Empathy for the Buggers: The Change in Ender Wiggins’ Morality College
Orson Scott Card’s novel Ender’s Game features an intense change in the protagonist’s morality and motivation. Prior to interacting with the alien race, the Buggers, Ender has a very logical, and strategic approach to his problems. He chooses to see the utilitarian picture, rather than focus on the details or the potential pain his victims may be in. However, this mindset changes once he begins to interact with the race he is fighting against and eventually destroys. The buggers begin to infest his dreams, causing him to learn from them and begin to be able to communicate with them. This causes him to have a volatile reaction when he unknowingly commits genocide, as he no longer has the solely utilitarian and unemotional mindset. Instead, Ender has become empathetic and connected to the Buggers which allows him to communicate with the Buggers at the end and choose to help them restart their civilization.
Even at a young age Ender displays a strategic-type mindset—one where he chooses to focus on the future and self-preservation. He enlists this approach during his first attack once his monitor is removed. Although he severely injures his attacker, he claims his reasoning for doing so was not out of malice, but rather a method...
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