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The Theme of Ender's Game

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Napoleon Hill said, “You are the master of your destiny,” but Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game provides an opposing belief. In the book, there are multiple scenarios where Ender’s fate is completely out of his control. In Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Card suggests that people don’t truly determine their fate through Ender’s position in life being determined by superior entities and his daily life constantly being tampered with by others.

Card suggests that people don’t determine their fate through Ender’s position in life being dictated by the government. Ender is a third child, but he is harassed and is “[seen] as a badge of shame” in society due to the government’s ban on family’s having three children (Card 23). This shows how Ender’s shameful status in society as a Third and its lifestyle of torture was not formed from his own control, but by something wrongly bestowed on him before he was even born due to a superior organization. The author uses Ender’s cruelly given status in society to show how no one can shape their fate.  In the space shuttle, Graff praises Ender in front of the other Launchies by saying only Ender “had the brains to realize that in null gravity directions are whatever you conceive them to be,” but this was done to have the other Launchies hate Ender and to isolate him (Card 31). This shows Ender didn’t even have control over his first impression to the Launchies or his position with the others in the group due to Graff having an agenda to do it for Ender. Through this scene, Cards shows how someone’s future is not determined by the individual. Throughout Ender’s life, Graff and his peers in the government have “watched through [Ender’s] eyes” and “[they have] listened through his ear” through a monitor to decide for themselves that his position in life is going to be with them (Card 1). This shows how even if Ender wanted to create his own life and work towards something that he wanted to become then that would have been crushed by the government’s goal for what position they believed he should claim. Through this scene, the author demonstrates the theme a person’s destiny is not in his or her hands. The government ruling over Ender’s place in life, as seen by Ender’s status and the government’s agenda for him, is used by the author to demonstrate how a human’s fate is not under his control.

The author proposes that a person’s future does not comply with that person’s command through Ender’s day-to-day life being managed by those in Battle School. In the Battle School, “[the ones with high power at the school] ran everything”, “made all the choices”, and implemented “their rules” (Card 151). The Battle School being in control of everything shows that Ender could never forge his own path at the school or personally make certain choices which he would live everyday with and found acceptable. The author uses this scene to demonstrate how in life someone cannot create the future which he desires. Ender has joined the Salamander army and practices with the other Launchies, but “[Commander Bonzo Madrid] won’t have any soldiers in Salamander Army hanging around with Launchies” (Card 86). This shows Ender is trying to better his life and skills to have a daily life that he personally wants to live, but others at the school are preventing this from happening. The author uses this outside control on Ender’s life to signify that a human being doesn’t have a say in what way he or she will end up. Ender controls his actions in this mind game using his desk, but after he joins the Rat Army Commander Rose “[forbade Ender] to use [his] desk again” (Card 101). This reveals that the one thing that Ender has control over and can make choices in his routine has been taken away from him and was out of his control. Card uses this removal of Ender’s control to allow the reader to understand that a person does not partake in the factors that determine his or her destiny. The Battle School preventing certain individual paths for Ender’s daily life and his commanders controlling his life illustrates Card’s theme that a person’s fate is not really controlled by the person



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