This time, the mysterious figure-a soldier, as is his companion-is not as sure of Ender as he had been in the previous conversation. It is hard for him to read the boyís emotions now, without the help of the monitor. Their discussion mentions the fight with Stilson though, so it is clear that Ender is still under some form of surveillance, which will be used to see how Ender will deal with his brother Peter. Both of the people acknowledge that they are messing him up.
When Ender returns home, Valentine sympathizes with him over the removal of his monitor, though he says he is glad, and tries to make it seem that Ender is now one of them. Peter, however, does not see it that way, since Ender had his in for so long, and now Peter has a gleam of anger in his eyes. He wants to play buggers and astronauts, a game that inevitably becomes violent for the buggers. Ender, as always, must play the part of the bugger.
With his mask on to look like a bugger, Enderís vision is severely restricted and he cannot dodge Peterís blow. But Peter will not let him take off the mask. Instead he puts his knee into Enderís chest while he is on the ground, pressing the air out of Ender. Peter says that he could kill Ender this way, that the whole thing would look like an accident, and he means it. Valentine intervenes, pointing out that he could not kill her as well, claiming it was an accident, and she would tell. Plus she also has a letter in a vault that will be opened if she is to die under suspicious circumstances, blaming Peter for her death. Such a letter would prevent Peter from getting elected into the government as he wants.
Peter responds that she had better be around Ender all the time. Valentine reminds Peter that he is not any smarter than her and Ender, but he just repeats his threat, that he will strike sometime in the future. Then he laughs, saying that Valentine and Ender are gullible. However, Ender really does believe that he meant what he said, and thinks Peter deserves the beating he gave Stilson. He even shows him the blood on his toe but Peter does not believe him.
When Mother and Father return home, they try to console Ender about his monitor being removed. However, Fatherís talk about how nice it was that they now had three children, only makes Ender feel even more aware of the fact that he is a Third.
That night, Peter gets up to go to the bathroom, and on his way back, stops at Enderís bed. Ender thinks he is going to kill him. Instead Peter, thinking Ender is asleep, says that he is sorry, understands what he is going through, and loves Ender as a brother. Ender waits for Peter to go to sleep and then takes off the bandaid covering where his monitor was and cries.
The reason for Peterís hostility towards Ender is made clear here. He sees Ender as a constant reminder of his own failure. Peter had been promising enough to have the government allow Ender to be born, hoping that he would be even better. Peter of course does not like this judgment, or the embarrassment that comes with having a Third in the family.
The bugger and astronaut game is a preview of the larger plot. Literally, it is an imitation of a real war that serves the basis for events in the book. Also, the war is presented in the format of a game, as it will be presented to Ender until the very end of the book.
Cite this page:
McCauley, Kelly. "TheBestNotes on Ender's Game".
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