Book Report Q2: Make the Soundtrack

by Isabella Mancini

Song 1 on this Ender's Game soundtrack is Love Don't Die from the Fray. Although The Fray can't English, their song perfectly applies to Ender Wiggin and his relationship with his sister, Valentine.In the book, Ender is taken away from Valentine at age 6. Being the third child in a society where two children is the usual, Ender received a lot of grief from his classmates, oldest brother Peter, and even his own parents. The only one that loved Ender from the start was Valentine. When they were separated, Ender was made fun of at Battle School for being too good at everything. Ender could only hope that Valentine would send him letters. And she did, but the Battle School intercepted these letters. Ender became very lonely, but never gave up his love for his sister.

This song, Destroy Them With Lazers by Knife Party, has almost no lyrics. The only words said are in the title of the song. That said, this song reminds me of the Battle School and Dragon Army. When Ender is about 10, he is given Dragon Army to train to become the best army in the Battle School. The only problem was that Ender was given a bunch of Launchies, or rookies. Ender spends countless hours training Dragon Army before their first battle, which they win. After that, Dragon Army continues to train twice a day and have at least one battle a day. They win every single match.

To win these battles, Ender and his new soldiers have to use lazer guns to freeze the other players' legs. The team with the least amount of frozen players and to open the exit door wins. I always pictured this song to be playing in the battles.

Ender enters the Battle school as a recluse, with no friends and no idea how to make friends. None of the kids want to be Ender's friend either. Even though he does really well academically and strategically at Battle School, all the other kids hate him and if Ender tries to be nice, they end up getting into a fight. Ender even killed two kids he got into a fight with, but it was not purposely. Ender learned how to defeat his enemies based off of weaknesses. That was why Colonel Graff thought Ender would be such a great commander. I thought of New Soul by Yael Naim to be appropriate to this book seeing as Ender enters a strange world, the youngest and the most vulnerable just as in the song.

At age 10, Ender graduates from Battle School and is told by his instructor Colonel Graff to attend Command School, the only place where Ender could train to destroy the incoming Bugger fleets. In between going from Battle School to Command School, Ender is allowed to visit Earth before he goes back into the Cosmos for several more years. When Ender is on Earth, he becomes stubborn and refuses to be brought back into outer space. Colonel Graff calls on Valentine to convince Ender that Command School is the best thing he could do, not only for himself but for Earth and the future of human civilization. She convinced Ender to go to Command School, but also told him that he was fighting for his home, for the lake he never wanted to leave. Colonel Graff supported that by telling Ender, "Human beings are free except when humanity needs them. Maybe humanity needs you. To do something. Maybe humanity needs me—to find out what you're good for. We might both do despicable things, Ender, but if humankind survives, then we were good tools."

How to Save a Life by the Fray is a great walk through Ender's whole journey throughout the book. At the beginning of Ender's Game, Colonel Graff comes to the Wiggin house to have a conversation with Ender about joining the Battle School. At one point, Ender is hailed as the best in Battle School and is graduated two years early. When Ender gets to Command School, he never learns with the other kids but with War Hero Mazer Rackham. Ender suffers during that time, being worked to his limits and always expected to be the best. Ender tries to warn Rackham and Colonel Graff that his fatigue would affect his ability to command, but they insist it will result in success. Throughout the whole book, Ender wonders what would have happened if he didn't come to Battle School. He thinks he is going to fail and would rather have someone more experienced fight the buggers. When Ender defeats the Buggers, the truth comes out that the practice games that he never lost were real battles against the Buggers and that he committed genocide. He and Valentine go begin colonizing the planet of the buggers. There, Ender finds the buggers left him an egg to help repopulate the species. Ender felt like he could save exactly what he killed and create peace between the species, the only ones that truly understood him.

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