Power. It is a concept not fully understood by many, and is very versatile. On one hand, it can be used in a beautiful and elegant way to benefit not only the one in power, but also those around that person.  On the other side of the coin, power can be easily abused, and be a manipulative weapon of psychological warfare.  This is seen all throughout history, literature, entertainment, and many more aspects of life.  For most people, their ultimate goal of happiness is power, whether it be over their country, living or financial situation, or much more.  Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card depicts how power can be used in positive and negative ways in the actions of different characters. Characters such as Peter and the school authorities show how power can be interpreted acand used in a negative and manipulative way. Towards the beginning of the book it is said that “the power to cause pain is the only power that matters, the power to kill and destroy, because if you can’t kill then you are always subject to those who can, and nothing and no one will ever save you” (Card 12).  Power has the ability to control people, to mold them, and demolish them. Power here is used as a weapon to harm others, and that it is an absolute in the way that one either benefits or perishes from it.  When Ender is talking to his classmate, Dink, he says, “‘It’s the teachers, they’re the enemy. They get us to fight each other, to hate each other. The game is everything. Win win win. It amounts to nothing.'” (Card 108).  Although Ender does not believe all that Dink says, the conversation makes Ender question his situation as never before. He sees through the demise of the school authorities and realizes that they are abusing their power, which causes him to see the teachers as the enemy and the game as nothing.  At the end of the book, Mazer, Ender’ mentor, tells him after he killed the buggers, “You made the hard choice, boy. All or nothing. End them or end us. But heaven knows there was no other way you could have done it. Congratulations. You beat them, and it’s all over” (Card 243). At this moment, Ender has been dealt this great deal of power which allowed him to almost complete genocide on an entire civilization.  However, with this great achievement for humanity also comes with a price: the emotional toll of having an entire civilization’s existence on one’s shoulders.  The negative side of power is seen many times throughout the course of Ender’s Game.Many characters in the novel, especially Ender, display the positive side of power a protagonist generally shows.  In one of the many passages Ender speaks with Bean, he says, “But I’ll be watching you, more compassionately than you know, and when the time is right you’ll find that I’m your friend, and you are the soldier you want to be” (Card 168). As Ender himself notes, his relationship with Bean very closely parallels what occurred between Colonel Graff and Ender. In both instances, the two people in a position of power work to push the student to his absolute limit.  This process leads to an extraordinary soldier in the end result. While Peter is torturing Ender in the start of the book, Ender thinks, “I have to win this now, and for all time, or I’ll fight it every day and it will get worse and worse.” (Card 7). Ender’s theory when fighting, which drives him to kill Stilson and Bonzo, as well as to fight brutally against the older boys in the battleroom, leads him to ultimate success.  The fear of not having power encourages him to accomplish his desires.  At the very end of the story, Ender tells the bugger queen, “‘I’ll carry you,’ said Ender, ‘I’ll go from world to world until I find a time and a place where you can come awake in safety. And I’ll tell your story to my people, so that perhaps in time, they can forgive you, too. The way that you’ve forgiven me'” (Card 321). Ender, at any given moment, could kill the bugger queen and eliminate the main threat to humanity, but instead shows mercy and uses in power in a heroic way.  In this instance, power is used to save an entire global society, while power was the very thing that brought them to the brink of extinction.  Power is also shown in a positive way throughout the events of Ender’s Game.Ender’s Game perfectly envelopes the polar opposites of power throughout the novel with different characters and events.  This idea of power has driven people in the book to madness, including Ender.  He became so desperate of rejecting his thirst for power that it actually consumed him.  Unfortunately, this society obsessed with power is not so far fetched from many communities today.  This is seen all throughout daily life in the real world, from bitter school rifts to global struggle for power. Power is this perfect balance: a hot and a cold, a light and darkness, a yin and a yang.   This idea of power is both a blessing, and a curse.

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