by Orson Scott Card
Freedom and Confinement Quotes in Ender's Game
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
But orders were orders, and Ender had promised to obey. (7.262)
The major institutions that Ender has to deal with are school and the army, so we had to throw in at least one example of this. Ender is confined by his promise to obey orders. Of course, pretty soon Ender disobeys Bonzo’s stupid orders (7.279), so we might have to ask how confining these things really are.
"Of course I mind, you meddlesome ass. This is something to be decided by people who know what they're doing, not these frightened politicians who got their office because they happen to be politically potent in the country they come from." (8.22)
We’re back to non-Ender confinement. Here, Graff is complaining that he doesn’t want people to mess up his finely-tuned system of making Ender unhappy. Graff is the principal of the school – can we even imagine anyone higher up than him? Well, as it so happens, we can: there’s a whole group of people (politicians) who could force Graff to take some actions, and he’s trying to avoid those folks.
"Listen, Ender, commanders have just as much authority as you let them have. The more you obey them, the more power they have over you." (8.60)
Here’s Dink’s best line, we think, and he gets a lot of good lines in this book. (We heart Dink.) But here’s Dink’s philosophy on freedom: there are a lot of people out there who will claim some power over you, and you can often retain some of your freedom if you’re willing to deal with the consequences too. (So, for instance, Ender refuses some order of Rose’s that Rose doesn’t have the authority to give; but then Rose gets his revenge by giving Ender an order that he does have the authority to give.)