Deception in Ender's Game

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Sandy Chopra



Manipulation Makes One Strengthful


2. In the process of becoming a leader and saving the Earth Ender is deceived and manipulated by a variety of people including Graff and Valentine. Discuss three instances of deception that are used to shape Ender into a strong military leader.

In a world much different from ours, one with aliens and space travel lives

a six-year-old boy from Earth. His name is Ender Wiggin and he is far from the ordinary. He is a “third”

meaning that he was not supposed to be born due to birthing restrictions. Through the consideration of

the government, his parents were permitted to have a third child. Due to his superior skills, he is chosen

to attend battle school in order to fight the buggers. In the process of becoming a leader in order to save

the Earth, Ender is manipulated by Valentine, the teachers and Colonel Graff. This makes him a better

soldier by facing many obstacles as an individual and making him self-sufficient.

Valentine is Enders 8 year old sister, whom he loves very much. Later on in

the book, she manipulates him so that he would be determined to save Earth. She herself was tricked

into manipulating Ender by Graff, and later regrets it. Valentine manipulates Ender by writing him a

letter that Graff had convinced her to do. “Ender, the Bastards wouldn’t put any of my letters through

till now. I must have written a hundred times but you must have thought I never did. Well I did....Some

people might think that because you’re being a soldier you are now a cruel and hard person who likes to

hurt people, like the marines in the video, but I know that isn’t true. You are nothing like you-know-who.

Maybe you seem mean but you’re not fooling me… All my love turkey lips, Val. Don’t write back they’ll

probably sikowanalize your letter (Card, pg.150). Valentine is manipulating Ender by making him

believe that he is not like Peter, which is Ender’s greatest fear. She knows that by doing so he will

believe her and will be able to focus on winning. Ender however, does not believe her because he

realized that if the teachers did not let the rest of her letters be sent, then why this one? He knows she is

trying to pressure him into believing that he was not like Peter. Valentine also convinces Ender to not go

back to Earth. She tells him that Peter has big plans for him; he has been waiting for this opportunity

his whole life. “He had plans for you, Ender. He would publicly reveal himself when you arrived, going

to meet you in front of the videos. Ender Wiggins older brother, who also happened to be the great

Locke, the architect of peace. Standing next to you, he would look quite mature. And the physical

resemblance between you is stronger than ever. It would be quite simple for him, then, to take over”

(Card, pg.312).Valentine tells him Peter’s plans but Ender does not seem to understand. He believes that

either way he has already spent his life being someone’s pawn. After talking to Valentine, he had finally

decided to leave with her. He says, “I am not going for you. I’m not going in order to be governor, or

because I’m bored here. I’m going because I know the buggers better than another living soul, and

maybe if I go there I can understand them better” (Card, pg.314). Finally, Valentine also manipulates

Ender by meeting him at a lake and encouraging him to continue to go to battle school. “If you try and

lose then it isn’t your fault. But if you don’t try and we lose, then it’s all your fault. You killed us all”

(Card, pg.240/241). Valentine persuades Ender that it is best for him and the world to continue fighting

to win the battle. She tells him it is important for him to at least try rather than not try at all. If he tries

then no one will say anything...
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