A Theme Of Compassion In Ender's Game By Orson Scott Card

In this world of ours, we tend to show a lot of concern and care for the people and things going on around us. Whether it be the pizza you ate at lunch or someone who is struggling in class, we show a lot of care and concern towards everything, which is also known as compassion. Compassion is a great overall trait to obtain. In the scientific novel, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, compassion is shown throughout it all. One of the multiple main ideas/ life lessons in Ender's Game is that you should always be compassionate as well as recognize compassion. This is shown throughout the novel when Ender shows compassion towards the games and tasks he does which help him become extravagantly good at them, as well as when the Buggers are compassionate towards Ender by pushing and motivating him to fight them while making it his priority to keep the Queen safe, and is also shown when Graff shows it towards Ender and does his best to help him overall as well as help him do better.

To start off, my first point to support my statement is that Ender shows compassion when he shows concern and concern towards the games he plays. Whenever Ender is given a task to do or a game to play, he takes his time to analyze what he is doing as well as what the main concepts are, for example, his enemies in the game. An example where this compassion is shown in Ender’s Game is when he is faced by a group of older guys who happen to play a game they think Ender can’t beat them at: “So Ender took his place at the unfamiliar controls… The other boy got ahead quickly. But Ender learned a lot and was doing better by the time the game ended… They played again… Ender won it quickly and efficiently. In that quotation, Ender learned the uses of the controls as well as how the game worked because of his compassion towards it. If he didn't have any sort of interest or concern on how the game worked or the fact that he even wanted to beat the boys in the first place, he would have just left it alone. This is also shown in the novel when Ender is playing the Free Play. During this, it's showing when he thoroughly tries to understand the game, to figure out the different parts of the game as well as what will happen with each move and every step: “ Ender knew that whatever he chose he would die. This game was rigged. On the first death, his figure would reappear on the Giant’s table, to play again. On the second death, he’d come back to the landslides. Then to the garden bridge. Then to the mousehole, And then, if he still went back to the Giant and played again, and died again, his desk would go dark.” (Card 64) In that quotation, it shows how he looks at each and every little detail and pattern to figure out how the game works. This helps him throughout the novel because it is a skill he can use. Therefore, Ender is compassionate towards the games and tasks he does.

In addition to my first point, my next point to support my argument is that in the novel, Ender’s Game, the Buggers are compassionate towards Ender by pushing and motivating him to fight them while making it his priority to keep the Queen safe. The reason that Ender is brought into the Battle School is that he was basically the “chosen one.” He knew that there were buggers that they needed to get rid of because they were slowly yet surely taking over. The Buggers put Ender through many obstacles and make him face many challenges in order to make it is his priority to keep the Queen safe. This is shown when Ender finds out that he really wasn’t at fault after all the Buggers had died: “ I killed them all didn’t I? ‘All the Buggers?’ said Graff… Mazer leaned in close ‘That’s what the war was for… they decided that when they attacked us. It wasn’t your fault.’ … You tricked me into it… ‘Of course, we tricked you into it… we had to have a commander with so much empathy that he would think like Buggers…”’. It is shown in this quotation that the Buggers had basically laid out a plan for Ender to follow which would at the end, help him kill them. This is also shown again when Ender looks at the videos of him killing the Buggers: “In battle, I killed ten billion buggers, whose queens, at least were as and wise as any man, who had not even launched a third attack against us, and no one thinks to call it a crime. All his crimes weighed heavy on him…”. This showcases how the buggers literally set him up to save the queens and kill the rest of them, as that would help bring their queens into a safer world and the world would be bugger-free. Therefore, this is why the Buggers are compassionate towards Ender as they push and motivate him to fight them while making it his priority to keep the Queen safe.

As I come to conclude my argument, my last and final point is that compassion is also shown when Graff shows it towards Ender and does his best to help him overall as well as help him do better. Graff is very caring towards Ender and he also shows a lot of concern towards him. He really uses Ender as an example for the other soldiers in Battle School to give them a sense of how they should be: “... you were brought here to be soldiers. In your old schools, in your old families, maybe you were the big shot, maybe you were rough, maybe you were smart. But we chose the best of the best… I tell you Ender Wiggin is the best in this launch… don’t mess with him…”. This quotation represents how Graff is in a sense helping the other soldiers realize that they can learn something from him. Although it caused him to be teased and not have a lot of friends at first, towards the end of the novel, Ender had really changed the soldiers he was with because he helped teach them his ways, so at the end of the day, Graff was just looking out for him. Graff’s compassion is also shown when he suggests that Ender should see Valentine in order to get some help as he needs to become sane again: “... you’re a Wiggin… it means that you are going to make a difference in the world… Ender, it really is true. We may be young, but we’re not powerless. We play by their rules long enough, and it becomes our game.“  This quote showcases how Graff’s compassion towards Ender and further Valentine’s compassion towards Ender is very real. It shows how Valentine and Graff both help Ender, whos’ enemies are now more like his friends, realize that he’s getting used to everything now which is shifting his perspective on what he really has to do, and Valentine helps put him back on track as well as explains her and Peter’s plan. Therefore, compassion is also shown in Ender’s Game when Graff shows it towards Ender and does his best to help him overall as well as help him do better.

In conclusion, although we tend to focus more on ourselves and what our priorities are since the world has become so self- obsessed, we still show compassion, care, and concern towards each other. In Orson Scott Card’s scientific novel, Ender’s Game, compassion is reflected through Ender and his games/tasks as they show his loyalty and concern to the game and its concepts, the Buggers as it shows us how they laid out a plan to help Ender keep their Queens safe, as well as Graff and Valentine as they try their best to get Ender back on track when he slips off. Something for you to think about is, do you show enough compassion in your life? Because at the end of the day we’re all humans, sometimes we just need some compassion and uplift in our lives. 

16 December 2021
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