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True Lies

Sometimes lies were more dependable than the truth.

Card, Ender's Game Ch 1-6 -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

Whenever I first came across this line, it jumped out at me. It seemed like it was going to be important in the course of the story. Though I may be wrong that it is incredibly significant, I just saw a red flag go up when I read that. After reading the first six chapters, it seems that my first assumption was right, in part. It seemed like it was foreshadowing something. Already at this point, there is a point in chapter 4 in which Ender appears to be trying to convince himself of what he believes to be true:

I am not a killer, Ender said to himself over and over. I am not Peter. No matter what Graff says, I'm not. I was defending myself. I bore it a long time. I was patient. I'm not what he said.

Then, at the end of chapter six:
This was supposed to be a game. Not a choice between his own grisly death and an even worse murder. I'm a murderer, even when I play. Peter would be proud of me.

If I had my guess at this point, I'm thinking that Ender is, in fact, somewhere between the two ideas he has of himself. The truth, though a little extreme at this point, lies within the second view. The lie, in part, is the first reassurances of not being a killer. The lie is dependable, because he has the potential to be, but he holds it at bay. I'm not fully sure that I understood this correctly; it's just an assumption at this point, but I'm interested to see how it turns out. Any ideas?

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Comments (3)

HallieGeary:

I think it's important to note that it says that Ender is a cross between Peter and Valentine. On the one hand, he isn't Peter simply because he feels guilt and is afraid of becoming a murderer, where Peter embraces his sadistic tendencies. On the other hand, he isn't Valentine either. As much as he tries, he can't grasp the pure goodness that Valentine represents. The fact that he battles with these two aspects of himself is probably what would make him a good leader, as he knows both the darkest evil and the lightest love of human nature. So I think your idea with the lie is pretty plausible, and this whole light/darkness inside him is what makes him such an interesting character. Half the time I'm not sure if we're rooting for the hero or the villain.
I don't know, that's really just my opinion.

Fish:

It seems as if lying is playing a big part in this book; the government is lying to Ener, Ender is battling what may be lies to himself. I think the quote you picked out was a good one and will probably play a big part in this book.

BethanyMerryman:

It does look like foreshadowing, and I didn't really catch onto the significance. I did read it over a few times because I found it interesting. I have finished the whole book, as have you now, and I think that Valentines letter goes well with this quote. Valentine telling Ender that he isn't like Peter helped him more than the truth would, for the time being.

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