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Ender’s Game Manipulation Essay

The book “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card Ender is manipulations and lies. General Graff is the one doing all the manipulations. He keeps Ender clueless (though he is a genius) and is manipulating him into getting what he wants. Still, General Graff is not the only one who is lying to Ender. People lies blatantly to him and he seems not to see it.

The first lie Ender is told is when he gets his monitor taken out, even though insignificant to the storyline, this part sets the idea in our mind that the adults can’t be trusted. Still, Ender does realize adults are liars. His training with Petra and Petra tells him “adults are the enemy, not the army–they do not tell us the truth”(59) This moment confirms our suspicions and foreshadows the horrific and xenocidal ending. “…I won’t let them do it to me… It’s the teachers, they’re the enemy.”(77) Dink notices the teachers’ manipulation and avoids it. He believes Ender is naive compared to him. This quote tells us that even teachers are manipulators and liars. Ender realizes this and shuts himself to everyone but his closest friends and Valentine. Finally, Ender has had enough with all the manipulations when Graff reveals that his last simulation attack on the bugger home planet was real and he defeated the “evil” species. Immediately after this experience Ender feels betrayed and regretful. He then returns to earth and spends the next 2 years away from earth (50 earth years) with Valentine, trying to uncover the truth and possibly find another queen to save the Bugger population.


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“I am your only escape…Death is your only escape.”(58) This quote came from when Ender was playing the giant’s drink game. Giant’s Drink Game is manipulative because no one can win it. Ender manipulates the circumstances to figure out a way through the poison guessing game. This shows that Ender was desperate just to beat that damn game. He was angered by the fact it outsmarted him, so he found a loophole and defeated the giant and shocked everyone watching him. Ender was the only one who figured out how to beat the giant’s drink game which was an unsolvable game. Though going through manipulation and being lied to, Ender still has the smarts to beat an unbeatable game and fight the adults bothering him.

“Instead, he found a mirror. And in the mirror he saw a face that he easily recognized, It was Peter with blood dripping down his chin and a snake’s tail protruding from a corner of his mouth.”(84) Ender is manipulating himself by letting Peter into his head. Whenever Ender realizes he’s done something violent he tells himself he is Peter. By doing this, Ender is messing with his sense of reality which made him see things, such as Peter’s Face in the Mirror. “I’m hurting people again, just to save myself. Why can’t they leave me alone, so I don’t have to hurt them.” (82) Ender is breaking down on the inside when he realizes he is like Peter, he doesn’t like hurting people, but when people hurt him or manipulate him, he hurts others to protect himself.

In conclusion, Ender is a pawn in General Graff’s intergalactic chess game, and the Buggers are the opposing team. Ender is unknowingly doing everything Graff wants and when he realizes this at the end, he regrets everything and sets off to find a new voice for the Buggers.

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