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Ender's Game

Ender's Game


by Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game Allusions and Cultural References

When authors give shout outs to other great works, people, and events, it's usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literary and Mythological References

  • Mother Goose, Pac-Man, Peter Pan – All examples of children’s stories (6.109)
  • Salaam – Arabic for “peace” (7.58)
  • Salamander – In ye olden days, the salamander was connected to fire in mythology, which is why Bonzo keeps making fire references. (7.121)
  • Phoenix – A mythological bird that lives forever by resurrecting itself in fire, kind of Professor Dumbledore's phoenix Fawks. (9.174)
  • Ansible – A term from Ursula K. Le Guin’s Rocannon’s World, 1966. (13.236)

Biblical References

  • “Legitimate saints’ names” – As in, all the Wiggin children have the names of saints – and Saint Andrew and Saint Peter were brothers, just as Andrew and Peter are here. (3.97)
  • Daniel – A prophet from the biblical Book of Daniel (9.222)
  • A “cubit” – A unit of measurement that’s often used in the Bible – for instance, Noah is told to build an ark that’s 300 cubits long. (10.172)
  • “I came not to bring peace, but a sword” – A version of Matthew 10:34 (10.184)

Historical References

  • Napoleon (4.75)
  • Alexander the Great (4.75)
  • Julius Caesar (4.75)
  • Napoleon and Wellington, Julius Caesar and Brutus – Two pairs of historical figures who were opponents. Wellington fought Napoleon in battle, whereas Brutus assassinated Caesar. (7.10)
  • Warsaw Pact – An agreement between various communist countries. (9.50)
  • Pericles – A statesman and orator from Athens who helped lead Athens against Persia. (9.64)
  • Demosthenes – Took a leading role in turning Athens against Alexander the Great – which didn’t work out for Athens, or for Demosthenes. (9.64)
  • Philip – As in, Philip II of Macedon, who helped set things up for his son, Alexander the Great. (9.66)
  • Thomas Paine (9.68)
  • Benjamin Franklin (9.68)
  • Bismarck – Otto von Bismarck, who helped to unify Germany during the 19th century. (9.68)
  • Vladimir Ilyich Lenin – An important figure in the Russian Revolution. (9.68)
  • Hitler – Have you ever watched the History Channel? Yeah, that’s Hitler, the German Fuhrer known for causing World War II and the Holocaust. (9.91)
  • Pax Americana – Latin for “American Peace,” referring to any time when a powerful country enforces peace in an area, kind of like the Roman Empire's "Pax Romana." (9.108)
  • John Locke – An English philosopher who wrote about political issues way back in the 1600s. (9.126)
  • “Circumcised dog” – An old and insulting way to refer to Muslims by Christians, who were not circumcised. (10.173)
  • “Veni Vidi Vici” – What Julius Caesar said about an easy war, meaning, “I came, I saw, I conquered.” (11)
  • Little Doctor – A nickname for the Molecular Disruption Device…and, oddly enough, for Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda. (14.149)

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