by Orson Scott Card
Youth Quotes in Ender's Game
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Out of the woods emerged a dozen slavering wolves with human faces. Ender recognized them – they were the children from the playground. Only now their teeth could tear; Ender, weaponless, was quickly devoured. (7.69)
This image will come back to haunt Ender in real life, but the game seems to be saying something serious about children here: they’re like wolves. (Actually, notice how many of Ender’s bullies hunt in packs, like wolves.) There goes our cherished notion of childhood innocence.
“These other armies, they aren't the enemy. It's the teachers, they're the enemy.” (8.126)
Ender’s worst enemies seem to be the childhood bullies he faces; but many of Ender’s friends appear to think the problem is the teachers and the other adults. (This quote is said by Dink, but a similar issue comes up with Petra earlier (7.189).) This sets up the idea that there might be a war between the generations going on here.
“I've got a pretty good idea what children are, and we're not children. Children can lose sometimes, and nobody cares. Children aren't in armies, they aren't commanders, they don't rule over forty other kids, it's more than anybody can take and not get crazy." (8.134)
According to Dink, Battle School is stealing kids' childhood. Dink has memories of his brother and the stuff his brother is interested in (cars, girls). Measured against that, the Battle School students are – to put it mildly – crazy. As he says later, one of their problems is that they’re trying to act like adults.