| Quote #7
Maybe he and Peter and I are all the same, and have been all along. Maybe we only thought we were different from each other out of jealousy. (13.102)
Oh, geez. After all that worry – after Val said that Ender and Peter were opposites (9.240) – now Val’s assurance just crumbles. This used to be something that worried Val, yet now she seems fine with it. (See the next quote for a little bit of why.) But one additional curiosity here is that Val gives a reason why the three Wiggin children didn’t get along – a reason that has nothing to do with the fact that Peter’s a violent psychopath (though, hey, that’s usually plenty for us). That raises the possibility that maybe Peter isn’t a violent psychopath. Maybe they just misunderstood each other.
| Quote #8
"You've been discovering some of the destroyer in yourself, Ender. Well, so have I. Peter didn't have a monopoly on that, whatever the testers thought. And Peter has some of the builder in him.” (13.140)
Now, it’s worth asking whether Peter was always a mix of builder and destroyer, or whether he’s been changing from his earlier days, when he seemed mostly to be destroyer. Val doesn’t talk about identities changing, so according to her it seems as if all three Wiggin children have been complicated all along – Peter was never a monster, even though he seemed that way to them at the time; and Ender was never wholly the saint that he appeared to be. Do you agree with that idea of identity? Or do you think maybe Ender and Peter have changed over time?
| Quote #9
“But Petra is Petra, and you are you."
While Ender and Val mostly worry about whether or not they’re like Peter, there are occasional flashes of other thoughts about identity. Like here. Mazer and Ender are talking about Petra’s breakdown, and Ender worries that he might crack up too, since part of his training was with Petra. Ender doesn’t crack the way Petra does, though – he’s cracking, what with the crazy dreams and eating his hands during his sleep, but he’s cracking differently. Ultimately, Ender doesn’t seem like Petra, but this thought does raise some interesting connections between the themes of identity and community – as if a person’s identity were related to his or her surroundings.