually
loses face rather than keeping it.
Ender is right. How does he know it?
5. There is foreshadowing in this
chapter. Where do you think it can be
Are there “normal” children?
• What is “strange” about Ender
and his friends?
• What makes a good leader?
• Why do the children turn into
vicious wolves attacking Ender?
• Why does Bonzo hate Ender’s
kindness so much?
• Will anything become of
Bonzo’s hatred for
• What does Ender think of
Chapter 8: Rat
1. Define the terms xenophobia and genocide.
What is the significance of each word in the
context of this novel?
2. How is Ender received by his new army, Rat?
3. On pages 106-111, Dink discusses childhood
and the games being played. Summarize his
4. This chapter opens with a dialogue between Graff and Anderson. Graff says that
"Fairness is a wonderful attribute. it has nothing to do with war." What is the point
of their discussion?
What decisions are being taken by those who run the Battle School?
5. The Hegemony and the Strategoi are the political and military leaders of Earth. Why
would Anderson leave himself the option of communicating with them?
6. The face in the mirror represents a personal crisis for Ender. Whose face is it? How
many other times has he looked deeply at himself and been afraid that this person is
who he really is? You need to skim back through all the earlier chapters to get this.
• Do children play games fairly?
• What are anti-Semites?
• Where does their hatred come
• Why do racism and prejudice
continue to thrive?
• Does school destroy children like
Battle School does in the novel?
• Do we hear what people say?
• Do we understand what they
Chapter 9: Locke & Demosthenes
1. This is the first chapter in which we
have spent time with someone other
than Ender (not counting the
chapter openings, of course). What
effect does this have on the story?
2. Why did the Wiggin family move to
the country? Is it working?
3. What is Peter's scheme and why
does Valentine agree to it?
4. What internal crises does Ender face
and how does he respond to them?
5. What are the important plot complications in this chapter?
6. What is hegemony?
7. Why does Graff approach Valentine?
8. Summarize the events that occur when Ender plays the mind game.
•What is significant about Peter and his actions?
• Why is Peter so dangerous?
• Why does Valentine prefer him to others?
• What does it mean to have control?
• Can control be a gift?
• Can parents be manipulated?
• Why does Peter believe the world will self-destruct after the threat
of the Buggers is over?
• Do people need crises to connect them to others?
John Locke - English philosopher of the 18th century, whose work focused on
enlightenment, the limits of human knowledge and a study of what he called the social
contract between people and their governments, which would have been mostly kings
at the time.
Demosthenes - Famous Greek statesman in Athens around the 4th century BC. he
wrote speeches arguing that his city-state needed to defend itself against an outside
enemy, Philip II of Macedon.
Veni, Vidi, Vici - These words were supposed to have been spoken by the Roman
general Julius Caesar and recorded in his journals after he conquered Gaul (France)
in 51 BC (or BCE). Literally translated they mean, "I came, I saw, I conquered." This is
a rather arrogant statement, indicating that Caesar found it that simple.
ansible [an·si·ble] n. 1. a hypothetical communication device capable of delivering
sound waves instantaneously 2. a fictional machine that allows faster than the speed
of light communication (example: Commander Ender Wiggin used an ansible to
communicate with his fleets instantaneously, although they were on the other side of
Dr. Device—Molecular Detachment Device M. D. This can destroy molecular bonds
and gravitational field of a planet and will cause chain reaction of destruction
Deus ex machina—last minute survival ending delivered through “miracle”—like by
Chapter 10: Dragon
1. You may have noticed that Ender is never
allowed to become too comfortable before his
life is shaken up. What speech of Graff's
shows the inner turmoil that he feels about
Why does he do it anyway?
2. Ender is given Dragon army. What is the
significance of this? How old is he now?
3. How is the relationship between Ender and
Bean like the relationship between Graff and
4. What are Ender's internal conflicts in this
chapter? How does he resolve them?
5. The change in Ender's status is
demonstrated by the scenes with Alai. Take a
look at p. 170 and explain what is happening
6. What is Ender's vow at the end of the
chapter? How does this fit in with Graff's and
Anderson's plans for him?
Chapter 11: Veni Vidi Vici pp. 173-199
1. Once again we learn things from the
a. What are they planning to do to Ender's
b. What is Graff worried about?
c. What is the political situation back on
2. "My eagerness to sacrifice little children
in order to save mankind is wearing thin."
Who says this? What does he mean?
3. What are the main differences between
Ender's strategies for the game and those
used by other commanders?
4, Ender has two objectives for this first
battle. How does he meet them?
5. The next battle is against Phoenix Army.
What is unusual about the timing of this
battle? What happens after this? What has
happened to the old ways of the battle
School? When did we learn that this was
going to happen?
6. Why does Ender decide to start exploring the old videos? What does he learn from
them? From whom does he learn strategy?
7. What is really unusual about the battle with Salamander Army? "This had not been
a fair fight, even though they had won - the teachers had intended them to lose ..."
8. What foreshadowing (hint: Bonzo) do you find in this section?
9. What is the relationship between Ender and Bean? It's interesting that the last part
of this chapter is from Bean's point of view. How does Bean see Ender?
10. Ender tells Bean the real purpose of the game. This has been hinted at for us
since the opening dialogue for chapter 8. Look back and see how Graff's argument
confirms Ender's conclusions.
The Game, the standings, the fairness (or unfairness) - none this matters. The
Game's purpose is simply to do what?
Chapter 12 - Bonzo
1. There are really three big events in this chapter,
though there are some smaller ones that go with them.
What are these sections?
2. In some ways this chapter is like chapter one. How?
3. As Ender's training continues, the people in charge
of the Battle School make some serious changes in
how the battles are organized and run. What are the
major changes in this chapter?
4. What are the reactions shown by the following
characters to Ender's demolition of Bonzo: Dink, Bean,
Ender, Colonel Anderson.
5. How surprised were you to learn about what actually happened to Bonzo?
How much more surprised were you to learn about Stilson? Why did they keep
this knowledge from Ender?
Chapter 13 - Valentine
1. What is the official reaction to finding out
who Locke and Demosthenes are? What are
the good and bad points as far as the voices
are concerned? (We don't actually know who
is talking in this segment.)
2. How does Valentine feel about being
3. Why does the IF need Valentine this time?
What's wrong with Ender?
4. Ender tells you the secret of how he
manages to win all the time. What is it?
How is this related to Peter's special ability
5. The meeting between Valentine and
Ender goes through several stages. Try to
break it down into sections. Looking at the
issues that Ender raises as reasons should
6. After Ender has made up his mind what to
do, Graff tries to explain to him why he
brought him back to Earth and let him take
three months to make up his mind. What
connection does Graff want Ender to make?
7. There are a lot of secrets related to this
Human-Bugger war. One of them is the place
where Ender is going. How is this secrecy
underlined for us?
8. How did humans learn that faster than light,
instant communication was possible?
9. What is the secret of the Third Invasion?
10. "If the other fellow can't tell you his story,
you can never be sure he isn't trying to kill
you." Why can't the two races communicate?
Why is this important?
What are three reasons that have been given
for the buggers attacking Earth.
11. Valentine says, "Killing's the first thing we
learned. And a good thing we did, we'd be
dead and the tigers would own the earth."
Graff says, "Nature can't evolve a species that
hasn't the will to survive ... the race as a whole
can never decide not to exist."
How does this apply to the decision Ender has
Chapter 14 - Ender's Teacher
1. How is Eros different than the Battle School?
- Ender's training?
- His social activities?
- Opportunities for comradeship?
2. How did they manage to keep Mazer Rackham around
for 70 years so he could be Ender's teacher?
What did it cost him?
3. What things did humanity learn from the buggers?
4. How did Rackham win the second war?
5. Why would buggers not see killing individuals the
same way humans would?
6. What is Dr, Device?
7. After Ender and his squad have been thoroughly
trained, Rackham tells him that he will be their enemy in
the simulations from now on. What is the truth of this?
8. What are some of the signs that the constant pressure
is wearing on Ender and his squad leaders?
9. Were you surprised to learn the truth behind Enders'
mock battles? Graff explains the training strategy on
10. What happens on Earth as soon as the Bugger War
is over? Were Peter and Valentine right?
Why is Ender potentially in danger?
11. The kids finally get to express their opinions at the
end of this chapter. What do they think will
happen to them?
Chapter 15 - Speaker for the Dead
1. Note: This is also the title of the book which continues Ender's story. Card warns you in
the introduction to Ender's Game that the other three books (Speaker for the Dead,
Xenocide, Children of the Mind) are quite different. This one sets up situations which will
only be fully developed in the next book.
2. This chapter begins with another dialogue, only this time it's presented as a regular
narrative. Why has the style changed? What important changes are about to take place
3. Note: On page 309 the squad begins to break up. Earth doesn't get Ender, but all of
his squad leaders are taken and used almost as soon as they get back to Earth. For this
part of the story, which occurs in between this page and the rest of the book, you will
have to read Shadow of the Hegemon and Shadow Puppets. They tell the story of
Ender's Dragon, as his battle squad came to be known.
4. It's not often that a writer will provide such a long epilogue, or conclusion, at the end of
a novel. Generally there's a climax - BANG! - and just a little bit of mopping up
afterwards. This is not the case here. What are the significant developments in this
5. Why did Val (using her Demosthenes persona) make it so that Ender could not go back
to Earth? What is her plan? What is Ender's objection to it?
6. According to the discussion between Val and Ender, how did this book get to be
7. Eight years after they reach their colony world, Ender gets a big surprise. What is it?
8. The Hive Queen's communication with Ender confirms Rackham's theories about why
they invaded and takes them a little further. What does Ender learn? What is Ender's
The Ender's Shadow Series Box Set:
Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the
Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the
This novel fits into many themes. There are
several more themes that are discussed in this
1. Lack of communication leads to problems.
2. Human nature is to destroy that which we
do not understand.
3. Survival of the fittest.
4. Humans have a competitive nature.
5. People dislike those who excel.
6. Adults have strange attitudes towards
7. Ignorance is bliss.
8. People wear identities and unconsciously
9. People have a killer instinct when
10. The enemy is the only real teacher.
11. Heroes come in all sizes.
12. The logic behind censorship.
13.The reasons for genetic engineering.
Chapter 1 – Third
1. What attitude
motivates the adults to
lie to Ender?
2. Explain what it seems
to mean for Ender to be
born a "Third". Show
whether this is
a negative or positive
- his parents,
- his brother, Peter,
sister, Valentine, and
- his classmates.
Chapter 2 – Peter
1. Was Peter joking when he threatened
Ender and Valentine? Support your
answer with evidence from the novel.
2. Why is Peter’s behavior at the end of
the chapter so completely different from
the rest of the chapter?
3. How do you feel about each of these
characters (Ender, Valentine, Peter)?
What did the author do to help create
these feelings? Give examples.
Chapter 3 – Graff
1. What did Graff mean about
evolution working against girls?
2. Ender is leaving to learn how to
fight a war, yet he takes Graff’s
hand. Why does Orson Scott Card
(OSC) include this action?
Chapter 4 – Launch
1. Explain the meaning of the
following statement: “Individual
human beings are tools that the
others use to help us all survive.”
2. Explain the following quote:
"Isolate him enough that he
remains creative -otherwise he'll
adopt the system here and we'll
lose him." Your answer should
include the terms:
isolation, creative, adopt, lose.
3. Did Ender mean to break the
other boy’s arm? What does this
incident tell us about
Ender? Is it acceptable to do
despicable things for survival?
Why or why not?
Chapter 5 – Games
1. Ender works hard to express his feelings in
private and not show homesickness in front
of any other person. Is it healthy for him or
What is positive and what is negative about
showing feelings? What is positive and
what is negative about not showing
2. How did Ender beat Bernard? Is this an
unusual solution to his problem?
3. List the different coping mechanisms (ways
of dealing with difficulties) Ender shows.
For each one describe whether the overall
result of each is helpful or harmful to Ender.
The other armies
• Ender’s battles, both personal and in the
Battlerooms, each end with a climax.
• Mazer Rackham becomes Ender’s mentor. He
trains Ender to take command of the fleet and
fight the enemy. However, Ender does not
know he is being tricked. He isn’t fighting
Mazer or the computer, but the real war with
• The two voices at the beginning of each
• Mazer is alive.
• Ender’s name.
• Gravity concept—down is where you make it;
the Dr. Device.
• The ant queen
• Children aren’t children—they are soldiers.
Appearances v. Reality
Good v. Evil
Children v. Adults
Friends v. Enemies
Buggers v. Humans
Earth v. Home
Peter vs. Ender—who is good? Who is a killer?
Point of View
• First person, author participant—Ender’s pov
• Opening lines from third person, author
omniscient—Graff and others.
• One section has Bean’s point of view
• Our Earth in at least 100 years in the
future, after the First Bugger attack, and
80years after Mazer’s attack.
• Earth, Battle School, Command School, Eros
Alai, Valentine, Graff, Bugger, Petra, Ender, Pet
er, Mazer Rackham, names of the
armies, Third, the Giant’s Game, the
snake, the mirror, Locke, Demosthenes, Dr.
Device, ansible, Stilson, Bonzo, Bean, Dink
, Eros, the Queen Larva
Battlerooms, WarsawPact, raft, the Bugger
War, simulation, war games,
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