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Ender's Game Free Online Study Guide/Book Notes Summary
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ENDER'S GAME BOOK SUMMARY

CHAPTER TWELVE: Bonzo

Summary

General Pace, the chief of the I.F. military police, comes to talk with Colonel Graff after Dap (presumably Major Anderson) fills a report saying that Graff’s treatment of Ender has been dangerous. Graff defends his methods, arguing that he knows what he is doing. General Pace then directs the conversation towards his main concern that nothing is being done to prevent a plot, led by Bonzo, to kill Ender. Graff remains convinced though that he cannot do anything about it, so Ender will never think an adult will help him. The matter is left at that, as Graff has complete authority over Battle School.

During practice, Bean’s team works with a deadline, a thin strand of twine. While it is of no use in getting in the way of the enemy, it is especially handy to change direction quickly. As the army walks back from practice, Ender notices a number of boys acting suspicious. With this in mind, he does not stop when Petra calls out to him. She catches up to him, and warns him of the plot, but Ender tells her he already knows. When she realizes that the reason Ender did not stop is because he thought she might have been involved, she leaves upset. Dragon Army, overhearing the conversation, now knows that people are trying to hurt Ender and insist on escorting him back to his room.

Once there, Ender discovers a message from Dink, warning him not to be alone. Although Ender is glad to know Dink is still looking out for him and he is confident in his army’s ability to discourage any hostile action towards him, he dreams about Stilson that night. In the dream, Stilson and his gang beat up Ender, as Ender had beat up him. When he awakes though, he clearly thinks that the teachers will protect him.

Dragon Army continues winning battles, but it becomes increasingly difficult, with rule changes such as the other army’s frozen soldiers are thawed and reenter action after five minutes. As a result of the challenge and frequency of battles, the entire army is exhausted. Ender falls asleep for most of the morning. When he awakes, he goes to the gym to become reinvigorated, but while he is showering afterwards, he realizes he is alone. This is not the case for long though, as Bonzo, Bernard, and five other boys soon enter the showers.


Realizing his situation, Ender taunts Bonzo about honor until the other boy commits to a one-on-one fight. After Bonzo takes off his clothes to make them as equal as possible, Ender soon realizes that his edge in having taken the combat classes is not as great as he thought, since it is evident that Bonzo has learned it as well. The showers create a dangerous space for a fight, with all the projecting metal, but Ender decides to use the location to his advantage-he turns on the hot water so that his body, still soapy from his interrupted shower, is even more slippery.

Dink arrives and tries to get Bonzo not to fight, but his yelling about Ender’s importance, Bonzo is just angered, because he knows he himself is not. Dink is held back and silenced by the other boys in Bonzo’s gang. Bonzo and Ender begin to fight, and, after a few maneuvers, he is able to bring his head up into Bonzo’s face. While Bonzo is recovering, Ender moves and kicks him in the crotch. Bonzo falls silently, and while his friends and the medical staff rush to help him, Dink leads Ender away. Ender now realizes that no one will help him, a thought that brings him to tears, because he did not want to hurt Bonzo.

Ender awakes later that day and, even though Dragon Army had already had a battle that day, there is a slip of paper announcing another, this time against two armies. Ender quickly rinses up before the battle, noting how the bathroom has been restored to normal, no trace of the fight between himself and Bonzo. When he and his army arrive at their gate, they look out to find that stars have been placed to block their view. Ender sends Bean to find out what is on the other side, by using his deadline. He then decides to use a formation, the first time the Dragon Army has ever done so, but in an unconventional way. The formation is a distraction and launching pad to send six soldier over to the enemy’s gate to perform the victory ceremony, thereby ending the battle.

Anderson announces that the rules will be revised to prohibit such tactics in the future and then ignores Ender’s call for equality, but the boys, both from Dragon Army and the others, still cheer Ender. Then, when the soldiers ask about practice, Ender says there will be no practices, shouting that he does not care about the game anymore. He goes to his room, but he is not alone for long. Bean comes in to tell Ender that he (Bean) has been transferred to Rabbit Army, of which he is now commander. He also tells Ender that many of Dragon Army’s other leaders have also been transferred to command positions. Ender, however, is so upset over having hurt Bonzo, even after Bean tells him that Bonzo has now been sent home, that he says he will no longer play the game.

Anderson and Graff come into Ender’s room with a paper stating Ender’s graduation and assignment to Command School. This news, along with Ender’s abrupt leave with the officers, has Bean very concerned about the reason for this breakdown of the rules. That night, he cries about not seeing Ender again, but despite this episode, Bean is a soldier and not a child.

On board the shuttle, Ender finds out that Major Anderson is now in command of the Battle School, and Colonel Graff has been reassigned. He is traveling with Ender, as is Colonel Pace. Once on Earth, a kind of extended layover en route to Command School, Ender discovers that he has grown unaccustomed to the planet and finds adjusting to the environment difficult.

The chapter ends with two speakers-one of them the promoted Anderson and the other, Major Imbu, who had previously discussed the fantasy game with Graff-discussing the recent events. Their conversation reveals that Ender had killed Bonzo during their fight, just as he had Stilson. But the fear of the buggers, with the situation drawing nearer, justifies pushing Ender to such limits.

Notes

The structure of this chapter seems to support Bean’s observation that the rules are breaking down. Unlike previously, where the speakers were only present in the beginning of the chapter, there is now an additional conversation at the end of the chapter. And, just as Bean feared it is a result of trouble with the bugger war, the speakers are indeed discussing that situation with a good deal of fear over it.

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