by Orson Scott Card
Identity Quotes in Ender's Game
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Instead, he found a mirror. And in the mirror he saw a face that he easily recognized. It was Peter, with blood dripping down his chin and a snake's tail protruding from a corner of his mouth. (8.220)
This is Ender’s worst nightmare – that, when he looks into a mirror, he’ll see Peter looking out. Now, this is the same mind game in which Ender killed a giant, so the game has some evidence that Ender is a killer, just like his brother. (In fact, Ender kills a snake in the mind game right before this, just like Peter kills small animals in Chapter 9.) Now, only the game tells Ender that he’s like Peter, while just about every one tells Ender that he isn’t like Peter. Interesting. What do you make of that? Who's right?
There was more Peter in her than she could bear to admit, though sometimes she dared to think about it anyway. (9.63)
Ender’s the focus of the book, but his sister Val probably comes in second in terms of page-count. Just like Ender, Val worries that she has Peter’s hankering for power and violence. They haven’t yet started their Locke and Demosthenes plan, but Peter is about to convince her. (In fact, Val wants to be convinced (9.107), so maybe there is some Peter in her.) But here’s a slight difference between Val and Ender: in this case, the narrator seems to come out and say that Val has some similarity to Peter, but the narrator never ever says that about Ender.
Perhaps it's impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be. (13.40)
Val worries that she might be like Peter (let’s get rid of the suspense: she is). But here she realizes that there’s yet another danger: that she might become like Demosthenes, the paranoid, anti-Russian author that she’s pretending to be. In a lot of other books, this would be the big issue of identity, but here, this is a momentary worry. Again, the fact that worry about becoming Demosthenes isn’t a huge deal reminds us how important worrying about Peter is.