Ender’s Game: Historical and Cultural Allusions

Salamander is connected to fire in mythology. Salamander is often portrayed like the typical salamander in shape but it is usually qualified as a similarity to fire. In the 8th century salamanders were seen as “a worm penetrating flames”. Orson Scott Card communicates the idea of envy and hatred that Bonzo shows towards Ender by using this allusion. In the book Ender is treated horribly by Bonzo, Bonzo in fact is the commander of the Salamander Army. When Ender first arrives to Bonzos army you can feel Bonzo’s hatred towards Ender, Bonzo doesn’t let Ender contribute in his team and makes him feel small. When I think about fire, I see things falling into pieces and I can see hatred and envy, no good things. Bonzo may be relevant to the idea of fire because he tried to destroy Ender because he new Ender was better than him.  In my opinion, this allusion helps the way we understand this character in the novel because Orson Scott may have thought of the characteristics the characters were going to have when he assigned them in their groups. The salamander which represents fire in mythology was the army where Bonzo was commanding, Bonzo can also be represented as fire because of how he acts and what he feels. Bonzo is dangerous and this allusion helped me understand his personality better and why he is the way he is in the book.

In the book Ender’s Game the Wiggin children all have the names of saints. This allusion might represent how the three children are very important and therefore were put saint names. In fact, saint Andrew and Saint Peter were brothers just as Andrew and Peter are brothers in the book. With this allusion Orson Scott Card might be trying to communicate how important the Wiggins are. Ender beat the buggers and was hailed by all people and Peter soon gained a lot of power. This allusion helps the way we understand the novel because it makes the Wiggins seem important, with the idea that they were named just like saints.

Demosthenes grew interested in politics and took a leading role in turning athens against Alexander the Great.  This allusion represents the gaining of power and it was connected to the way Peter and Valentine gained power by using Demosthenes. By using this allusion Orson Scott Card communicated the idea of power because Demosthenes was very powerful because he had the power to turn all of athens against one person. This allusion affects the way we understand events in the book because now we can see why Orson Scott chose to have Valentine write with the name of Demosthenes. This can also help us understand the events because Valentine used Demosthenes to turn the people against the Warsaw Pact just like Demosthenes wrote to turn Athens against Alexander.

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