Theme Of Obsession In Ender's Game

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Obsession. While merely an emotion, it can be used as a powerful tool of motivation. However, if left unrestrained, can lead to disaster. Similarly, is the theme of Ender’s Game, a novel written by Orson Scott Card. In Ender’s Game, characters come in conflict between themselves and their own obsession. Their obsessions to control a desired outcome also results in some nondeliberate self-harm, as obsession fails to efficiently address essential problems. In the book, over obsession can be seen as a recurring emotion with Colonel Graff, Ender’s rivals, and the International Fleet.
Colonel Graff’s obsession with developing Ender into a commander is evident early in the novel. Aboard the shuttle heading towards Battle School, Graff inadvertently
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Ender’s rivals, for example, work towards their obsession with control. When Peter tries convincing Valentine, Peter’s sister, why she should help him, he also reveals why he was mean towards Ender: “I just had to be---had to have control, do you understand that?” (Card 167). Peter’s desire for control influences him into becoming a cruel person. He physically and mentally abuses Ender, giving Ender enough trauma to stay forever. Eventually, Peter’s overlooked, brutal behaviour returns to punish him. Valentine blackmails Peter using his past actions as evidence, and Ender refuses to see Peter until Peter is on his deathbed. Likewise, Bonzo also yearns for control over others. When Dink sees Bonzo and Ender preparing to fight, Bonzo inquires Dink why he should not kill Ender. Dink replies, “Because he’s the best, that’s why! Who else can fight the buggers!” (Card 248). This quote especially provokes Bonzo because it reminds Bonzo how more important Ender is than him. With Ender alive, Bonzo is aware his control and recognition diminish as more and more people come to respect Ender. Bonzo’s jealousy grows into an obsession, essentially allowing his obsession with control rule over his decisions. This eventually leads to Bonzo’s death, because he overlooks Ender as a physical threat. In conclusion, through revealing their desires, Peter and Bonzo demonstrate their uncontrollable obsession …show more content…
In the International Fleet’s case, or IF, it comes in the form of deaths. The IF’s obsession with victory leads to many physical and mental sacrifices. For example, after Ender’s teacher, Mazer Rackham, reveals how the simulations were real battles, and how Ender had actually killed the entire bugger species along with real IF pilots, Ender is mentally devastated. He screams, “You’re finished with me. Now leave me alone” (Card 343). In order to win, the IF is willing to let an 11-year-old take control of their fleet and unknowingly send their pilots to doom. They understand the toll on Ender’s mind, as Ender is one who spends his entire life to become compassionate, only to eradicate billions. With this level of guilt, it is likely Ender will never be willing to command an army ever again. Correspondingly, the IF was not compelled to annihilate all buggers, the aliens, but did so anyway. Specifically, during Ender’s conversation with the future bugger queen, it was revealed how buggers are actually peaceful. The buggers spoke truthfully, stating, “We did not mean to murder, and when we understood, we never came again” (Card 365). The IF was never forced to extract revenge on the buggers, nor did they ever try communicating with them. The IF’s obsession with victory limits them to solely defeat the enemy. If only the IF was to establish any form of communication between humans and buggers, interplanetary destruction could have

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