Welcome to Battle School.
During and Before the Third Invasion
By Orson Scottcard
In Ender's Game, by Orson Scottcard, a six year old boy named Ender Wiggen is selected to go to Battle School to learn about military strategies so he can fight buggers, or aliens, when he gets older. However, I.F., the organization in charge of getting rid of the buggers, is going to, unbeknownst to Ender, turn him into the next military prodigy. Ender is moved through the school at an incredible pace, in order to prepare him for the Third Invasion. He is molded into the perfect leader, while becoming emotionally dead because of the isolation and militaristic games being presented to him.
Talent vs Training
This video describes how Ender can be so much better than the other soldiers, even with the same amount of training.
Ender's Game takes place in the future, a few years before the Third Invasion. The first and second invasion of the buggers occurred many years back, and now I.F., an organization whose goal is to eliminate the bugger threat, is preparing soldiers for the upcoming attacks. Ender is being trained as a soldier in Battle School, and once he reaches the command post and starts training, is actually, unbeknownst to him, fighting the buggers in what becomes known as the Third Invasion.
Each child in Battle School is issued a bunk and battle suit. Launchies, the youngest group, are issued a locker, but once a soldier is moved to an army, there are no more lockers.
This post is located on Eros, a former bugger camp, and although it is not part of the actual Battle School, all soon to be commanders go here to learn tactics and more information then other soldiers of lower rank will learn.
Click the link here for more information about Galaxies and Space, where Battle School is located.
Mood and Atmosphere
The overall atmosphere in Battle School is desolate and controlling. The soldiers have very little choice and all focuses are directed on becoming on a better soldiers. Oppression and militaristic qualities are common, but most kids don't feel crushed, simply because they think they are there for an important purpose.
“Welcome to the human race. Nobody controls his own life, Ender.”
Setting vs. Character
In Ender's Game, the setting plays a huge part in Ender, the main character's development. The setting is a very militaristic school and there is little room for personal belongings. There is also a game the children commonly play, but because Ender is smart, he quickly speeds past the normal end, and the computer makes an extension for him . This extension includes painfully memories from Ender's past, making him hurt inside and feel like he is a replica of Peter, Ender's cruel brother who haunted Ender when he was younger. The men in charge of Battle School also isolate Ender, so he learns to lean on no one. Because of all of these factors of the setting, Ender becomes a human devoid of emotions. He experiences a huge depression.
The Science of Depression
Setting Vs. Plot
The setting greatly affects the plot of Ender's Game because it sets the standards for discipline, militaristic qualities, and more. An important feature of the setting is the gravity can be controlled, so in battlerooms, where mock battles between two armies take place, gravity is turned off to simulate deep space fighting. This feature helps move the plot along because the null gravity fighting creates the need for ingenuity, vital to the growth of the characters and development of the plot.