Let’s just dive in to a possibly controversial issue: religion. Orson Scott Card is a devout Mormon and some readers think that his books in general are very Mormon. How do you think religion fits into Ender's Game? Or, for a couple of more specific questions, where does religion fit in the future that Card depicts? What in this book do you think reflects religious stories? For instance, Ender gives up a lot to save the rest of us…so, could we say that he’s a Christ figure?
Why is Peter in this book? Peter sure looks crazy at the beginning of the book, but by the end of it, he and Ender have made some sort of peace. Has Peter changed over the years? Or do you think that Peter’s not really so bad at the beginning of the book? We never get to hear his own thoughts, so could it be possible that Peter is just a typical bullying big brother and not the psychopath that Ender and Val think he is?
What about Valentine? She’s rejected by the military because she’s too nice – but is that your impression of her?
Do you think it was a good idea for the military to recruit Ender and leave Peter and Val behind? Or could the military have manipulated any of these kids (or any others outside of the family) into becoming the great military leader?
Some science fiction books create inventions that become real later. What does Card invent in this future world and how well do his inventions match up with what we have today?
What do you think about how the chapters start? Was it confusing to listen in on dialogue without knowing who was talking? Why do you think Orson Scott Card chose to start every chapter that way? What does this structure do to our reading experience? Does it inform you? Confuse you? Annoy you? Make you hungry?
If this book is Ender’s Game, why does Card spend so long on Peter and Valentine’s plan to take over the world? If most of this book is about Ender’s struggles against a) other children, b) the adults, and c) the aliens, why do we hear at all about Peter and Valentine? Is their struggle similar to his? Is his story affected by their story?
At the end, Ender learns that his game has been an actual war. What do you think about that switcheroo in this book? Could you tell that the game was real, and does that surprise make you feel differently about Ender?
What mistakes does Orson Scott Card make in imagining this story? (And this isn’t just so we can laugh at his goof-ups and feel smart – it’s sometimes useful to think about problems/mistakes the author makes in order to see where the author has had to cheat to make things come out the way he wants.)