Learning About Ones Enemy Allows You To Understand Them Better. In The
Learning about one’s enemy allows you to understand them better. In the story Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Ender is able to learn and understand his enemy, the buggers, in order to defeat them in war. Not only did Ender come to understand them better but he came to love them also. By studying one’s enemy one is able to defeat them, understand them better, and also love them. Ender’s daily life involved the studying of his enemy and the strategies they used in war. “So it was from the buggers, not the humans, that Ender learned strategy.”(188) Ender watched videos of the buggers everyday to gain a deeper knowledge of his enemy. He was determined to learn more about them. His knowledge of strategy came from watching these videos and learning about the buggers and how they fought. His knowledge of his enemy allowed him to defeat them in battle.
Ender learned more about the buggers from Mazer Rackham. He told him things that the videos never told. “For the first time, a teacher was pointing out things that Ender had not already seen for himself.”(265) Mazer teached Ender about the buggers. He learned innumerable fact about his enemy. From these things that his advisor taught him he was able to go out into battle and defeat them every step of the way. Accordingly he learned to love them also.
When Ender lived in the planet Eros, his living conditions were exactly like of the buggers. “We’re living in a bugger hive.”(269) Ender lived in a planet formerly inhabited by the buggers. The living conditions there were not designed to fit a human’s need; on the other hand, the buggers designed it. The floors sloped downward, and the ceiling was low to the ground. Living under these conditions helped Ender learn how the bugger’s life was and how their environment was like. Therefore, he was able to understand his enemy’s environment and learn how their lives were in their planet. To fully understand his enemy, Ender had to live under their conditions. He did so by living in a planet were the buggers used to live. The living conditions were uncomfortable there, but this helped Ender understand how the buggers were physically. “There was also something disturbing about the proportions of the rooms – the ceilings were too low for the width, the tunnels too narrow. It was not a comfortable place.”(257) Ender had to adapt to the way the buggers lived. Ender progressively became like his enemy; thus, he was able to think like them in order to defeat them in battle. Ender ended up living in a bugger colony, where he became governor. There he set out to learn more about their farming and their way of life. Ender realized that he loved the buggers. “I am the only one they know, and so they can only talk to me, and through me.” Ender felt like he was part of the bugger. He knew that he could communicate with them. He had come to know them better than anyone has ever had. Through this he learned even more about them, his enemy had become his friend. Thereafter, Ender felt the responsibility of saving the bugger race. The thrive behind this is the remorse Ender felt for killing the buggers, a race he had come to know so well. “Come into our home, daughters of Earth; dwell in our tunnels, harvest our fields; what we cannot do, you are now our hands to do for us.” (322) Ender, because of his deep love for the bugger, embarked on a journey to save the their race. He was determined to learn about them and carry out their farming and ways of life. Indeed, he truly was becoming a “speaker for the dead”. This is the ultimate step to knowing and coming to love your enemy.