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ENDER'S GAME PLOT SUMMARY
CHAPTER FIVE: Games
The speakers at the start are now discussing Ender in light of the incident with the boy who broke his arm. While it may have been extreme, the speaker stresses that Ender can never believe that someone will help him. They decide to see what happens to Ender and if he cannot handle it, they will turn to the next child on the list.
When Ender arrives in the dormitory, the only bed left is the lower bunk by the door. He takes it, and follows the instructions to unlock his compartments, one of which contains a heavily padded suit similar to a space suit and a pistol that shoots a focused beam of light.
As he is looking over it, Dap, their assigned “mom”- a man whose job it is to look after them (but only to a degree)-comes in. He tells them that their colors, which they can use to find their way around, will be red-yellow-yellow, and that no intentional injury is allowed at Battle School and will result in being “iced out”, being sent back to Earth.
Ender is sitting by himself at dinner, taking in the giant scoreboard that keeps record of all the teams and the division of the children by their uniform color, when Mick sits down. Mick is an older boy who knows that he is not going anywhere and he warns Ender not to end up like him. Ender knows he will not and he does not like Mick. As he eats with him, he cannot help but think of his family back on Earth and he is near tears for the rest of the night. Thanks to his years of practice being around Peter though, Ender is able to hold back his tears until he is in bed; even there, the tears that do fall, do so silently.
Ender, like the other boys, finds school to be challenging, now that they are competing against so many others as bright as themselves. However, what they really look forward to is the games. In a large open room, there are video and holographic games, and Ender immediately devotes his attention to the latter, played by the older boys. After he took some time to observe the patterns of the game and other players, he challenges and beats an older kid. Ender beats him, winning two of the three games they play, by using tactics that the other boy had not seen before. After winning and watching as other players tried to imitate him, Ender is much more confident of his own abilities to handle Battle School.
Meanwhile, Bernard, the boy whose arm Ender broke, has begun forming his own gang. While Ender watches, Bernard picks on the few other boys rebellious enough to put up any resistance. Shen is one such victim, when Bernard takes to calling him “Worm” because of his size and the way he walks. Ender knows that approaching Shen would be too direct a way of confronting Bernard, so he creates a student by the name of “God”. He uses the account to send a message to all the boys’ desks, embarrassing Bernard.
Bernard sends Ender a message that he knows it was him and his group of friends begins to go about getting even. But Ender has set up another message to be sent out, this one with Bernard’s name attached to it. As Bernard becomes angry, denying that he sent the message, Dab appears. Although he knows that Ender sent the message, he does not reveal it, but calmly gets Bernard to stop yelling.
Ender is pleased that he has broken Bernard’s control without using violence. Shen and the other Launchies (the term for the group of boys that has recently arrived at Battle School) are also impressed, and they join Ender for breakfast.
Ender’s names are the most telling parts of the chapter. First, there is Mick’s comment that “Ender” is a good name to have at Battle School, as the purpose is to end the bugger war. This will turn out to be a piece of accurate foreshadowing. Ender’s other nickname in the chapter, “maladroit”, given to him by Bernard, is more noteworthy for its irony. Not only do Ender’s present and future capabilities clearly make this a misnomer, but even in the passage itself, the term is used right after Ender’s agility is mentioned.Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version