Both The Odyssey and Ender’s Game delve into the dual nature of their main characters, highlighting both their strengths and weaknesses. Nonetheless, only Ender can truly be considered a hero. Despite initially being a vulnerable and sensitive child, he undergoes an incredible transformation by tirelessly developing his skills until they become second nature to him. Ender exemplifies qualities such as leadership, courage, fear, and trust. Conversely, Odysseus falls short of being a hero. Though he achieves victory in the Trojan War, his return journey from Troy results in significant loss of his men’s lives.
In his actions, Ender displays his brutality, foolishness, and lack of gratitude and honor. Despite this, he also demonstrates kindness and sensitivity. However, there are moments when his underlying anger overwhelms him. As he enters Battle School, Ender continues to exhibit kindness towards his fellow Launchies and manages to form new friendships. He helps his acquaintances navigate through the practice battle room and swiftly makes new friends. He even manages to befriend Alai, who initially disliked him due to false information from their mutual friend Bernard about Ender breaking his arm.
This paragraph discusses the lack of training provided by Odysseus to his crew members, as well as Ender’s ability to demonstrate leadership skills by organizing his own practice sessions. In the story, Ender is transferred to Salamander Army where he is placed under strict limitations by his army leader, Bonzo Madrid. However, Ender realizes the importance of participating in battles to learn how to fight in space, and therefore conducts additional practice sessions with his former Launchie group.
During his practice sessions, Ender generously welcomes anyone who wishes to practice and instructs them with kindness and patience. He dedicates time to instruct those who learn at a slower pace, while also teaching those who grasp concepts quickly various battle techniques and positions within the Battle Room. On the other hand, Odysseus lacks leadership abilities as he predominantly makes decisions according to his own desires and greed. He allows his crew members to make their own choices and fails to organize collective attacks or assign roles and commands. His feeble leadership skills and inner malevolence become evident when he stops at Ismarus Island, where he ruthlessly pillages innocent people and senselessly murders them for his own amusement.
Ender’s team trusts and follows him unconditionally, as shown by his quote “Alai, this is yours; assign Petra and Vlad to the fighters as you wish.” (Card 195) The brotherly bond between them is evident. Despite feeling exhausted and nervous about shouldering the world’s burden, Ender arrives at Command School with determination to train hard and scrutinize closely. These feelings stem from the teachers pushing him to his limits, yet he remains unwavering.
Ender engages in simulated battles with his friends at Battle School and later discovers that he has actually triumphed over the buggers and annihilated their planet. While Odysseus possesses a great deal of bravery, it is misplaced. His audacity to confront and take action in various situations always brings about negative consequences. When Odysseus and his men depart from Polyphemus’ island, he displays courage by admitting to deceiving Polyphemus. However, his foolishness only results in more fatalities and a arduous journey back home. Ultimately, Ender’s courageous deeds and abilities overshadow the senseless actions of Odysseus.
Odysseus and his crew embark on a journey that tragically leads to their demise. Despite this, upon returning home, Odysseus continues to engage in acts of violence. In contrast, Ender uses his compassionate nature to form alliances and gain the trust of others. As a result, he amasses a loyal following and ultimately succeeds in annihilating the bugger planet, establishing himself as a celebrated hero worldwide.
The book “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card was published in New York by Tom Doherty Associates in 2002. It is available in print format. Another book mentioned is “The Odyssey” by Homer, which is included in the Holt Elements of Literature: Third Course. It was edited by Kylene Beers, Lee Odell, et al., and published in Austin, TX by Holt, Rinehart and Winston in 2007. The specific pages of “The Odyssey” mentioned in the text range from 750 to 809. This book is also available in print format.