Community Quotes in Ender's Game
How we cite our quotes:
After that, if he had asked them to follow him to the moon without space suits, they would have done it. (11.103)
Ender has just told Dragon Army that they can deal with anything – even with the administrators’ unfair schedules. This could be seen to be flattery, or maybe it’s just telling the truth. (After all, Dragon Army can handle anything as long as Ender’s in charge.) We’ve pulled this quote for how it seems to place Ender in a community (he’s totally trusted) but also puts him somewhat outside of it. After all, the way he wins over his army is almost like the way Dap wins over the Launchies (see 5.33) – and that’s clearly a case in which someone is standing outside (or above) the community. This issue will also come up between Ender and his friends: when you’re a commander, you’re not really just one of the guys.
They were always trying to arouse pride in human accomplishments and loathing of the buggers, but Ender began to wonder how humanity had won at all. Human ships were sluggish; fleets responded to new circumstances unbearably slowly, while the bugger fleet seemed to act in perfect unity, responding to each challenge instantly. (11.112)
This quote shows us a few forms of belonging. On one hand, there are the buggers, with their total commitment to the community. (In this case, we’re thinking of the fleet/hive as a community – although you could argue that the fleet/hive is really just one organism.) On the other hand, there’s the feeling that the videos of the bugger wars are trying to give the viewer – a sense of community for the entire human species. Does that work on Ender? Is there some way to make an entire species feel like one big, happy family?
He wanted to go back home, back to the Battle School, the only place in the universe where he belonged. (12.251)
After all the torture that Ender endures at Battle School, it's surprising to hear him think this about that place. Sure, being in zero gravity is cool, but being isolated and attacked by bullies is the dictionary definition of not cool. So why does Ender suddenly feel like the Battle School is the place he belongs? Is it just an issue of the physical environment? (After all, Ender is used to the weird gravity of the Battle School, which is pretty different from Earth.) Or is Ender missing something of the social community as well? Does he miss living in a place where people share some feelings and hobby? Is that enough to form a community?