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Ender's Use of Empathy in ‘Ender's Game’ by Orson Scott Card

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Orson Scott Card called ‘Ender’s Game’ a fantasy story which talks about how human and buggers can live in a space, and it can be enjoyed as a tale about how Ender who is six years old and monitors by his brother and his sister that are older than him tries to find a safe and quite place which has not fear and no one kills him. Even though his enemies tried to control his life and destroy him, he tried to use empathy to know and identify his ability to be a good commander to destroy his enemies, and to be a leadership, understand how his smart can be his weakness, and to determine his limitations.

One of the most important character that ender tries to have in his life is how to be a good commander and using it to destroy all his enemies. Empathy is first crucial key for Ender to figure out his ability to be a good commander by using the effective strategy to against his enemies and destroy them. “You beat them. For a moment she was not afraid of his understanding. No you don’t understand. I destroy them. I make it impossible for them to ever hurt me again” (Card 238). Ender is a victim of war in many ways, but he is very good that he does not want to love his enemies and does not want to commiserate them. That is important point that should be excited in a good commander and Ender used this strategy to not seem sad and painful because of killing his enemies. “I don’t care if I pass your test, I don’t care if I follow your rules. If you can cheat, so can I. I won’t let you beat me unfairly – I’ll beat you unfairly first” (Card 293). This quote is important because it shows that how Ender tries to do anything to beat his enemies and others who want to attack him, and it proves that Ender does not care anything because he knows that if he wants to be a good commander does not need to listen to everyone and accepts their decision and choice. “Humanity does not ask us to be happy. It merely asks us to be brilliant on its behalf” (Card 277). This is most effective quote because it shows that how Ender’s efforts attempt to survive because happiness life needs sacrifices and ender tries to survive first then do what he wants to make him happy, so that is a good strategy that Ender tries to involve in the warfare. “And with that anger, he decided he was strong enough to defeat them- the teachers, his enemies” (Card 172). That shows the teachers want to teach Ender that depends on himself in a warfare not them because they try to teach Ender that good commander is depended on your power and strategy.

Second important character that Ender gets is a good leadership in this story because of he is friendly with his soldiers, so that Ender can easily get respect and trust from his soldiers and they suppose Ender as their leader in the warfare. Also, he uses empathy to know the people better, so that it makes Ender to be a good leadership. “Ender, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I know how it feels, I’m sorry, I’m your brother, I love you” (Card 15). This quote explains that how they care him and try to show him their love even they want to beat him, and it encourages him to be a good leadership. “But I’ll be watching you, more compassionately than you know, and when the time is right you’ll find that I’m your friend, and you are the soldier you want to be” (Card 168). This quote is important because it shows that how Ender be happy if he knows that someone wants to be his friend and it helps Ender to have a secret friend because it facilitates the Ender’s way to be a good leadership with having an unusual friendship and showing them that Ender can have a friend. “It’s what I was born for, isn’t it? If I don’t go, why am I alive?” (Card 26). Everyone knows that they live for purpose to live, and also Ender has a purpose to live because he wants to have a life without any secret with no killing, and he knows that he should go to the Battle School to learn everything and to destroy his enemies, so he is a good leadership because he has a clear purpose. “Listen, Ender, commanders have just as much authority as you let them have. The more you obey them, the more power they have over you” (Card 102). Leadership is not an easy thing to gain because it needs power and support, and Ender wants a friend not a leadership because he thinks that he will be more freedom if he has a good friend instead of calling him leader.

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The third important character that Ender identifies by using empathy is to understand how his smart can be his weakness because it is clear that he is alone in whole life, there is no anyone to help him, so that isolation becomes his weakness and affects his success. “It has a private meaning to Ender” (Card 121). Isolation is the main thing that affects Ender because it impacts on his ability, his success and also his empathy, and this quotes means that if something are private to someone, it means that he/she cannot communicate or show his ability, so it affects Ender to not communicate with someone in the Battle School. “If Graff was setting him up, there’d be no help unless he helped himself” (Card 33). His teachers and monitors want Ender to be isolated because they do not want to communicate with children and adults who are in the Battle School because they do not want that Ender rely himself on them. “The fear stayed, all through dinner as no one sat by him in the mess hall. The other boys were talking about things – the big scoreboard on one wall, the food, the bigger kids. Ender could only watch in isolation” (Card 41). This means that fear was the side effect of isolation for ender because there is no friend or teacher or any supports to rely himself because they want that Ender protects himself by having no one. “They do not want to teach me everything” (Card 69). Peter, Graff, and others who tries to isolate Ender because they try to teach Ender that friendship, love, etc are not his weakness, they want to clarify for Ender that enemies who are surrounded Ender will be his weakness if he could not find solution to his problems and if he will not be creative.

The final character that Ender could identify and know is his limitations, because he is young, his monitors and teachers could easily control his freedom and make him confinement. Because of Ender has nit freedom, it means that he has not free choice and has not power over his own life, so it makes Ender to feel uncomfortable because there is no one to support him visibly and protects him from his enemies. ”Human beings are free except when humanity needs them” (Card 35). This quote shows that how Graff wants to explain Ender that people don’t have freedom in their life ever, it needs to work hard individually to gain freedom, you can get freedom and have free choice when you destroy your destroy enemies and against all of them who want to use you for their own purpose. “Now he knew what he hated so much. He had no control over his own life. They ran everything” (Card 151). Even though Ender is a good commander and leadership and he is friendly with his soldiers, he should accept and do anything that they want to do, but by using his empathy he identifies that he must not show his strategies and his plans to anyone to not use against himself. ”Death is only your escape” (Card 73). When Ender tries to know his limitations by using empathy, he understands that if he wants to have a good and happiness life, he has to go to a quite place that no one tries to kill him or control his ability.

Endre has been successful because of his strength and smart, and when he tried to use empathy, it has a lot of positive effects oh his life that he could determine his ability to know how a good commander can destroy his enemies, to understand what is the role of a good leadership, to consider how his smart can have a positive and negative effect, and finally to identify his limitations and how to be avoid it from himself to be freedom. There are the good characters of Ender that he can gain in his life, and everyone hopes to have these clear characters because it makes him/her to have a power over his own life, and no one is able to use him/her to their purpose.

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Ender’s Use of Empathy in ‘Ender’s Game’ by Orson Scott Card. (2022, September 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 24, 2023, from
“Ender’s Use of Empathy in ‘Ender’s Game’ by Orson Scott Card.” Edubirdie, 01 Sept. 2022,
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