Ender's Game

by: Orson Scott Card

Compassion

1

In battle I killed ten billion buggers, whose queens, at least, were as alive and wise as any man, who had not even launched a third attack against us, and no one thinks to call it a crime.

After Ender kills the buggers, Graff faced a trial on the people who died as a result of Ender’s actions, such as Stilson and Bonzo. Here, Ender reflects on the fact that no one feels outraged about the death of the buggers. While most people view the buggers as enemies to be vanquished, Ender’s compassion allowed him to understand them and appreciate their tactics. Even after their death, Ender still sees their lives as being just as valuable as anyone else’s.

2

I’m going because I know the buggers better than any other living soul, and maybe if I go there I can understand them better. I stole their future from them; I can only begin to repay by seeing what I can learn from their past.

As Ender and Valentine discuss going to a new colony, Ender makes clear to Valentine his reasons for going. Ender still feels immense guilt about killing the buggers, and wants to learn more about them. While others view the buggers as the enemy, Ender’s time learning about the buggers helped him feel compassion and admiration for them.