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Figurative Language in Literature: Ender's Game

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Samuel Park

on 20 January 2013

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Transcript of Figurative Language in Literature: Ender's Game

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli by Orson Scott Card Ender's Game Personification "Free Play"

“Free Play” is a game given to the trainees of the Battle School which forces them to solve puzzles and think outside of the box to achieve their goals. “Free Play” is very specifically described as a computer game, yet the author describes it as a living, adapting being, slowly tearing Ender apart one by one. The reader can clearly tell that this game is a character in the book, a full-fledged character, possibly being a minor antagonist. Ender has to defeat this enemy in his virtual world by nothing else but out thinking it. It is during Ender’s confrontations with this program that the guardians first question Ender’s character. For the readers, however, it is during Free Play when they first truly understand Ender's Character. Allusion “The King had a dream,” said Valentine, “but he forgot what it was, so he told his wise men to interpret his dream or they’d die. Only Daniel could interpret it, because he was a prophet.”

Here the book makes an allusion or reference to the Bible. Why was this bit of the Bible referenced to? Some context around the allusion would be that up in Ender’s training out in space, Ender has a problem that his “guardian” is trying to solve. His guardian locates his sister, Valentine, in hopes that she can solve it for him. This is what the allusion is referencing. Valentine describes herself as Daniel, while Ender’s guardians are the prophets. You could imply that Ender is the King with a problem, which is very relevant to the novel as Ender is the King Savior of the human race, but only reluctantly. Contrast Clues/Simile “Everything was far away and flat; the ground, lacking the upward curve of the Battle School floors, seemed instead to fall away, so that on level ground Ender felt as though he were on a pinnacle.”

The two parts of this quote would be “everything was far away and flat; the ground lacking the upward curve…” and “Ender felt as though he were on a pinnacle”. The two parts contrast each other, amplifying the effect of the imagery. This also shows how much Ender analyzes his surroundings and how he is very much affected by his environment. It also compares Ender's feelings of his new environment to a mountain top, in a simile type fashion.It really describes the character of Ender, a person who takes into deeper thought what most people would shove off. Metaphor “Even those of us who command by ansible know the majesty of flight among the stars… Soon enough Ender Wiggin will also know what I know; he will dance the graceful ghost dance through the stars and whatever greatness there is within him will be unlocked…”

This metaphor comes much later in the book when Ender is almost about to start his true task of saving the planet. This metaphor signifies Ender has no idea what the true meaning of his training has been, but when Ender goes out and starts his journey he will experience what it truly means to be a commander and he will know the meaning of greatness. This metaphor essentially sums up the entire book in a few words. Ender will evolve from just another talented young boy into the great star dancer the world needs him to be. Symbolism Ender's Game

The book itself is a very serious one, describing the events of a young child possessing the mind of a great military commander as well as the story of ruthlessness versus compassion. Why then, is the book called “Ender’s Game”, since “game” is usually a fun or lighthearted activity? The title is a symbol of how Ender treats serious situations like a game and light situations seriously. But this does not mean Ender has any fun playing his games. The games are serious, and Ender treats them as such, but the mindset needed to succeed at these games requires a different level of strategic thinking. A type of thinking that is very similar to, say, a game. A type of thinking that is very clear throughout the book, all the way up to the climax. A "game" is all what the novel is describing. Or to be more specific, Ender's Game. Summary Ender's Game is a book about ruthlessness versus compassion and games. Treating the great battle between ruthlessness and compassion in war is a difficult game to play but this book is all about Ender overcoming those difficulties in the most important battle of all time.

Ruthlessness might defeat enemies.
Compassion might save lives.

But when pitched against each other, you get something special.

Ender's Game

Presentation by Paul Choi
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