Individual needs versus the common good
Colonel Graff's sense of duty to the human race leads him to reason with Ender, on multiple occasions, that Ender should see himself as a "tool" for the human race. He notes that "Human beings are free except when humanity needs them." Graff argues that humans become tools whenever the species needs them. Card seems to support this point of view in that we may feel sorry for Ender, but we can hardly imagine another way that the war could have been won. The happiness of one boy, it seems, should be forfeited for the sake of the race. Ender understands this point, so he makes a free choice to suffer for the sake of humanity. One thinks here of Plato's philosopher-kings in the Republic who would prefer not to rule society but who do so anyway, leading less satisfying lives in order to make the society function well enough for others to live more satisfying lives.