Study Guide

Speaker for the Dead Warfare

By Orson Scott Card


Speaker for the Dead doesn't have a war, but there's lots of war around various corners. Ender's Game, the preceding novel, was all about war, and Ender is still dealing with the fallout. The piggies are planning to go to war with the new skills they've gained from the zenadors and conquer other tribes, and there's always the threat of war between the colonists and the piggies. Plus, as the novel ends, Starways is planning war and destruction for Lusitania. Peace is seen as a precarious island—not so much a natural state as something you work and sacrifice and pray for. You need to do a lot of ugly cutting in the piggie to get that tree of peace.

Questions About Warfare

  1. Does Jane cause Starways to go to war? If so, is she justified?
  2. Must violence be intentional for it to really be violence? Does this apply to Ender's Xenocide? To the piggies's murder of Pipo and Libo?
  3. If you've read Ender's Game, do you like that book better than this one? Whether you have or not, do you think the next book would be more interesting if there is a war than if there isn't? Are war and violence fun to read about? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Speaker for the Dead condemns Ender's xenocide in favor of peace.

Speaker for the Dead never really condemns Ender's xenocide, and so its vision of peace is hard to take seriously.