The speakers are worried that Ender has become stuck and obsessed trying to figure out the Giantís Drink, a computer game that drove a previous student to suicide. The other problem with Ender, that his launch group has become divided instead of united, results in Graff being ordered to keep Ender with the group until things improve.
Meanwhile, the group is entering the battleroom for the first time. As they try to figure out how to move in zero gravity, Ender underestimates the effect of his own force and ends up flying away from his handhold. He learns how to maneuver by using his feet to determine the angle from which he leaves walls and changing the way he views his orientation. To compete with Ender, Bernard quickly does the same, but is far more awkward in his attempts. However, Alai, Bernardís friend, does much better.
After testing the gun and finding that one button makes it act like a laser and another, like a lamp, Ender joins Alai and the two practice pushing off each other in an effort to figure out what can be done if one becomes adrift in the middle of the room. They then test their guns again by shooting each other in the foot, resulting in their feet being frozen stiff. Alai says they should shoot everyone, which, with Bernard and Shen as Ender suggests, they do. Dap comes in and unfreezes everyone, but the incident has made Alai the new leader of the launch group, joining Bernard and Enderís groups.
Back in the room, Ender is once again playing the Giant game. He keeps getting stuck at the same spot: the Giant gives him a choice between two shot glasses, both filled with a different liquid. The Giant tells him that if he chooses right, he can go to Fairyland. But no matter which drink he chooses, he dies. Suddenly Ender attacks the Giant, digging out his eyes and killing him. Ender is told he can go to Fairyland, but he is so disgusted with himself at killing in a game, that he does not bother exploring.
A major point in the novel is that it is children at Battle School. Although most of the time, they act so much like adults that the reader can easily forget about this, there are the occasional reminders of their youth. One example is Alaiís comments about Enderís fart collection when he loses the race to get to the corner.
Alaiís statement that he is not Bernard is a minor example of foreshadowing. As is seen even by the end of this chapter, Alai will be a uniting force in the group, whereas Bernard was the cause of the divide in the first place. Both characters are important in Enderís early days at the Battle School, although in different ways; Bernard acts as another bully while Alai becomes a friend.
Alaiís name is unusual, especially since one of the few, if not the only, other uses of it applies to the Alai Mountains in Asia. That the character with this name is to ease Enderís problems, rather than be something to overcome as one would normally view a mountain, is unexpected.
There is another case of foreshadowing, after Ender kills the Giant: ďThis was supposed to be a game. Not a choice between his [Enderís] own grisly death and an even worse murder. Iím a murderer even when I play.Ē These words could be just as aptly applied to the situation at the end of the novel.
Cite this page:
McCauley, Kelly. "TheBestNotes on Ender's Game".
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