Ender's Game

Explain the irony of the two persons: Demosthenes and Locke


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The whole idea is basically that Peter, the elder child is quite the ambitious young man, and persuades his sister to go along with his plans. He sets up Locke as the reasonable, statesman persona respected by all the smart people, and his sister writes Demosthenes, more popular, and populist, author, who's stock in trade is occasionally paranoid anti-Russianism. He coordinates them, but she writes them, so they don't read the same, and can pass a writing analysis to confirm that. The irony is that each character by inclination would write the other one's articles, but Peter wants to be the ruler in the end, and Demosthenes can't do that. And of course, the pen names are pretty obvious statements.



This chapter returns to Ender's siblings. We know a year has passed because Valentine celebrates Ender's eighth birthday. Peter has become a model student, on the surface, but Valentine sees the splayed and skewered squirrels in the woods behind their home and knows better.

The two begin discussing world politics. There are two major powers in the world united, through a shaky agreement, by the threat of the Buggers. One the one side is the American Hegemony, and on the other is the Russian "New Warsaw Pact." Peter suspects there is something happening in the bugger war, because he has figured out the troop movements of the Russians. Valentine, intrigued but nervous talks with him about this and their ability to influence world affairs. As the two talk, they discuss their own excellence and how, on the nets, they are anonymous and can influence politics. all they need is their father's permission for "citizen's access." Valentine sees through the sugarcoating and cuts to the chase, "What do you tell him, I need citizen's access so I can take over the world?" Chapter 9, pg 129

Peter responds as honestly: "I'm going to rule, Val... But I want it to be something worth ruling... A Pax Americana through the whole world." Chapter 9, pg 131-2 Convinced, they earned access, and Peter and Val started playing as adults on the nets. As they became more experienced, Peter hatched his plan: each would take on one identity, apparently completely disconnected. They would comment on political affairs and become influential. Peter would be Locke, the statesman whose opinion is measured and compassionate. Valentine would be Demosthenes, the rabble-rouser who moves people to action. Peter knew that this was counter to their opinions, but also made sure his identity would have power.

Demosthenes quickly gets picked up by a regional newspaper on the west coast. Peter is frustrated, but Val assures him that rabble-rousers gain audiences, but little respect. What frustrates Valentine is that Demosthenes has an avid reader in her father. Locke later gains a wider audience in New England.