Mean, Compassionate, or Both?
Throughout society, it has been argued that children’s personalities are composed
from the parents’ genes. However, the personality of each child can also be defined from
other individuals, such as their aunts, uncles, and siblings. In Orson Scott Card’s novel,
, the main character, Ender, is a product of his parents from government
orders. He has some of the same traits as both Peter and Valentine. In possessing Peter’s
bullying characteristic and Valentine’s empathy, Ender faces situations, such as treating
Bean as a soldier and a friend, confronting Bonzo and his gang, and fighting the buggers
in the Third invasion, in which both traits manifest themselves and help his ability to be
an effective commander.
While in Battle School, Ender becomes the commander of the Dragon Army. In
his army, a small, young boy, named Bean, is recognized during one of the practices.
Bean, being the smallest child, reminds Ender of his younger self. Ender decides to taunt
Bean in order for him to be known in Ender’s army and to make him the best soldier he
could be. This bullying would be an example of how Peter used to pick on Ender while
he was at home. However, Ender uses Valentine’s empathy, without even knowing it, to
relate with Bean. Card writes, “Ender wanted to undo his taunting of the boy, wanted to
tell the others that the little one needed their help and friendship more than anyone else.
But of course Ender couldn’t do that” (Card, 162). Ender knows that by making Bean
“commander’s pet,” he is truly pushing him to his limits. However, he also recognizes